velvetpage: (chalice)
An extremely cool video promoting the type of spirituality I see in science and have fed in the UU - but I think it's applicable to pretty much everyone regardless of creed.

From [ profile] cargoweasel.

velvetpage: (chalice)
I've loved this melody since I first came across it at the age of eleven. That first time, I was visiting my aunt's Anglican church in Crystal Beach, Ontario, and the words that spoke to me so deeply were the traditional words of the Anglican hymnal:

Lord of All Hopefulness )
velvetpage: (WTF)
Ask if perpetuating a belief in Santa is lying, or is it okay for an eleven-year-old to still wholeheartedly believe in Santa.

Oy vey, the DRAMA. I know of at least two defriendings so far.

For the record: Being a Unitarian has really freed me up on this front, because I don't have to deal with, "If Jesus is real, why isn't Santa real?" I can truthfully say that Jesus (or God) is at least as real as Santa (possibly more) because they are both cultural myths whose purpose is to perpetuate certain core values - in fact very similar core values, though there are a lot of interpretations of Jesus that are expressing different ones. The story doesn't have to be literally true in order to contain valuable truth. In fact, its literal truth is irrelevant to its mythical truth. No one would ever think to argue that Aesop's Fables were literally true - but their value in perpetuating culturally-appropriate lessons is undisputed.

I'd like to see my kids make the gradual transition from believing all the parts of the story literally, to realizing that some of it is clearly not true, to realizing that its literal truth has no impact on why we do it. Santa is about charity, and love, and peace. He's a visual representation of those things. (We can de-emphasize the other things he represents in Western culture.)
velvetpage: (chalice)
Brad's take on the relevance of Simple Gifts at the inauguration

I had been seeing the hymn in a very UU light, as a musical version of the motto, "the answer is to question," which resonates very deeply with me. Brad's take on it is much more Protestant and Christian, and therefore probably closer to what Obama had in mind by requesting that melody. I think both interpretations are valid and complementary.
velvetpage: (chalice)
This is me, going public with my change of faith. This entry is not filtered. It's not even friends-locked. I do hope that people who read it will respect that.

The comment:

When a right-wing church in Colorado was targeted by a walkaway with significant mental health problems, he was shot to death by a security guard. That is, a CHURCH thought it was a reasonable expenditure of their money, which came from donations of congregants, to hire someone to protect them with guns.

Contrast that with the response of the UU church in Knoxville, Tennessee, where a gunman was subdued and immobilised until the police could arrive, or the response of the Amish schoolgirls who volunteered to go first in the hopes that their younger classmates would be spared, or their parents who made sure the gunman's widow and children were welcome and cared for and had food to eat - and you'll see far more Christian love in the latter two examples than in the first.

It's HARD to be a Unitarian. It's HARD to believe that whatever you decide to practise, faith-wise, is just about as likely to be right as the next guy's religious practice, and it's HARD to really believe that that's okay. It's HARD to know that the people around you look down on you, possibly even pray for your soul or believe you're a cultist, because you insist on being a seeker, who may or may not ever find. It's HARD to remember that not being an evangelical means you have to accept those who are, without trying to convert them to your way of thinking.

In today's climate, attaching yourself to a church and believing what they tell you to believe is relatively easy, at least publicly; what goes on inside your own head may not be so easy, of course. Committing yourself to a lifetime of religious uncertainty is not wishy-washy or "not really believing much of anything." It's laying your soul open for all to see, and that's not a wishy-washy thing to do.
velvetpage: (chalice)
I'm proud that I have even the most tenuous religious connection with the people who, instead of cowering under pews while a murderer leisurely stalked them, tackled him, disarmed him - and then held him for the police without doing any further damage to him. I'm proud that other church members got the kids out of the room. I'm proud that they take the views of others - wishy-washy intellectuals whose faith lacks any conviction - and politely refute them by their actions, proving that their convictions are as strong as any and stronger than many.

It could have been any UU church. That's the bad news. It's also the good news.

June 2017



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