Friday, December 21, 2007

One more thought on GA boycotts.

I just finished fully thinking through the sort of people likely to boycott GA. The people who are quick to leap on a liberal-sounding bandwagon, not bothering to do the research or figure out who is at fault for the thing they are protesting before they start making their signs. Those are the GA attendees I hate anyway.

Meanwhile, the more thoughtful sorts will want to be there, fighting the battle on IAs, thinking carefully through the Peacemaking issue before voting on it*, working on the revision of the 7 principles**, and yes, maybe doing a bit to comment reasonably on the gay marriage amendment in Florida. I love people like this, and they make me happy to be a UU and they make GA energizing and awesome.

I'm sitting here delighting in the idea of a GA with proportionally fewer hippies. This might be the greatest GA ever. I am looking forward to it like never before.


*And voting against it, I hope.

** We could always, you know, get rid of them?


Robin Edgar said...

Yes CC, I guess I will have to concede that there really is not much point in U*Us purporting to "affirm and promote" those Seven Principles when so many U*Us do so little to actually live those Seven Principles. . .

Anonymous said...

And what about those quick to judge and condemn?

Robin Edgar said...

You mean like Rev. Ray Drennan and other intolerant and abusive U*Us who were quick to judge and condemn Creation Day as being a "cult" and me as being "psychotic"` oh so anonymous one? Thanks for helping me to prove my point about unprincipled U*Us.

Comrade Kevin said...

What you're talking about are the people who use protest as fashion statement and fail to understand that their behavior makes the entire domination look bad as a whole.

As for the Seven Principles, if in fact revoked, I wonder what would spring up in their place.

Chalicechick said...

I did not sign on to affirm and promote the seven principles. My congregation did, and I'd say they mostly do, as a congregation, which is not to say that they or I am going to take up Robin's cause because there are better ways to affirm and promote them.

And if the judging comment was directed at me, I'm probably guilty as charged, but I still think I'm correct.

Steve Caldwell said...

CC wrote:
"Those are the GA attendees I hate anyway."


It's a shame that you find a need to hate anyone.

I'm also surprised about your past and current blogging about hippies. I'm old enough to remember hippies (having been a child during the 1960s when real hippies existed).

I went to college in the late 1970s and hippies were a thing of the past by then.

If I recall correctly, you're younger than I am and would have had less direct experience with real hippies than I did growing up.

The "neo-hippies" that you've described in previous posts may have similar clothing fashions and may have used the same types of drugs that the 1960s hippies used. But that may be a superficial similarity.

Regarding the suggestion to get rid of the UU principles, we haven't heard anyone suggest that in my congregation. We've offered the age-appropriate RE curricula for grades 2-5, youth, and adults. In this curricula, the groups had the opportunity to provide feedback on the UU principles.

We've had suggestions to tweak them -- like reframing them in less formal language. But the general sentiment has been to retain the principles inherent buried in the formal language that we have today.

Robin Edgar said...

"I did not sign on to affirm and promote the seven principles. My congregation did"

And you are a member of your congregation CC. Congregations are made up of people. They are not absract corporate entities. If every person in your congregation had your attitude towards the Seven Principles I would say that we could be quite sure that your congregation would fail miserably to live up to the "covenants" (i.e. solemn formal promises) expressed in the Seven Principles. If you as an individual refuse to live up to the letter and the spirit of the Seven Principles perhaps you should not be part of a congregation that "covenants" to affirm and promote them. . .

Bill Baar said...

Steve, I'm older than you and knew plenty of real hippies. It was a destructive time with lots of casulties. Liberal Religion suffered badly and has yet to recover.

Anonymous said...

I recently heard someone on the radio say, "If you think the sixties were good, you're probably a Democrat, if you think the sixties were bad, you're probably a Republican."
This seems to be holding pretty well here, if you substitute liberal and conservative for Democrat and Republican.
I'll be mentioning this in my sermon on December 30. (I also quote Doug Muder a lot.) Maybe I'll send CC a copy and see what happens....

Steve Caldwell said...

On 22 December 2007, Bill Baar wrote:
"Steve, I'm older than you and knew plenty of real hippies. It was a destructive time with lots of casulties. Liberal Religion suffered badly and has yet to recover."


I'm curious -- who do you think did the "destruction" that you mention in your comments. Conflicts are never unilateral affairs. If there are conflicts between liberals and conservantives, why would one suggest indirectly that the conflict was caused by liberals?

From my understanding of history, the 1960s countercultural movement produced both positives and negatives -- two of the positive results that we still have with us today are modern-day feminism and the BGLT right movement.

PG said...

Could you explain the Peacemaking issue and your opposition to it, for the non-UUs in the audience?

I didn't attend the March for Women's Lives in 2004 because I think abortion is too large an issue, and too settled in most people's minds, to be an effective protest issue. If there could have been direct action to explain to medically-uneducated folks that "partial birth" abortion does not, in fact, kill a fetus that could live outside the womb, I would have taken part in that. But I feel like I do my best for that already by correcting false beliefs when I encounter them.

fausto said...

Speaking both as one whose adolescence and young adultood spanned the late 60's to late '70's in the nation's capital when civil unrest and public protest were at their peak, and as one who has attended GA as a congregational delegate in the current decade, it's my impression that CC is using the term "hippie" correctly. There are a lot of folks at GA who possess just the right age, dress, disdain for conventions of social organization, lack of clear focus, and self-indulgent decadence to have been then and still be the now real deal rather than some reconstructed imitation.

Bill Baar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Baar said...

I'm curious -- who do you think did the "destruction" that you mention in your comments.

Drugs number one. My buddy and his Dad had to clean up after minister's son committed suicide in the living room with a shotgun after LSD. Two other very close friends never made it to their 22nd B-days.

Sexual Revolution... Ask a minister from those years about the self destruction in families.

Liberalism simply collapsed unable to cope. My youth advisor took us to U of C divinity school to meet with the Blackstonre rangers getting funding from Ford foundation.

I remember these black guys in Black Leather and Black Berets and Sunglasses visiting Oak Park's 1st Cong Church and making a big circle around the sanctuary because there was a fight between their faction and someother the Church was supporting at Chicago's 1st Cong. over money..

...basically white parents getting bamboozled by black gangsters.

We kids, who were buying our drugs from the black gangsters not so bamboozled or ridden with guilt (just high I guess).

Anyways, I ditched Liberal Religion for Marxism. I remember visiting my Comrades house and his Unitarian Parents in some group all in G strings chanting in a circle and thinking well, these bourgious fools would face a dismal end come the revolution.

Which we felt perfectly possible at the times... and given the chance, we would have executed it, just like the Maoist kids were doing then in China.

yeah, 1968 was a really great time...

I have a vivid rememberance of coming back to High School in the fall of 1969. I was a solid political militant then and we had a real puritianical streak plus feared getting set up by the police, but all the other cultural divisions had disappeared and the common denominator was drugs.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say (having never been nor met any hippies), is that you don't need to be one to eagerly anticipate the demise of the "bourgeois." In fact, the most conservative people I've ever met have been the worst about that.

Some people say the problem with hippies is that too many of them grew up to become the establishment. I don't know.

Back in the 60s, I might have preferred a hippie over, say, a young Pat Buchanan. Or I might just have avoided both.

Anonymous said...

Bill Baar -- What makes the ones you knew the "real" hippies, and the ones I knew "not real"? The ones I knew were, drug-wise, only into psychedelics, and for spiritual purposes, with guides and planning and such. they were into peace and love, and really tried to make that work. Some of it did and some didn't, but it wasn't nearly as permanently destructive as it was in your neighborhood.
Are you defining "real" as the ones who were destructive?
As Andy Schmookler says, "It is as though a boat was tipped by the left, but it was the right that got wet." check out his essay on the subject at:

Bill Baar said...

Kim, I have no idea who the real and not real hippies would have been.

I don't think I drew any lines in the comments above.

I noticed many of the symbols e.g. long hair, the clothes, rapidly became part of the culture. The distinction between hippie and everyone else rapidly disappeared.

The destructive behavior rapidly spread too.

Try reading Brink Lindsey's The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture.

Lindsey describes the history since 68 as a conflict between Aquarians and Evangelicals with the majority of Americans reaching resolution in a Libertarian Consensus that frustrates both Aquarians and Evangelicals.

Lindsey writes of how those on the fringes of American prosperity least capable of adopting Aquarian ethics. The results were catastrophic for them.

It's easier for the more well off to dabble with free sex, and lots of drugs, and disdain for straight work, than it is for those at the margins.

I suspect I knew more people at the margins.

PG said...

"It's easier for the more well off to dabble with free sex"

Off topic, but I hate the phrases "free sex" and "free love" to describe "sex outside marriage." The implication that women have to get paid either with a ring (wives) or actual money (whores) attaches to the phrase even if it may not be the intent of the user.

Bill Baar said...

Off topic, but I hate the phrases "free sex" and "free love" to describe "sex outside marriage."

Then you wouldn't have made much of a hippie. Free Love was the phrase in the 60s and it meant unions freed from the institutional formalisms of marriage which somehow was an enemy of love.

It carried a specific meaning, evolved into sex freed of any consequences; and, in my opinion, was highly destructive, especially for women.

I remember folks arguing very strongley for it though, and get a chuckle of sorts thinking back to how we argued so hard against marriage, and now UU's demand it as a matter of equity.

Liberalism evolves...radically.