Monday, April 30, 2012

Liberal Religion's First Message -- from my sermon at the "Gathered Freely" Assembly

I say that we should spend less effort inviting people to become Unitarian Universalists and more time inviting people, and challenging people, to live out the core values of liberal religion however they can, wherever they are, whoever they are.

Liberal Religion, of which Unitarian Universalism is only one strand, is a moral, ethical and spiritual tradition.  It is a spiritual path, which when it is followed, leads people to happier and healthier lives. 

Being a religious liberal is a decision to live life differently. It is a decision to re-invent yourself, to re-make yourself, to re-boot and download some new apps.
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Let us start with this basic fact:  for most of the people in this world, nobody cares about their hopes and dreams.  For most people, the message they hear from the world is “You’re not here to live your dreams, you’re not here follow your path.  No, you are here to sit down, shut up, show up for work on time, and not cause any trouble.  Face it, nobody cares if you live or die, much less whether you are happy, or are fulfilling what you know is your purpose in life.  Nobody cares. You just need to survive.”
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So, the first message that we, the practitioners of liberal religion, have to say to people is this:  Consult your deepest sources and find your soul’s purpose; you have a right to define for yourself the life you want.

Liberal Religion says to you: You have a right to be free. You have a right to determine your own identity and destiny.    We don’t think it is just your right.  We think that claiming your own agency, your own self-possession is an essential step to happiness, to health and a precondition for any sort of spiritual maturity for you.

We are dead serious about this. Here’s how serious we are: if you think you appear outwardly to not be your true gender -- we will stand with you.  When men or women have felt that to be true to themselves, they must marry someone of the same gender, we have stood with them. When someone says: I am not what you think is my disability -- see all of me -- see everything I can do -- liberal religion stands with them. We stand for your right to choose how you will inhabit all of the different identities you have.  Bottom line, Liberal Religion stands for the right to live free of other people defining you or limiting you or saying you have to be this way or that way.



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