Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Peacebang's awesome post

Peacebang has a great post about the UUA presidential election. I'm still cooking over various parts of it in my head and I commented there about some of the things I'm thinking.

I don't think any of my comments will be new to frequent readers here who are well aware that, for example, I am very uncertain how to reach out to other cultures without being patronizing or if doing so is even possible.

Anyway, go read what she has to say, it's a thoughtful, important post.

CC

45 comments:

Bill Baar said...

PB gave us a very significan post here. A lot of thought went into it and many avenues for future discussion.

It's one of the most significant posts I've read on a UU blog I think.

Chalicechick said...

((It's one of the most significant posts I've read on a UU blog I think.))

Well, you didn't need to put that on MY blog, you know. I'm no Harvard Divinity Grad but I do my best.

Now go tell her. :)

CC

Bill Baar said...

oh sorry about that... no offense intended to you CC, or any other UU bloggers.

PB just put a huge amount of thinking into that post though. She said many things that have been on my mind. I can't think of anything I've read to date that's been so incisive on the state of our Church.

I'm going to sit back and watch this unfold for a few days, and then try and take the time to link PB and write something.

She's really offered a full year's worth of posts with this... to do justice to everything she's touched base on.

Chalicechick said...

Oh, I know you didn't mean it that way. I'm just teasing you a bit.

Yes, I think it's a great post.

That's why I linked to it.

CC

LinguistFriend said...

PB is very strong on the state of the church, but no help about why on earth the election turned out why it did, unless that is considered to be the logical result of her discussion. The most positive attitude I can take so far to the result of the election is that of the loyal opposition, after a long period of taking that attitude toward Sinkford. At least so far Morales hasn't claimed that all UUs should be
comfortable in reciting the Lord's Prayer, as Sinkford did in the UU World last fall.

LinguistFriend said...

Oops, "as it did" in the third line of LF's comment.

Chalicechick said...

I'm comfortable reciting Katharine's final speech from "Taming of the Shrew." That doesn't mean I accept it as gospel truth. Far from it, as you might imagine.

But I don't find the ideas it contains about women submitting to their husbands so knee-jerk repulsive that I can't even bear to say them.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

Bill,

In line with what CC said in response to your comment. I have been saying many of the things that Peacebang said in her blog post for *years* now. I guess what makes her blog post "very significant" is that she crammed several different topics of discussion into one single blog post and the fact that she is a U*U minister as opposed to someone who was thrown out of the U*U "church" for daring to publicly say some of the things that she said in her post. . .

Robin Edgar said...

"At least so far Morales hasn't claimed that all UUs should be comfortable in reciting the Lord's Prayer, as Sinkford did in the UU World last fall."

Nor is it likely that he will LF. Rev. Peter Morales strikes me as fairly hard-core atheist Humanist U*U who may or may not be a *reformed* "fundamentalist atheist" U*U.

LinguistFriend said...

CC, you don't propose those ideas as among those which should unite all women, as Sinkford apparently thought the Lord's Prayer should unite UUs with Christians, ignoring UU Jews, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, etc.

Chalicechick said...

LF, I don't like Sinkford much, but I'm rather skeptical that he would say what you're saying here that he said. Could you provide a citation?


Robin, while I've said some of the same things PB has said too, I think one of the reasons why PB saying it has gotten such a positive reaction is that she is willing to work on this stuff herself and she is committing herself to fixing these problems.

My impression is that your position has been that the UUA should fix its problems and apologize to you and then maybe you will get involved, but until then you're going to sit on the sidelines pointing at problems and yelling about them without trying fix them. That's not as inspiring a message.

My kid brother was notorious for noticing the ice tray was empty and yelling "Hey, the ice tray is empty" then going on about his business. Peacebang is actually trying to figure out how to fill the ice tray.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

Sorry CC but I *have* provided all kinds of positive advice for fixing various problems of the U*Us in the past but U*Us rarely took that advice and, on the rare occasions when they actually did take my advice, they almost never acknowledged that I was the source of that good advice. I am not rewarding U*Us with any more good advice towards fixing various U*U problems until such a time as they deal responsibly with my most immediate concerns. Why should I reward outrageously hypocritical U*Us by helping them fix problems that have a significant negative impact on U*Uism when they obstinately refuse to fix problems that they are responsible for that have a significant negative impact on me? I am not *that* generous, at least not after more than a decade's worth of crap that I have had to put up with from U*Us. When U*Us do what is necessary to make peace with me I will once again provide plenty of good advice in a civil manner but not before. . .

Anonymous said...

Robin Edgar: "I *have* provided all kinds of positive advice for fixing various problems of the U*Us in the past"

Really? Where?? I've looked all over your blogs, googled all over the web, I don't see any of that "positive advice" you claim to have made. You are so fond of embedding links of how you are persecuted, and how nasty and naughty other UUs are, and repeating it over and over and over and over ... so why not do the same with that elusive "positive advice" of yours?

Robin Edgar said...

A lot of it was provided *before* I was very active on the internet. For example I made a number of suggestions for better handling of clergy misconduct complaints to UUs For Right Relations, some of which they accepted and passed on to the UUA. There is no online record of that because this took place 1997/1998. OTOH If you cannot find *any* positive suggestions that I have made online you aren't looking hard enough, or you are looking right at them but aren't recognizing them as positive suggestions. Try again. . .

fausto said...

