I finally got a look at the UUA's New York times ad about Knoxville and I like it.
It's nicely non-victimy in that its message is pretty much "we're going to keep doing what we're doing and if you like us you're welcome to join us and if you don't, oh well." I'd say this is a pretty good membership message in general. It's more or less the one that recruited me.
I hate it when we pander. The whole "We're the church for you, really, really, we are!" message bugs me and I get nervous when we start talking about recruiting certain demographics of people, even and perhaps especially when those demographics include me.
As I've mentioned before, my ideal church ad campaign is the one the methodists ran several years ago. It had a very similar sort of "we're doing awesome things over here. If you want to join us, our doors are always open" tone. I hope we can keep this tone for other ads.
I've had some arguments with individuals, but on the whole I'm proud of my church and the UUA and how we've responded to this. For a church with some groups that really like to play the victim, there has been very little self-labeled victimization*. I haven't seen the UUA Washington office using the shootings to make political points. (And honestly, I really expected to.)
My faith in Unitarian Universalism as a concept never really flags. But I'm feeling a lot better about the UUA these days.**
*But then, I'm pretty sure that the Knoxville church was targeted because it had been accepting and done good. (Either as far as homosexuality or as far as the ex-wfie is concerned, I tend to think the latter.) It's hard to feel like a victim when you know that the violence has just strengthened your resolve to keep doing good for other people. Victims make the violence (and indeed, themselves) the center of their experience. Non-victims take awhile to recognize what has happened, try to fix things, but ultimately move forward.
There's not much fixing to be done here in my opinion, though I get that that's what the "blame O'Reilly" folks are trying to do despite my huge disagreements with them.
Ultimately, we need to mourn those killed but move forward, and I think this ad is a perfectly reasonable step in this direction.
**Of course, it's easy to have faith in a theoretical ideal. Keeping faith in an organization made up of actual falliable people is harder.