I wonder sometimes if the things I write about here are irrelevent, if the blogosphere is a sort of rarified air where we talk about things that ordinary UUs don't care about.
Then I go to porch chat every year.
Porch chat happens on my church's all-church retreat. The ministers hang out (on a porch, fittingly enough,) and answer informal questions from the congregation.
Just about every UUism debate I see on the blogosphere is rehashed, particularly the politics in church one. I usually just listen.
This year, a lady said "I went to a book signing Richard Dawkins did a few weeks ago, and there were SO MANY young athiests there. We need more young people, and I think the probalem is that our services are too theist. How can we make our church more athiest as to attract more people? If we don't, our church is going to die..."*
It's been my observation that cold war era kids all had justifications why their hometown, wherever they grew up, was the first place the Russians were going to attack.
I can't help but think "There are billions of people out there who believe what I do, and the church is dying because it has not properly conformed itself to what I believe. If only UUism were more theist/athiest/spiritual/pagan/multicultural/activist, then it might have a chance, but it's not and indeed my people are terribly discriminated against, so it is surely doomed" comes from the same impulse.
Why do so many of us get off on feeling so persecuted,while at the same time believing that our message will be salvific for UUism?
Why is "Free religion means you're free to build a barn for your own beliefs, it does not mean that a barn is provided or that everybody is going to like your barn and treat it with the reverence you believe it deserves" such a difficult concept?
*CC's church is pretty solidly middle of the road, and indeed is growing.