LF, I never heard Sinkford try to advocate the Lord's Prayer, and like CC I would be quite durprised to learn that he had. But what parts of it specifically offend you, and why?

fausto said...

oops, typo. surprised

Anonymous said...

Robin Edgar: "A lot of it was provided *before* I was very active on the internet. For example I made a number of suggestions for better handling of clergy misconduct complaints to UUs For Right Relations, some of which they accepted and passed on to the UUA."

So reproduce it online. It's one thing to make unspecific demands over and over. It's another to present a constructive alternative. Let's see the proposal.

Chalicechick said...

If the last example you can think of was a decade ago and even you're not sure where to find it, then I think that pretty well makes it reasonable for people to associate you with finding problems and not finding solutions.

Also, even in the example you give, it is you telling other people how to fix the problem. In effect "Hey, the ice tray is empty. Could someone who isn't me fill it with water and put it back in the fridge?"

While PB is talking about things that ministers like her can do, and we know from previous posts that she's done some/most of them, even though in one case she's questioning whether a UU issue that is central to lots of people should be so.

She's a minister, so she's addressing minister issues. There are plenty of ways to make UUism better that regular UUs can and do actually work on.

I've mentioned before that I really admire Joel Monka because he had many of the same problems with anti-theism that you did, but effectively worked within the church to solve the problems by actually doing things rather than by complaining that the leadership should be doing things differently.

He filled the ice tray.

CC

LinguistFriend said...

CC, being at work, I can't provide the reference for Sinkford and the Lord's Prayer, but it is in his
last fall's short article in the UU World on interdenominational work, which otherwise has a number of useful comments. I'll check when I get home; at the time, I held back on posting a response that I wrote to it, which I have at home.
My issue was not with the Lord's Prayer, Fausto. It was with the fact that Sinkford stated his point in such a way that the only UUs who could engage in interdenominational work with Christians would be those who could comfortably share in such prayer, thus excluding many UUs. I can't exactly blend in when I say the Lord's Prayer myself, because I ordinarily say it in Greek.

Robin Edgar said...

@ Anonymous - My "demands" are in fact quite specific although I leave room for some flexibility so that U*Us can propose their own potential solutions to this conflict. They almost never do so though. . . No, they much prefer to go to rather extreme lengths to try to silence me and U*Us in positions of responsibility have not made the slightest effort to engage in any dialogue and/or viable conflict resolution measures for over a decade now. Au contraire. . . They have obstinately refused to "stand on the side of love" for me and other victims of U*U clergy misconduct and engage in "waging peace" with me. I am not going to reproduce online any good advice that U*Us ignored or rejected in the past. I thought that I made it quite clear that I am not going to do anything to help U*Us fix their own serious self-destructive problems until such a time as they responsibly redress the injustices, abuses and hypocrisy that they have allowed to go unaddressed for over a decade. Only *after* U*Us have provided some genuine restorative justice to me and other people who they have harmed will I provide any further positive suggestions for reform and improvements beyond what is already available online. For the record I have told U*Us numerous times what they must do to resolve this conflict but they have always ignored, dismissed, or rejected those *proposals*. . . In fact, to their shame, they have punished me for making them. A prime example of that is the fact that I was expelled from the Unitarian Church of Montreal for a full six months in 1997 for submitting a letter to the Board informing them that Rev. Ray Drennan had delivered an unacceptable apology to me and calling upon the Board to take steps to ensure that Drennan provided a new and improved apology that I could honorably accept, as per my response to his "sorry excuse for an apology." Had the UCM's Board responded positively to that very good advice aka positive and constructive suggestion for resolving the conflict it likely would have been satisfactorily concluded in 1997 rather than being dragged out for another dozen years.

Robin Edgar said...

@ CC I have repeatedly made it clear to U*Us what the solutions to my most immediate concerns are but they have just as repeatedly ignored, dismissed or rejected those proposed solutions. Also, I would like to think that U*Us are smart enough to figure out various solutions to the problems of the U*Us that I point out for themselves. Quite regrettably U*Us may not be nearly as smart and imaginative as I would like in that regard. . . The fact of the matter is that the UUA already has a whole bunch of policies and recommended solutions for dealing with clergy misconduct and providing restorative justice to victims of clergy misconduct but it refuses to responsibly implement them and act upon them in a manner that is consistent with U*U principles and ideals. . .

:Also, even in the example you give, it is you telling other people how to fix the problem. In effect "Hey, the ice tray is empty. Could someone who isn't me fill it with water and put it back in the fridge?"

As with many of your poorly thought through analogies your analogy didn't hold water when you first made it here and does not hold water now CC. In fact this rephrasing of it actually demonstrates why your analogy does not hold water. I was going to point out to you earlier that I and other victims of U*U injustices and abuses are not able to fill the water of the corpse-cold Unitarian "ice-cube tray" when it is empty, only U*Us can do that. Only the UUA and implicated U*U congregations can hold transgressive U*U clergy accountable for their harmful words and actions. I can tell U*Us the tray is empty and I can make suggestions for how to go about filling it, both of which I have done repeatedly for more than a decade but only U*U in positions of responsibility can do what is necessary to fill the empty cubes in the ice-cube tray. Cubes that are empty because corpse-cold Unitarian U*Us accidentally spilled or knowingly and willfully dumped out the water in the first place. . . Quite regrettably U*U "someones" who definitely are not me, or any other victim of U*U injustices and abuses, do have to refill the empty "ice cube" tray with water and put it back in the fridge.

