Thursday, July 28, 2005

Why It's Dumb To Dis' Humanists

Jeff is writing some very deep and good stuff about Unitarian Universalism over at Transient and Permanent:

You may want to read it and the comments, too.
He's talking about the troubling "anti-Humanist" sentiments he hears being thrown around in seminary/ies.

To be Unitarian Universalist is to be humanist!
I don't understand it.

Maybe this will help: Those Unitarian Universalist participants in congregational life who have no time, love or respect for anything whatsoever that smells "religious" to them often go by the "humanist" label. I won't take that from them, but what they really are to me is "religion-phobic." And yes, they're destructive and yes, they're often of a certain generation and yes, gods help you if you try to serve in ministry (lay or ordained) in ways that provoke their ire and anxiety. They are Extra High High High Maintenance.

But they're not really Humanists, which carries connotation of loving humanity (phil - anthropy), of reasonableness, of love of Wisdom (philo-sophy), of true tolerance, of engagement.

I was very complimented and relieved recently when one of my congregants said she described me to an inquirer as a Christian Humanist. I've joked pretty often with my people about my multi-hyphenated theological identity, and was pleased as punch that she got beyond my shenanigans ("Jewishly Christian Transcendentalist Witch Unitarian Universalist" for example) to the truth of the matter.

Jeff also has a nice discussion going there on Universalism as the new fashionable theological orientation. I think that's connected to feminism, and have said so on his blog.

I know you think I'm procrastinating on writing my paper but I'm REALLY NOT. I really am not. It just looks that way!!

Personal to Dena: sure, link away, baby!
Personal to ChaliceChick: Your question about totally re-defining words vs. intrepreting them is important and I'm glad you brought it up again. I have a response in draft form that I intend to fix up and get out there in the next few days. Or after I get back from vacation.


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