we are unitarian universalists

here’s a pdf of marta flanagan’s
we are unitarian universalists flier.

i picked up a hardcopy version on sunday;
one of those 8{1\over2}\by11 folded-twice-
-the-short-way jobs you see in flier-racks
in all manner of waiting-room-like venues,
with three, what i’ll call, “panels”
on each side of a standard sheet:
the front “panel” has white letters
on a red background and the rest have
red letters on a white background;
the only non-typographical graphic
elements being three UU “chalice” icons.

sez “WELCOME” under the chalice on the front,
tipped at a jaunty 45^{\degrees} angle like the
“banner” and “foldover” cover-elements you see on
magazines. anyhow. i can get behind most of this
stuff. mostly without much embarrassment.

in this context.

i mean, well, look: *any* statement beginning
“we” immediately calls for… or, anyway, usually
brings forth in me… the question “who is this
‘we’, you’re talking about, there, anyhow?”, but
in this case “we” more-or-less obviously means,
“we UU’s”; score one for the flier.

“we believe”? well, one has longsince learned that
people hardly ever say interesting things about
their belief systems on cue. you’ll learn more
about their inner lives by asking ’em about what
they love. but they’ll lie about that, too, usually.
ask ’em what they *don’t* like and you can get some
pretty good accuracy pretty quick sometimes, though.

anyhow. (where was i?) the flier gets a pass here
again, for the same reason: i found this in the
front room of a church, for heck sake. people
actually do show up in this building wanting
to know exactly this, “what we believe”. some
of ’em are shy to actually *ask*… i know *i*
would be, and i’ve more than hinted at one of
the reasons… so we do very well, in my opinion,
to offer suchlike fliers in plain sight.

but “we believe people should”
is something of a deal-breaker.

i’d rather not believe people “should” do *anything*.
whenever i find out one of ’em thinks *i* should do
anything, that’s usually trouble for me and i don’t
like it. golden rule; game over.

i don’t say they *shouldn’t* spend their lives thinking
about better and better ways to push people around;
that would be hypocritical. but i damn well *wish*
they’d, you know, consider in the bowels of christ
that throwing-first-stones might be, i don’t know,
deeply fucking *wrong*. so, you know, just for me,
just for today, i’m not giving anything like full
assent to any “belief” with a “should” in it (until
more context is given; “if you want to learn any
advanced math, you should think about how equations
work” doesn’t give me much trouble, for example).

back to the document at hand.
“we believe people should be encouraged to think
for themselves.”
(but, i guess evidently, by using *our* courage
to do so.)

i’ve offered such encouragement *many* (many!)
times in my working life (and a little in
“real” life, too, i suppose). heck, i’ll
even urge anybody thinking they’d like to
try teaching to do the same.

the generous error.

strange loops indeed.

Advertisements

  1. so, as much as in me is,
    i am ready to preach the
    gospel to you…

    so for today, call me
    owen PAUL thomas.
    but without, you know,
    quite so much self-
    righteousness as ol’
    saul of t, and *much*
    less queer-bashing
    (and suchlike demonic
    wrath-of-god horse-
    shit). tu quoque,
    asshole. yes, i get it.

    love, owen paul.

    (rom 1:16)

  2. blahblah

    crosspost: “religion” in th’ cooking show.
    http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/category/religion/




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: