Tuesday, October 16, 2007

RIP CrapOnSundays

When the CRAPonSundays blog began, I was torn between being pleased to see a conservative UU voice and feeling that somebody was stealing my schtick by starting a blog on one of the major themes I wrote about here. (And I've noticed that I wrote about that theme less when CRAPonSundays was writing about it.)

Now that Will has decided that he just can't take the UUA speaking for him on political issues and hearing about the evils of President Bush from the pulpit, I am torn again. Torn because I understand his frustration, but I also have noted that in the time he's been blogging anonymously, he's never mentioned that he actually talked to anybody at his church about his concerns.

It's not easy to do that, I know. I've only done it three times in the last couple of years, but then I usually do not attend political sermons because I don't feel like getting cheesed off.

Though sometimes the person preaching or leading the lay service will preach about politics knowing that what they are saying is annoying and alienating people, I have found that 90 percent of the time I've said "Hey, there's another side to that story. Demonizing people who don't see the world the way you do isn't cool, and besides, your facts are wrong here and here. Let's talk about ways we could be more welcoming to conservatives," the person I've talked to about it felt really bad and there was seeming improvement.

I don't know. I will admit a bias against people who leave UUism rather than staying and helping her fix her problems. But that's me the institutional thinker, and I shouldn't assume that anyone else shares that approach.



Comrade Kevin said...

I saw the problems of UUism as being impossibly huge and beyond fixing by human hands alone.

Do not misunderstand me. I do not rejoice when anyone leaves the faith. I hurt because I know how it feels.

Joel Monka said...

You've still got me, CC- I'm not going anywhere. Sure, I get frustrated to the point of threatening to leave... I've written three times as many critical articles as I've posted- as recently as last night- and self-censored to avoid being a one-note Johnny... but in the end, I feel it's my duty to stay. Every extremeist organization needs that lone voice so that it can be said, "At least their excesses weren't unanimous."

Bill Baar said...

I never followed C on Sundays and the title was an obstacle for me; too rude mostly.

I have a hard time with anyone of a politically conservative bent who gets involved in a UU Church and then gripes all the time about it.

They ought to know what they're getting into, and understand when politics or certain other topics come up, they're going to be a minority.

I don't go to Church for politics and I frankly find it seldom offered.

The only time I raised it was when our Church started a framing the issues (or what ever it was meeting).

Anyone who's had the experiene of being a Bush supporter or conservative in a rigidly orthodox Liberal Institution has had the experience of quiet email from someone who sat silently in the room or on the email chain and agreed with you but was just afraid of going against the group.

I had some of those and I forwarded redacted copies to the folks organizing the frame meetings.

Anyways, the dilemma for UUism (and I think its the result of everyone agreeing all the time. We don't seek diversity of opinion otherwise we'd have put that outreach ad in Weekly Standard or Human Affairs.. there are readers looking for a Free Church in those places) is our leaders -our public face- come out with such flabby prouncenments.

We support marriage equality without saying too much about sexual ethics e.g. do we approve poly marriage? if not, why not?

Too say we approve same gender adult marriages without fully commenting just seems wimpy to me. I go to the Jesuits instead for a clear logical case, and then at least I know what I disagree with and then what I believe.

I watched the UU minister from Conn on O'Riley and she admitted she couldn't define torture. She was aginst it but didn't know what it was... she couldn't even fall back on the I know it when I see it line.

I find a disconnect between the UUism I see practiced and the UUism offered by UUA. We seem totally unable to articulate what we practice and instead come out with these vague statements of belief.

We're a practical faith but we ought to explain it better. Certainly those we turn too for leadership should do more.

Anyways, I didn't find C on Sunday's advancing that much...

...so never read it much.

PG said...

I think if you came to a church in the first place, rather than being raised in it as a tradition, you're a lot more likely to leave it too if it doesn't fit precisely right. (And now I sound like my dad lecturing us on the many reasons dating is bad... "if you're used to hookup-breakup, that is a bad habit to bring to marriage.") Unless you weren't raised in any religion at all, you'd have to be pretty committed to the theology of UUism not to leave it as well once it became irksome to attend services or spend time with UUs.

I've never really joined a church, but I have a very difficult time dealing with pressure to compromise on aspects of the religious tradition in which I was raised if I'm taking part in that tradition in some way, even when they are aspects that I don't agree with. I'm trying to put together a wedding ceremony with someone who was not raised in it, and every time he points out, "But that's patriarchal! aren't you a feminist?" or "You don't actually believe in astrology, so why do we care about the date?" I get frustrated because I don't like the idea of asking someone from this tradition to officiate and then picking and choosing out what we like and don't like. It feels disrespectful.

I don't think there's that problem with UUism and politics, because presumably there's no inherent conflict between the religion and the GOP. On the other hand, I do see how the shortage of traditional theology can lead some UUs to making liberalism a kind of substitute religion. And once something is a person's religion, it's considered uncouth to argue with him about the tenets.

Steven Rowe said...

I found the name "Crap on Sunday" to not be very conservative sounding, so I never read it. Is that my age showing? Or is that the changing status of the word "conservative"?
Certainly politicaly issues that use to be "liberal" are now "conservative" and vice versa.
On the other hand, I have to admit that I've never heard the evils of President Bush preached from a pulpit. I'm not saying it's not done, just saying it isn't done everywhere.
I've also not heard everybody being called racist by someone in the pulpit either, although I've seen some UU clergy blogs come close. I do find the "Crap"'s implication that to UUs racist means the same thing as sinner to a Baptist; to merit some thought.

Steven Rowe said...

" I think if you came to a church in the first place, rather than being raised in it as a tradition, you're a lot more likely to leave it too if it doesn't fit precisely right."

Well PG hit one of the main points that I didnt make. I find it interesting how 1) some UUs get upset if other UUs dont believe the exact some thing they do, and 2) how many UUs start an UU blog and then renounce UU-ism. Are there many Baptists, Church of Christ, Pagans who get all excited about their new found religious views that they start a specific religious blog about it - and then shortly leave?
I just read another UU blog, where the lay author is so distressed because some? most? UUs dont believe what they do. Why if we don't believe what they do, we must be liars. ((it's even worse than they think - cause I actually support what they denounce and I dare call myself an UU)). there's a sermon topic in here somewhere....

RandomRanter said...

I have thought about this ever since a Catholic co-worker said, "At least the Protestants had the courage to go make their own church." I think there is a point to be made for working for change from within and a point at which the magnitude of the change is so great that it seems that maybe this isn't the right place for you. I think it's really hard to figure out the difference between the two, and at best I feel sure it's different for different folks, but I haven't made it much further with my ponderings.