:I've mentioned before that I really admire Joel Monka because he had many of the same problems with anti-theism that you did, but effectively worked within the church to solve the problems by actually doing things rather than by complaining that the leadership should be doing things differently.

You who CC I was doing things, things like Creation Day for example, but U*Us repeatedly stuck sticks in my spokes and pulled the rug out from under me. When U*Us went so far as to pretend that I was "psychotic" and Creation Day was a "cult" it made it almost impossible for me to continue to do things within the Unitarian Church of Montreal until those damaging allegations were responsibly dealt with. Why the hell do you think that I decided that it was necessary to file a formal complaint against Drennan? I wanted to continue to do things like Creation Day and could not do them with those slanderous allegations hanging over me and Creation Day.

:He filled the ice tray.

So did I CC until Rev. Ray Drennan, Frank Greene, John Inder, and rather to many intolerant Montreal U*Us unceremoniously dumped the water out of the ice-tray and obstinately refused to refill it. . .

Robin Edgar said...

And do allow me to remind you that neither you, nor Joel Monka, nor any number of other U*Us including Anonymous ones. . . ever did anything to try to persuade the Unitarian Church of Montreal and/or the UUA to responsibly refill the "ice-cube tray" that *they* are ultimately responsible for emptying. . .

Chalicechick said...

If everyone tried to fill an ice tray once, and upon not being successful, gave up ever doing so again, the world would be very short of ice.

As Joel has mentioned, he's been called a few names in his life, yet he still was committed to making change from within and has achieved it through taking a small step then taking another.

The ice try analogy might not scan to victims of clergy sexual misconduct, but that's not what you asked about. You said:

"But I *have* provided all kinds of positive advice for fixing various problems of the U*Us in the past but U*Us rarely took that advice and, on the rare occasions when they actually did take my advice, they almost never acknowledged that I was the source of that good advice."

And I gave you the answer, that people generally aren't looking for people to point out problems that are pretty obvious anyway, they are looking for people to work on solutions. (And please don't think that you're the only one who has seen a given problem or yelled out some "advice" for fixing it without doing it themselves. This is just about never the case for any sort of problem. There are always lots of people complaining.)

The reason people like Peacebang's post is that she's looking for solutions. The commenters are looking for people to fill the ice tray, even if they have to give it a couple of tries before they actually get ice.

I like the ice tray analogy because it is a simple action that you have to repeat often. Most actually useful things people do are like that. You have to serve on the worship committee year after year and talk up the spiritual concerns that you think are neglected, you have to politely but gently speak up when a group is being insulted unreasonably, you have to volunteer to greet visitors and talk to them about the kind of church you're trying to build.

Simple little tasks that add up to big changes. While just yelling about what other people should be doing never will.

CC

fausto said...

LF, if you usually say the Lord's Prayer in Greek, I will hazard a guess that it would be much easier for you to learn to say it in English than for some other, more Christianity-allergic, UUs to learn to say it at all!

Robin Edgar said...

For starters CC the *first* celebration of Creation Day was a quite successful inter-religious event. In fact it knocked the socks off anything that Rev. Ray Drennan did as far as inter-religious events during his tenure as minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. I did not "give up" I tried to do what was necessary to allow Creation Day to be celebrated again in the Unitarian Church of Montreal to say nothing of the U*U World. Part of what was necessary was to have the damaging defamation and slander of Creation Day being labeled as a "cult" by Rev. Ray Drennan, Frank Greene, John Inder and various other intolerant fundamentalist atheist "Humanist" U*Us responsibly retracted. Montreal Unitarian U*Us, the UUA, and any number of other individual U*Us have abjectly failed and obstinately refused to do so for well over a decade now. As they say if U*Us are not part of the solution U*Us are part of the problem. . .

:As Joel has mentioned, he's been called a few names in his life,

Labeling someone as "psychotic" combined with labeling their religious activities as a "cult" goes well beyond "name-calling" CC. You are once again engaging in the DIM Thinking of Denying, Ignoring and Minimizing of the unethical behavior I have been fighting against for years. You *really* just don't get it do you CC? What I encountered at the Unitarian Church of Montreal, and what the UUA pretended was "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership" has all the hallmarks of a classic witch-hunt. Psychotic is the 20th century equivalent of "possessed" and "cult" is the 20th century equivalent of "coven".

:yet he still was committed to making change from within

So was I CC but U*Us refused to work with me for change within and willfully threw me out for daring to complain about the witch-hunt I was being subjected to by intolerant atheist U*Us. . . I fought to remain *within* the Unitarian Church of Montreal but U*Us chose the fate of permanently expelling me for the terrible crime of "tarnishing" their undeserved public image. Montreal U*Us had the better part of four years between February 14, 1996 when I first filed my grievance against Drennan and November 22nd, 1999 when they permanently expelled me to work *with* me for change within but abjectly failed and obstinately refused to do so. Making change from within is a two way street and for Montreal Unitarian U*Us it was *their* way or the highway. . .

