Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Why It Matters?

Why does it matter if political conservativism fits with religious liberalism at this point in time?

Why can't religious liberalism, and Unitarian Universalism, continue to aspire to great political diversity?

Why am I playing with fire?

Because religious liberalism has a content; it is not just a method.

Because religious liberalism is not just the least demanding mainline Protestant church -- the one you go to if you don't want to have to recite the Nicene Creed in worship.

Religious liberals share certain assumptions about the nature of reality (naturalism), human nature (universalism), human purpose (humanism) and the social good (individualism in community, human development.)

Today's political conservatives, to me, do not share those values.  And I think that political conservatives who consider themselves to be religious liberals are on the horns of a spiritual dilemma.  I hope that this is a time for deep reflection in their lives, and I hope that UU churches are the place where they can do that work.

Every person will, at points in their life, face dilemmas when their loyalties and commitments reveal themselves to be in conflict, and 'A free and responsible search for truth and meaning' is called for.

The fastest growing category of religious affiliation today is "Nones" -- people without religious affiliation at all.  Many of those people make the same assumptions about the nature of religion and reality as religious liberals.  Yet, they do not find the institutions of religious liberalism to be useful to them.

Why should those institutions matter if they themselves say that religion has no social, political or economic implications?  If Liberal Religion is neutral about the increasing income inequality, what does it care about?  If Liberal Religion can be held by those who think climate change is a hoax, and those who think it a grave danger, what does that say about its grasp on reality?  If your church is irrelevant to how you vote, then what is it relevant to?

People have suggested that I am trying to promote a monolithic political view within Unitarian Universalism.  Far from it.  We are at the other end of the extreme.  While it is true that many more UU's are politically liberal, very little theological reflection about social, political and economic issues actually goes on.  What is unsaid is unexamined.  If people think that UU thinking about social issues is shallow, then the solution is more thinking, and more critical thinking, not less.


No comments: