Kim asked me a really good question this morning, and one that I have pondered for some time myself--why is it that I keep running across churches where people are obnoxiously political?
Kim said and other people whom I trust have said in the past that THEIR churches would never do anything like that and none of their friends' churches would never do anything like that. (That sentence has grammatical problems, but be nice to me, I'm really sick. And I think the meaning is clear.)
At the same time, as recently as yesterday, I got the "How can a UU be a political conservative" question. If we're even asking this, then that speaks to my experiences not being SO unusual.
As best I can determine, the answer to why this stuff keeps happening where I can see it is twofold:
1. I tend to live in red states, and the problem is worse in Conservative areas. At the church I attended in South Carolina, there was a lady who would literally give a politcal speech for a lay service. She did this every six months or so. I learned to not attend her services. Thing is, she was a teacher in the public schools and she really couldn't speak about her political views anyplace else without fearing repercussions.
That sucks for her, but the political speeches as lay services were still obnoxious. In general, in conservative areas where the few liberals feel the UU church is the only place they can "Be themselves" the politicking is going to be more blatant. Probably the most blantant I've ever heard about was a minister in a service where Joel Monka was who said "Republicans are evil" and expanded upon that point at some length. I assume that was in a church in Indiana, so the pattern still applies.
2. Most people aren't as sensitive to these issues as I am. For example, the time I was in a YRUU class where a guest speaker passed out bumper stickers that said "W is for War" the same speaker had done that already for one group of our YRUUs. At least three or four adults had witnessed this and hadn't thought to say anything. When I made the point, other people were like "Oh, yeah, you're right" but I think that evangelizing for liberal politics is so woven into the way UUs behave that a lot of UUs don't particularly see it. When I wrote on the blog about the incident, at least one person still didn't see why handing out such a thing was a problem.