:and has achieved it through taking a small step then taking another.

I though asking for an apology and retraction from Drennan was a pretty small step CC. . . Unfortunately for me and for U*Us he obstinately refused to retract his insulting and defamatory language and offer an official apology that I could honorably accept. Unfortunately for me and for U*Us U*U World-wide both the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA backed this intolerant and abusive anti-religious bigot to the hilt. . .

Robin Edgar said...

:The ice try analogy might not scan to victims of clergy sexual misconduct,

Indeed it doesn't CC. It does not "scan" to anyone seeking justice *from* U*Us for any reason. Victims of injustices cannot provide the justice they seek. Only those who have power and authority over the perpetrators and perpetuators of the injustices and abuses can do that.

:but that's not what you asked about. You said:

Sorry CC but *you* said - My impression is that your position has been that the UUA should fix its problems and apologize to you and then maybe you will get involved, but until then you're going to sit on the sidelines pointing at problems and yelling about them without trying fix them.

And my point is that I *cannot* fix the UUA's problems or the Unitarian Church of Montreal's problems, especially since the UCM threw me out in 1999. . . Only the UUA and UCM can fix *their* problems. Only *after* they responsibly fix the immediate problems that need fixing before I can work from *within* again can I do much more than "sit on the sidelines pointing at problems". U*Us chose to pout me on those "sidelines" CC in fact they tried to throw me out of the whole "arena". . .

:And I gave you the answer, that people generally aren't looking for people to point out problems that are pretty obvious anyway, they are looking for people to work on solutions. (And please don't think that you're the only one who has seen a given problem or yelled out some "advice" for fixing it without doing it themselves.

What part of I cannot *fix* the UUA's or UCM's problems by myself do you fail to understand CC? God knows that numerous other people, including various U*U groups such as U*Us For Right Relations, have tried and failed to fix those very same problems years ago. One more time. . . Only the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal, to say nothing of other U*U churches and institutions. . . can fix the serious problems that *they* are responsible for creating in the first place and perpetuating for years and even decades as a result of negligence, incompetence, and good old fashioned institutional stonewalling and denial. . .

:This is just about never the case for any sort of problem. There are always lots of people complaining.

I told you that I did try to provide positive solutions to U*U problems from *within* CC but I have been *out* since November 22nd 1999. All I can do is complain until such a time as U*Us responsibly redress my complaints.

Robin Edgar said...

:The reason people like Peacebang's post is that she's looking for solutions.

And I am looking for solutions too CC and providing plenty of good advice, even now. . . as to how U*Us may solve some of the "major problems" that contribute to U*Uism being the "tiny, declining, fringe religion" that President Peter Morales has acknowledged that it is today.

:The commenters are looking for people to fill the ice tray, even if they have to give it a couple of tries before they actually get ice.

And how many tries do you suppose I made to fill the ice tray before U*Us threw me out CC? Your condescension here is palpable and I do not appreciate it. You accuse me of insulting you, but you quite regularly insult my intelligence with this kind of *thoughtless* victim blaming U*U BS.

:I like the ice tray analogy because it is a simple action that you have to repeat often.

That's funny CC. I could have sworn that complaining is a simple action that you have to repeat often because U*Us are so utterly useless when it comes to responding appropriately to legitimate complaints. . .

:Most actually useful things people do are like that. You have to serve on the worship committee year after year

I did serve on various committees year after year between 1994 and 1999 CC. . .

:and talk up the spiritual concerns that you think are neglected,

Been there. Done that. Still doing it. . .

:you have to politely but gently speak up when a group is being insulted unreasonably,

Sorry CC but one does not have to be polite or gentle when one is treated like the White Nigger of the U*U World. . . That being said. I was reasonably polite and prepared to be reasonably gentle in the early stages of this conflict and for the first few years but U*Us totally ignored my reasonably polite pleas for justice and repeatedly rejected my offers of reconciliation following a retraction and apology.

:you have to volunteer to greet visitors and talk to them about the kind of church you're trying to build.

That's kind of hard to do when you are "excommunicated" CC. . .

:Simple little tasks that add up to big changes. While just yelling about what other people should be doing never will.

I am not "just yelling" CC, but U*Us leave me little option to do otherwise in any case because U*Us who are able to resolve this conflict obstinately refuse to enter into dialogue with me. Heck when I sought dialogue with Rev. Diane Rollert she responded to my positive suggestion by seeking a restraining order against me that prevented any possibility of dialogue with her or any other leader of the Unitarian Church of Montreal for one full year. In reality more like two or more years in light of the length of the court process to obtain that dubious restraining order which only makes U*Us look worse than they already look in this matter which is pretty bad to begin with. . . I suggest that you think twice before you patronizingly talk down to me like a condescending victim blaming U*U snob, and a quite irrational snob at that. . . again CC. I gave you a clean slate a few days ago and you have already soiled it AFAIAC.

Anonymous said...

Robin Edgar: "All I can do is complain until such a time as U*Us responsibly redress my complaints."

And how do you define "responsibly redress"? You keep saying things like this, but refuse to spell out precisely what you want. And when someone asks for that specificity, you accuse them of "not looking hard enough."

It is hypocritical of you to repeat, repeat, repeat the same old "they-done-me-wrong" litany of complaints, and then refuse to say what specifically will resolve things because you don't want to repeat yourself.

Robin Edgar said...

I have been quite specific about what will resolve this conflict in the past Anonymouse. Part of the problem is that U*Us keep raising the ante by piling yet another Unitarian*Universalist injustice on top of another. . . A retraction of Rev. Ray Drennan's insulting and defamatory words accompanied by an acceptable formal apology delivered in front of the congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal would have resolved this conflict during the first year or two. Unfortunately that never happened and U*Us began taking punitive actions against me for seeking justice by distributing letters of grievance. This big fat U*U mess is a helluva lot bigger than it was in 1996 when I first filed my grievances with the Board of the UCM and the UUA, or even late 1999 when I was permanently expelled from the Unitarian Church of Montreal for publicly protesting against the anti-religious intolerance and bigotry and related injustices and abuses that I experienced there.

One reason that I will not lay out *precisely* what I want in detail is because I am quite flexible and even open to suggestions for restorative justice from the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA. I have none-the-less laid out most of the basics numerous times in the past. In fact I recently answered in some detail a series of questions posed to me by an anonymous U*U blogger who may well be you. . . If so it is you who is being quite hypocritical here.

Anonymous said...

Robin Edgar: "One reason that I will not lay out *precisely* what I want in detail is because I am quite flexible and even open to suggestions for restorative justice from the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA."

Doesn't sound like it, when you keep accusing everyone else of doing wrong, while refusing to take any responsibility on your part.

"I recently answered in some detail a series of questions posed to me by an anonymous U*U blogger who may well be you"

Read that link, but different person. Not seeing specifics, though, just more of the same, like the rest of your blog.

Here is an example of someone with a complaint, but who gives a specific idea in response.

Chalicechick said...

Robin,

It sounds like a decade ago you were on a path to make real change in your church. I bet it would be a much better place today if you'd kept on that path, though I understand that you feel the insults were to much to bear.

As for a clean slate, if telling you the truth sullied it, then I guess it's going to have to remain sullied. You asked, I answered as best I could. And you've posted with me long enough to know that I really do believe that small changes that add up are the way useful things get done in this world and your case is far from the first time that I've said that I thought that protesting and further irritating the people you want something from is not the way to make real change. I've made that case to atheists, animal rights folks, war demonstrators, etc.

As much as I appreciate having a clean slate from you and an agreement to discuss our disagreements in a more civil manner, my opinions on the efficacy of protesting and pointlessness of being a gadfly are not going to change.

Perhaps the one exception: If a few people in UCM saw that you were making changes for good and didn't want them made so they decided to set you off down a path of less effective action by calling you psychotic and a cult leader and what have you, knowing you would stop using effective methods and move to less effective ones, then in that particular case, what they did was very effective.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

:It sounds like a decade ago you were on a path to make real change in your church.

More like fifteen years ago now CC. . . OTOH I am still on a path to make real change in the Unitarian Church of Montreal and indeed the greater U*U World. It's just a different path. Some might say a warpath. . . :-) As far as that goes I do believe that I have had a measure of success, especially in the larger U*U religious community. Quite frankly U*Us should be embarrassed by the "UnUnitarian Activities" of both the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA in this matter.


:I bet it would be a much better place today if you'd kept on that path, though I understand that you feel the insults were to much to bear.

You really don't get it do you CC? If you are not just plain stupid you have some kind of mental block that does not allow you to see the *real* picture. Perhaps you are in a form of psychological denial. Labeling someone as "psychotic" goes well beyond being a simple "insult". Rev. Ray Drennan and other Montreal Unitarians were alleging that I was seriously mentally ill and possibly even dangerously so. Likewise Rev. Drennan's, and other intolerant U*Us', false and *malicious* labeling Creation Day as a "cult" is not just an "insult" it was and still is slanderous fear-mongering that was intended to make people afraid to have anything to do with me or Creation Day. How many times do I have to say *witch-hunt* before you finally get it CC? Was it just an "insult" to accuse someone of being a Communist in 1950's America CC? Was it just an insult to accuse someone of being a witch in 18th century America, to say nothing of medieval Europe or indeed contemporary Africa? If what Rev. Ray Drennan, Frank Greene, and other Montreal Unitarian U*Us were saying about me were only "insults" that had little or no harmful and damaging effect on my ability to find acceptance and encouragement of my spiritual growth in the Unitarian Church of Montreal or larger U*U World I would have ignored them. I rather foolishly ignored earlier manifestations of Frank Greene's anti-religious intolerance and bigotry. When he said, "I hope what you are doing has nothing to do with the Solar Temple" when I was organizing the first celebration of Creation Day in the fall of 1994 I deflected this "insult" with humor and went on with what I was doing. In hind sight I should have complained then in order to nip the intolerance and bigotry the he clearly spread in the bud before it spread further and *legitimized* Rev. Ray Drennan's slandering of Creation Day as a cult more than a year later. . .

Robin Edgar said...

:As for a clean slate, if telling you the truth sullied it, then I guess it's going to have to remain sullied.

Sorry CC but you were not just telling the truth. You were "talking down" to me in a snobbish condescending manner and *that* is the truth. For the record I am telling the truth about you on those occasions when I accuse you of engaging in what Dee Miller calls DIM Thinking.

