The liberal critique of orthodoxy was that it valued creeds over deeds. We countered with "deeds, not creeds." Somehow, that turned into a creed itself: a belief that liberal religion had no particular political or social implications. Nice thought, but untrue. Our spirituality is expressed in what we do, how we act, who we see as friends and allies, and who we see as adversaries. Our spirituality is embodied; we are people living in bodies, in a particular time and place, among other people. Our spirituality is how we deal with those people, just as much as how we relate to flowers, plants, stars, the invisible and the infinite.
Who are our dialogue partners? If we choose to engage the largely middle-class, white, political conservatives in dialogue, we will shape the results. We should remember our experience with the Welcoming Congregation programs: gay and lesbian people should not be expected to engage in continuous debates about their right to exist with people who do not respect them. The terms of such discussion had the impact of excluding them, even though the invitation may say otherwise. Apply that lesson to current issues: who would be excluded, in practice, from a discussion in which we seek the common ground with those who believe that there ought to be no minimum wage and that unemployment is caused by laziness? The very terms of the discussion are so disrespectful of the working poor that none would want to be in that dialogue. Better to have dialogue with the working poor over the conditions of their lives, than to prioritize making peace with a handful of Libertarian ideologues.
UU Republicans are uncomfortable in our congregations because UU's are intolerant of opinions with which they don't agree.
Yes, UU Republicans are often uncomfortable in our congregations. They are a minority and the majority is not reticent about expressing their views. Yes, there are some rude people among us, just like in society in general. Almost everybody has had the experience of being on the receiving end of someone's insensitivity or insulting assumptions in a UU coffee hour. But the discomfort that arises from grasping that most of your co-religionists have a different view of a political or social issue is a moment that Dr. King called a "creative tension." If some UU's find a contradiction between their political loyalties and the demands of their religion (particularly as their covenant partners have understood it), it is their problem to work out. May they grow spiritually from it.