Monday, April 09, 2007

"How Jesus Claimed Me"

This essay of mine appears in the anthology, Christian Voices in Unitarian Universalism. I'm glad to be able to share it with you today as the front page article in this week's UU World online magazine:


Anonymous Jess said...

It's fabulous, and has my wheels spinning. Thank you.

Blogger Peg said...

So I'm reading along, la la la, isn't it cool that PB has shared her experiences with us... and then toward the end, this:

"My daily Christian practice, although it changes frequently and is augmented by wisdom and practices from other traditions, consists mostly of clumsy efforts to love my God with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul, and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. That’s work enough for this lifetime."

Just blindsided me -- tears came to my eyes out of nowhere. PB you really should write a book. No, seriously. Thank you.

Blogger Princess Pinky said...

Thank you so much for sharing that! It gives those who have let the Religious Right steal and bastardize our faith the courage to push those feelings of confusion and anger aside and just be Jesus followers.

Anonymous Sue Woolley said...

Coincidence you should post this today - I gave a service with the title A Unitarian view of Jesus on Sunday to a usually very Christosceptic congregation, and it was surprisingly well received. Much food for thought - thank you.

Blogger Ansku said...

I enjoy reading your blog. You are an excellent writer.

Thank you also for sharing your story.

Blogger Shaktidas said...

That's a GREAT piece, PB. That whole book is wonderful, and your essay is one of the very best.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article is so good--and very thought provoking. I'm coming from an evangelical turned high church Episcopalian perspective, and I've been struggling with a question: at what point does a unitarian universalist become a trinitarian universalist, and where is that line if there is one?

I struggle with this because I'm trying to place myself on the continum. I should probably read this whole book, shouldn't I ;)

Anonymous Jay said...

Hey, PB. It's always, always a pleasure to visit your blog.

You had me in your piece right up until you wrote that you accept the (likely or assumed) p.o.v. of your "rationalist" UU friends with "affection and forbearance." Forbearance? Is that really the word you wanted? Gosh, I hope not. It has definitely not been my experience that the various UU constituencies manage to co-exist simply by "forbearing" one another. My experience has been that we revel in one other's experiences and points of view. I would be absolutely offended if one of my UU-Christian friends suggested she was just putting up with, or continually swallowing her distaste for, me and my UU-Humanist values. Ugh.

Forbearance suggests you've been alienated or offended by your rationalist friends, and yet, beneficently, you choose not to respond to the hurt. Setting aside the ego wrapped up in a decision to "forbear" another person, I truly hope you do not actually hold your rationalist "friends" in such contempt that you've come to see their views/experiences as a source of amusement or distaste. And I certainly hope that none of your rationalist UU friends simply "forbear" you and your beautiful theology.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

Yes, Jay, I meant forebearance.
That I chose to refer to UUs who have ridiculed, insulted and openly "dissed" my Christian faith -- not to mention shown me the door -- as "friends" in the first place is as conciliatory as I think I need to be.

I wanted to find a way to refer to those people in a non-defensive way, and perhaps my use of the word "friends" was the problem... not "forbearance."

Anonymous Jay said...

With much respect, PB, I think that's a most unfortunate response. I now can't help but read your piece (which was so lovely, up until the last few moments) as ultimately anti-rationalist and anti-Humanist. In my mind, UUism is not simply about "forbearing" the differences among us. In my mind, indeed, "forbearance" is not even consistent with our shared UU values. We should be allies, and so much more, with one another. We should be learning from one another. We should absolutely not simply be putting up with one another.

More even than your original piece, I experienced your response here to my comment as quite hurtful--as deliberately and consciously anti-Humanist. I'm obviously not one of your congregants...but if I were, a response like this might well have had me wondering if I was truly welcome.

I'd like to think we simply weren't communicating with each other, but your response here indicates you may not even view a Humanist like me as a "friend." Nothing I've ever read by you has been tinged with such bitterness--and, of course, a bitterness that I could taste.

I won't post another comment on this thread (although once I process this a bit more, I may write something about this experience). You've heard what I had to say, and you've seemingly made it clear that I heard what you wanted me to hear.

Best wishes, PB.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

Jay, with your original unctuous, patronizing tone ("surely, PB, you didn't mean to say THIS"), you obviously came on here itching for a fight, and you found one where there is none.

I don't know you, but I know this kind of manipulation all too well. If I had a nickel for every time a blogger played this game, I could retire by now.

What about "Gee Jay, I should clarify that I used forbearance to describe my relationship to those UUs who 'diss', insult and try to expel Christians from among us" don't you get? Unless you're of that brand of rationalist, we have no tension in our relationship. Did you read my response? I have to wonder.

What you've said about forbearance & tolerance vs acceptance and alliance could have come from my own pen.

Finally, although it's very rewarding when people take the time to read my work, I'm not offended when they don't like it. I *am* offended, however, when readers like you pick at one word you don't like, attack me for it in the most patronizing of ways, and then launch off into their own reflections using a totally misguided interpretation of what they *think I said.* Which is what I imagine you'll do next, and which I find incredibly wearying. And which also, by the way, leads to an unraveling of trust between UUs.

If you write further on this, please post my reply so that people can see what I did say, not your interpretation of what I said.

I'm sure they'll be able to see what you obviously did not.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

By the way, Jay, I found your original comment, and your response to my response, very hurtful and damaging. I should have said that before.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vicki, you know how we sometimes joke about "UUs-SVU?" I think you've attracted a Special Victim UU here.

We know you. We live with you.
You're not "anti" anyone.

Don't waste your time with someone who wants to beat you up over one word in a beautiful essay. Like you said, itching for a fight.

Love, one of your Humanist Agnostic church members


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