:You asked, I answered as best I could.

If snobbish condescension that denies, ignores or minimizes the truth about my relationship with the Unitarian Church of Montreal is the best you can do that is *your* problem CC.

"you have to politely but gently speak up when a group is being insulted unreasonably"

Tell that to your good friend Peacebang CC. . . Wasn't it you who said, "Wow. When you insult something, people who like that thing decide you're wrong and sometimes defend it!"? I didn't see anything about having to be polite and/or gentle in defending something that has been wrongfully insulted. You hand out all kinds of insults and "snark" yourself on a quite regular basis. . .

:And you've posted with me long enough to know that I really do believe that small changes that add up are the way useful things get done in this world and your case is far from the first time that I've said that I thought that protesting and further irritating the people you want something from is not the way to make real change. I've made that case to atheists, animal rights folks, war demonstrators, etc.

Yes you have made *that* particular case numerous times CC but I haven't seen anyone agree that you have *successfully* made that case. One more time. . . I thought that an official apology and retraction from Rev. Ray Drennan would be a small change and be a useful thing to help me get things like Creation Day done in this world. He refused to retract or issue an apology that I could honorably accept and outrageously hypocritical U*Us backed him to the hilt at both the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA. With the "cult" and "psychotic" slander hanging over me not only unretracted but actually condoned and even effectively endorsed by the Board of the UCM *and* the UUA's ever so aptly named Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee, it was difficult to impossible for me to continue to do *anything* as a member of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. The social dynamic was little different than a member of a Christian church being accused of being a witch or Satan worshiper. If labeling me as "psychotic" and Creation Day as a cult did not arise from actual paranoia in Ray Drennan and Frank Greene its effect was to spread paranoia throughout the congregation and, because U*Us did nothing to nip this slanderous fear-mongering in the bud when I complained about it, it eventually worked. . .

Robin Edgar said...

:As much as I appreciate having a clean slate from you and an agreement to discuss our disagreements in a more civil manner,

Sorry CC but I do not consider your condescending inU*Uendo suggesting that I did not try to work within the church to be quite insulting and I am confident that other people will agree that it is.

:my opinions on the efficacy of protesting and pointlessness of being a gadfly are not going to change.

That is *your* problem CC not mine. If I thought that being a gadfly in the dubious "ointment" of the U*U World was pointless I wouldn't be doing the gadfly thing. . . AFAIAC Being a gadfly has had its fair share of positive effect.

:Perhaps the one exception: If a few people in UCM saw that you were making changes for good and didn't want them made so they decided to set you off down a path of less effective action by calling you psychotic and a cult leader and what have you, knowing you would stop using effective methods and move to less effective ones, then in that particular case, what they did was very effective.

I am perfectly aware of just how "effective" the false and malicious labeling me as "psychotic" and Creation Day as a "cult" was and still is CC but it has little to do with how *I* responded to that slander, which was quite reasonable under the circumstances, and everything to do with how the slanderers and those who wittingly or unwittingly supported them manipulated that situation to their advantage. Their strategy and tactics were obvious to me and still are. . . If you and other U*Us, especially U*Us in positions of responsibility at the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal, were foolish enough to allow a minority of bigoted atheists to get away with that kind of "murder" in the form of slanderous character assassination that is *your* problem CC and yet another major problem of the U*Us. . . Quite frankly I don't know how you and other U*Us who passively stood by and allowed both the Unitarian Church of Montreal and the UUA to repeatedly make a total mockery of U*U Principles and ideals can look yourselves in The Mirror.

Joel Monka said...

Robin, please stop using the phrase "witch hunt" in relation to your situation. When you do, you are engaging in the DIM Thinking of Denying, Ignoring and Minimizing of the real witch hunts that occur daily. Your situation is nothing like the witches who get rousted by the police everytime they find a dead animal on the grounds that it "may be a ritual killing", or the surveilance and questioning everytime a church is vandalized, or the greater frenzies anytime someone has "a recovered memory" of "satanic ritual abuse".

Robin Edgar said...

Sorry Joel but I will not stop using the now quite generalized term "witch hunt" to describe my experience with the Unitarian Church of Montreal or indeed the U*U World more generally. Read the following definition of the term "witch hunt" and weep. . .

From Wikipedia - The term "witch-hunt" is often used to refer to similarly panic-induced searches for perceived wrong-doers other than witches. The best known example is probably the McCarthyist search for communists during the Cold War,[2][3] which was discredited partly through being compared to the Salem witch trials.[2]

:Your situation is nothing like the witches who get rousted by the police every time they find a dead animal on the grounds that it "may be a ritual killing",

No of course not Joel nothing like it at all. . . Paranoid and/or perjurious U*Us just make depositions to the Montreal police pretending that I am some kind of deranged "psycho" and swear up and down that they have "reasonable grounds to believe" that I represent an "imminent threat" of entering the Unitarian Church of Montreal with a firearm and blowing away Montreal Unitarian U*Us à la Jim David Adkisson. Not the slightest similarity there eh Joel?

:or the surveilance and questioning everytime a church is vandalized,

Or the surveillance and questioning by the Montreal police almost every time I exercise my constitutionally guaranteed right to engage in peaceful public protest in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. . . To say nothing of the occasional false arrest. . . Nope. No comparison there at all Joel. Not the teensiest. . .

