Monday, June 26, 2006

It Could Just Be Me

St. Louis 2006 was my favorite GA ever.

We've changed. It could just be me, but the spirit of the Unitarian Universalist family is changing.
We're acting more like family to one another.
There's less bitchy factionalism.
It could just be me, gratified and relieved that at every event I attended, people spoke from the heart and in religious terms. They are trying out the Language of Reverence and I think they like it.

I remember at the Boston GA four years ago when the Language of Reverence debate made the first page of the Boston Globe with a big slapdown quote from Yours Truly in it, and -- again, this could just be me -- but I felt like I got a good number of hostile glares when people read my nametag. What I said in the Globe was that I was tired of drowning in euphemism. I believe I said something about "liberal fundamentalism" in the same article, but I could be wrong.

What I said 1,000 times to folks at this GA was that I think we're finally realizing that it's simply impossible to radically re-define religion in such a way that goes against the general working definition accepted by the rest of the planet.
The day when we can sit at the table of interreligious dialogue and huffily state that concepts like "God" and "church" and "faith" are OFFENSIVE to us are over. Praise the Lord, and I mean that. Of course there will be those who persist in this jejeune inanity, but I think they've lost the power to control the minds and hearts of the UU faithful who would like to have healthy spiritual communities and a legitimate voice in the public square.

Atheists, Humanist, Christians, Buddhists, Pagans, Garden-Variety Mystics -- all of us are coming together and saying, "You know, it's not about me. It's about the greater quest that fills all our hearts and guides us toward the Kingdom."
This year, I felt that a devoted Humanist hearing me say that would say, "Well, I wouldn't say 'Kingdom,' but yes, that's exactly right."

Here's what it is: for the first time in my life, I loved being with my people. As I shuddered at the parade of frumpiness, I was still filled with love and joy. And really, I'm not on any new medication. It's real.

It might have helped that I got to present a workshop on something I care deeply about and that it was full and people were lovely with their questions, and it might be that all of our UU Christian Fellowship Events were well-attended and people were lovely with their comments and questions, and it might be that I've gotten to the point where I have roughly 300 wonderful UU friends I really adore that I got to sit up with every night in the hotel bar and laugh with until my eyeballs hurt, and it might be that the food was really good and that I brought the right shoes and that I met a really cute guy or that the weather was nice or that our blogger's dinner was totally fantastic in every way or that I went to the zoo and saw the cutest sea lions show and very precious monkeys in the primate house, but I really think it was us.

Whatever it is, I'm grateful for it, and until I have evidence to the contrary, I'm going to go on believing that we have reached a New Day in our movement.


Blogger Kim said...

It certainly seems to me that we have turned toward being more spiritual in the last few years. I'm glad it is showing up in a way that pleases you and is so obvious.
I think having more genuine spirituality to offer will help us in many ways.
"UU -- the religion for those who are 'spiritual but not religious'." as my spouse says....


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