I have recently begun to explore Unitarian-Univeralism (UU), a very inclusive “church” structure that requires no dogmatic belief system and yet recognizes the human need for community and the search for meaning, the need for caring and the questing of “Who Cares?” In particular, I invite the reader to view a recent sermon at the local UU church A Big Tent with Even Bigger Dreams (20180506), one that I thought was profound (as well as very humorous).
For my part, UU (in its profound inclusivity) represents the possibility of mature community, an essential component of cultural transformation (of which I have written many posts in this blog — see this series). I find a number of aspects of the local church, the North Shore Unitarians, to have deep appeal for me; I also have the intuition (and hope) that these aspects are to be found throughout the UU system.
- They are deeply inclusive. In particular, I have found them very welcoming, and very open to diversity, especially the LGBTQQIP2SAA community and any other source of divisiveness in community.
- A significant quote from the above sermon is “we honor this truth by encouraging our members to reflect on the Light through whatever set of windows they find most illuminating. We only require that this same freedom be honored for others.”
- They recognize the incredible destructiveness that “religion” has played in the world.
- I have a friend who is atheist and strongly against religion, yet from my perspective he does not seem to recognize “religion” as simply a cultural lens, and that its implications range from the very immature (including much of Christian history as well as modern fundamentalism, both Christian and Muslim) to the very mature. I totally agree with him in his disparagement of Christianity when expressed via fundamentalism, and I also deeply value the mature expression of religion when I find it. Mature religion for me is not a set of beliefs, rather it is a way of approaching life with compassion to all its complexity.
- They are very open to questioning the meaning of life.
- For the past year, the Church has been running a series of discussion groups called Wounded Words (words such as sin, salvation, god, prayer) in an attempt to recognize how divisive these words have been (and continue to be).
The main emphasis that I have seen is that UU encourages the recognition that we all search for meaning and that we are all in the same boat! We must learn to value “making sure there’s room for another to come sit next to me, even if, especially if, they make me uncomfortable . . . . with such a big tent [that] we don’t even agree on the words to use to describe it.”
There is for me something deep within the heart of all human beings that searches for meaning; maturity for me means that of being willing to sit in the mystery that this represents. Those who claim certainty are at high risk of fundamentalism, and the abuses of religion — this I distrust.
To give my answer to the basic question of this post, those who care are those who continue to search, allowing others also to search. I honor all who do, including the UU church.