:or the greater frenzies anytime someone has "a recovered memory" of "satanic ritual abuse".

What about Rev. Ray Drennan's "recovered memory" that Creation Day is a cult Joel?

I am quite confident that plenty of real witches will agree that I have plenty of grounds to refer to the intolerance and persecution that I have encountered at the Unitarian Church of Montreal and in the greater U*U World as a "witch hunt" Joel.

Thanks for affirming and promoting the *presentation* of my picket signs Joel. Your very public approval of their readability from a good distance away is most appreciated. :-)

Robin Edgar said...

The deranged "psycho" link should have gone here. . .

Robin Edgar said...

Anonymous I had intended to respond to you earlier but responded to CC's comment first in some length and detail and then got caught up with other matters.

:Doesn't sound like it, when you keep accusing everyone else of doing wrong, while refusing to take any responsibility on your part.

As far as I am concerned I do take responsibility for my own actions Anonymous which, quite frankly, is a lot more than can be said about the U*Us "wrongdoers" who I am complaining about. . . When did Rev. Ray Drennan ever accept responsibility for his wrongdoing? When did the Board and congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal ever accept the slightest responsibility for their wrongdoing? What about President John Beuhrens, Rev. Diane Miller, and the UUA's ever so aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee? When did any of them accept responsibility for their grossly negligent and effectively complicit responses to my complaints about Rev. Ray Drennan's glaringly obvious wrongdoing? I am still waiting for *any* of these groups or individuals to accept responsibility for their fairly obvious wrongdoing of various kinds and I can name other U*Us who are guilty of wrongdoing such as Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris, Rev. Beth Miller, and Rev. Diane Rollert just for starters. . . Just what "part" do you want me to take responsibility for anyway? What actions or indeed "wrongdoing" do you believe that I need to take responsibility for that I have not already "owned"?

:Read that link, but different person. Not seeing specifics, though, just more of the same, like the rest of your blog.

There are plenty of specifics there Anonymous. If you aren't seeing them that is *your* problem not mine. In fact I answered those questions in much more detail than was even called for. If you want to ask some other questions feel free to do so but keep in mind that I reserve the right not to answer them immediately or completely if I feel that doing so may be detrimental to my goal of resolving this conflict in the coming months. BTW If you do have some questions it may be best to ask them on my blog and I would encourage you to use your real name. The only anonymous posters that "out" or otherwise five the back of my virtual hand to are those that I believe are guilty of some wrongdoing of their own.

Robin Edgar said...

One more thing Joel. . .

You are the absolutely last pagan U*U "witch" who should be asking me not to use the term "witch-hunt" to describe my trials and tribulations with the Unitarian Church of Montreal and other "witch-hunting" U*Us since you very foolishly chose the fate of being an active participant in that "witch-hunt" when you yourself snidely insinuated that I am a "psycho" on your CU*UMBOOYAH! blog with a wonderful example of what I call inU*Uendo. . . I dare say that *that* particular insulting and defamatory personal attack on me is in *your* "endo" now Joel. Three times over AFAIAC. . .

Chalicechick said...

For what it's worth, I do get that you did make small productive changes at first and I said so twice in my previous post, so I'm not sure why you're calling me stupid and saying I said you hadn't. I wish you'd kept with them as your church would be a better place today.

Part of our disagreement is that for lots of reasons, I don't see mental illness as having the stigma you do. Psychosis can have a lot of causes, from depression to bipolar disorder to brain damage in an accident.

I've known people who actually did have psychoses and psychotic symptoms who were normal, productive members of society. Goodness knows I've known plenty of people who WEREN'T psychotic who have been far less so. (Yes, I'm thinking of my brothers here.)

If someone told me that a member of my church was psychotic, I wouldn't hate and fear them as people hated and feared witches and communists. I would shrug my shoulders. I've gone to church with mentally ill people before, and am, of course, related to a few whom I care about, so I don't see it as the terrible insult you do.

CC

Joel Monka said...

What makes you think either the text or the update was about you? There was no identifying feature, nor was your name attached in any way, nor was there anything a search engine would have connected to you... unlike your accusations about me abusing drugs- which you DID make with my name attached, and links to, to assure all search bots would find it. Hypocrite.

Robin Edgar said...

:What makes you think either the text or the update was about you?

That question is so stunningly disingenuous that it barely warrants a response Joel. As it happens though, I largely answered that question here earlier today prior to seeing this follow-up comment because it ha\d not even been posted. Here is the pertinent snippet of what I said about your own quite recent participation in the ongoing U*U witch-hunt against me. . .

So just who was that alleged Canadian "psycho" with "an obsession about God's eye sending notes to a church for years about unrectified wrongs" that Joel Monka talking about in this blog post? Joel Monka tries to *pretend* that he was talking about "Vancouver based church protester Kevin Annett" in his "update" but I am confident that most people of intelligence and conscience know perfectly well that Joel Monka's insulting and defamatory inU*Uendo was aimed very directly at yours truly. The last time I checked "God's eye" does not play a role in Kevin Annett's church protests. There is not any evidence that I am aware of which remotely suggests that Kevin Annett has any "obsession" with God's eye but everybody knows that intolerant U*Us have been accusing me of having an "obsession" with God's eye, to say nothing of an "obsession" with exposing and denouncing U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy, for quite some time now. Even if Joel Monka's initial blog post *really* was about Kevin Annett, which is a highly improbable "coincidence", Joel shoved his pagan U*U foot right down his throat with his disingenuous "update" in which he insinuates that I am a "nutcase" who is so "starved for attention" and with an ego "so vast" that I claimed that Joel Monka's reference to a Canadian "psycho" "with an obsession about God's eye sending notes to a church for years about unrectified wrongs" must be aimed at yours truly.

end quote

I could add more to that but, as I said, your disingenuous comment barely deserves *any* response at all Joel.

Robin Edgar said...

:There was no identifying feature, nor was your name attached in any way, nor was there anything a search engine would have connected to you...

Standard U*U inU*Uendo Joel. Outrageously hypocritical U*Us are past masters at slandering and libeling people without actually naming them. Happens all the time. . . Your post is a perfect example of that practice.

:unlike your accusations about me abusing drugs- which you DID make with my name attached, and links to, to assure all search bots would find it.

*If* someone bothers to ask Google "Is Joel Monka a dope?" they will find the comments that you are talking about. If they enter into a free and *responsible* search for the truth and meaning of what I actually said they will quickly determine that I never actually made any accusations about you abusing drugs, I only suggested that smoking dope *might* account for your apparent poor short term memory. . . AFA*I*AC suggesting that you *might* possibly be a dope smoker is not the same thing as actually accusing you of doing so. You are increasingly proving to be a big fat U*U dope whether you smoke dope or not. . . Quite frankly suggesting that you *might* smoke dope is a far cry from your assertion that I am a "psycho" and/or "nutcase" who should be under medication. . . Or have you already forgotten that outright slander Joel?

:Hypocrite.

Try again Joel. . . OTOH your disingenuous here and elsewhere is giving me plenty of reasonable grounds to suggest that, besides be a slandering U*U witch-hunter, you are something of a liar. . .

Robin Edgar said...

For what it's worth, I do get that you did make small productive changes at first and I said so twice in my previous post, so I'm not sure why you're calling me stupid and saying I said you hadn't.

As usual CC either misunderstands what I actually said, because she apparently cannot properly interpret plain English, or she knowingly and willfully misrepresents what I said. For the record I suggested that CC *might* be "just plain stupid" because she seems incapable of distinguishing between insults and damaging slander and libel. . .

:I wish you'd kept with them as your church would be a better place today.

I tried to keep with them CC but *they* wouldn't have me. They "excommunicated" me remember CC?

:Part of our disagreement is that for lots of reasons, I don't see mental illness as having the stigma you do.

I don't see mental illness a having a huge stigma CC. Intolerant and abusive U*U hypocrites do. . . *That* is what I am fighting against. Not to mention that fact that the minute anyone labels someone as "psychotic" and/or "psycho" in our society small-minded, ignorant and paranoid people immediately think that the "psycho" is a dangerously violent person. Where do you suppose the whole Rev. Diane Rollert/Unitarian Church of Montreal restraining order bullshit came from CC? Paranoid and/or perjurious Montreal Unitarians were writing depositions yto the police claiming that I represented an "imminent threat" of entering the Unitarian Church of Montreal with firearms and blowing U*U to the kingdom come that most of them don't believe in anyway. Where did that level of paranoia originate CC? Occam's Zweihänder says it originated in the false and malicious labeling of me as "psychotic" by Rev. Ray Drennan and other slandering U*Us. Why the Hell do you think I tried to nip that slander in the bud when I became aware of it?

:Psychosis can have a lot of causes, from depression to bipolar disorder to brain damage in an accident.

I don't need the psychology lesson CC. I am perfectly aware of this and other aspects of psychosis. I worked in a half-way house for psychiatric outpatients for a few years amongst other things. The people who need the psychology lesson are the paranoid U*Us who immediately equate psychosis (which I do not suffer from in any case) with psycho killers. . .

:I've known people who actually did have psychoses and psychotic symptoms who were normal, productive members of society.

Tell that to Montreal Unitarians CC. . . I am perfectly aware of that.

:Goodness knows I've known plenty of people who WEREN'T psychotic who have been far less so. (Yes, I'm thinking of my brothers here.)

I'm thinking of a whole bunch of unproductive to say nothing of counter-productive U*Us myself. . .

:If someone told me that a member of my church was psychotic, I wouldn't hate and fear them as people hated and feared witches and communists. I would shrug my shoulders.

That is *you* CC. Not your average American and certainly not the suspicious-minded if not outright paranoid people running the Unitarian Church of Montreal.

:I've gone to church with mentally ill people before, and am, of course, related to a few whom I care about, so I don't see it as the terrible insult you do.

I *still* don't get it CC. Labeling someone as psychotic in our society is not so much an "insult" as a damaging fear-mongering slander that instills suspicion, fear and even paranoia in many people's minds and AFA*I*AC concerned that is exactly what it was intended to do and succeeded in doing at the Unitarian Church of Montreal if not elsewhere in the U*U World.

WVC brightq

Robin Edgar said...

Typo correction - You *still* don't get it CC.