Thursday, August 18, 2005

Birthright UUs

By Jeff's description, I feel like I was raised UU. I wasn't, of course. But my anger at Christianity was mild and short-lived. You can see it at about its worst in a snotty but sort of funny essay about Baptists when I was about seventeen. (A professor friend and her daughter had thought that this church was having a spring concert. It turned out to be this weird pageant. To a presby kid, a gold fabric heaven seems pretty fucked up.) Anyway, that is literally as bad as I got right there on that page.

Yet, like Jeff, I've known lots of converted UUs who have gone on being snotty ex-Christians for years. (And I also see new people come in who love having freedom, but don't really grok the reason component of our faith tradition.)

Also, Jeff suggests that people raised UU aren't interested in making a big deal over whether we're a religon or not. (That we are seems obvious.) The core of our tradition. (It's a core of method rather than a core of belief, but of course it's there.) What should we do with the roots of our tradition? (Know them, use them, but still be us. Calvin comes up less in the presby church than one would think.)

So I do feel like I'm a "birthright UU" in the sense that Jeff talks about. And on beliefnet there was a lady who had been raised Unitarian who flung every one of these reasons at us as a reason why UUism sucks.

One could argue that my deal was that while I wasn't raised UU, I became a UU pretty young. And that this lady was angry at the rest of the world, too, so why not be angry at UUism.

My guess is that it comes from several long conversations with Katy-the-Wise I had in the first month or two I was going to a UU church. I wanted to learn about UUism, not take the first UUism idea I heard and run with it.

But if some people raised Presbyterian can get here, and some people born Unitarian don't, maybe it isn't about where you were raised.

What is it about then?



Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your hysterically funny esaay on the Baptist pageant. It stands the test of time, without a doubt. It sounds frighteningly similar to a pageant I attended at a Pentacostal church when I was a child with my best friend. We were terrifed and the Pentacostal church managed to ensure that neither one of us would ever consider Christianity as adults. Let us be thankful that the UU church doesn't try to pull crap like that.

TheCSO said...

I wouldn't be so sure about that. Many UU pageants tend in a very 'granola' direction, and that's off-putting to many people in the same way Scary Fundie Pageants are.

jfield said...

It seems like I meet more and more Catholic and Methodist heritage UUs who have very healthy relationships to the family traditions and no inclination to make their UU congregation more Catholic or Methodist in orientation.

So I think you are right and the bitter exChristian idea may be off base.

Anonymous said...

I'm really new to UUism and particularly worship service, so I've fortunately never seen a UU pageant, granola-ey or otherwise. However, as bad as a UU pageant might be (and I can imagine they can be mighty bad), I would guess the kids don't leave scared to death, convinced they and their entire families are doomed to spend all eternity in hell. Not to rag on the fundies. :)