Thursday, June 01, 2006

Our Flawed Faith

The always-excellent PB makes some interesting points about the shortcomings of the way we practice our faith.

To quote her:

We constantly mistake our ideals of tolerance, compassion and open-heartedness for a lived reality of tolerance and love. As of yet, they are ideals. They are principles. They are not the reality in most of our churches. One of the greatest, most destructive sins of the current UU movement is that we actually think we are living out our professed ideals, and worse yet, we think we're actually doing a better job of living out our ideals than mainstream Christians are doing at living out theirs. What a tragic misconception. We are not. What we are doing is making sure that we attract and truly include only those people whose attitudes, proclivities and preferences are exactly like ours, and then collectively congratulating ourselves at how well we're doing as a vibrant religious faith.

I do see some of these flaws, though she sounds like she sees them a lot more than I do.

But I don't think we should be too excited over this chance to satisfy our inherent human masochism*

After all, I probably heard the most Christian snark I've ever heard when I was a kid.

From my parents.

Who were Presbyterians.

I can assure you that I know more jokes about Lutherans, Baptists and especially Catholics than probably any of you.

No, we don't live by our principles as well as we should. Nobody does. These tendencies are something we should work on, but at the same time, I think they are less an inherent flaw of UUism than an inherent facet of human nature.

At least we're not telling other faiths that they are going to hell for not agreeing with us, something my Aunt Bert was quick to say about anyone who wasn't presbyterian. She made no bones about the fact that I would burn for talking about how the story of Adam and Eve was a metaphor.

I recall pointing out that God must haave wanted it that way since he predestined it.

I was a snarky kid.


*Criticizing the uncultured yokels of one's own country or reading breathless news reports of those "50 percent of Americans don't know who Al Gore is" surveys is secretly a pleasure for almost everybody, I've observed. We LOVE to think about how stupid and shallow we are as a people. We wallow in it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How many jokes do you know about Muslims or Jews?

Or should I say, how many would you admit to?