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Thread: Uu q&a

  1. #11
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Uu q&a

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    If you are interested in finding your local UU's, here's their handy-dandy congregation finder...Corbin, you are in the UP right? If so, it looks like there are only 3 in that region...
    Nope - the UP is civilized compared to where I live...

    If you check the map for Michigan in the link, I'm in that big area in the north eastern corner of the lower P with no flags anywhere - Alpena, where I work, is in the center right of the empty space. The closest location is in Grand Traverse on the other side of the state, about 2 hours dive away, or Midland, about the same distance south.

    I really am in the middle of nowhere .

    Still, I'm interesting enough that I should still check it out. I'm going to peruse their website a bit more.
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    Re: Uu q&a

    I live around the corner from the UU church I attend. I originally went to the one closer towards where I used to live last year.
    I was Hadad2008 when I joined Feb 2008.
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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Uu q&a

    When you go to church do they read out of the bible?
    If so, which one?
    If so and so, how do they handle the discrepancies from what they believe (as in everyone is good etc etc and the fact homosexuals and the ilk burn in a fiery hell etc etc)
    Could I, as a Satanist, be welcomed and have my views worked into the church as well?

    I'm all sorts of interested in this. I've had quite a few friends who said they were members. But I couldn't get quite a clear pic of what they were a member of.
    Satan is my spirit animal

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    Re: Uu q&a

    Thank you very much for answering my questions as well as others. It has been an interesting insight into a possible method social outreach without needing to conform to be accepted.

    It does seem to be more focused on bringing a community together in harmony than being an over-arching religion which I think would really benefit a lot of people. And the principles are general enough to be championed by most.

    Thanks again for sharing. I find it very fascinating and wish I had something like that here.
    Giving is its own reward.

  5. #15
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Uu q&a

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    When you go to church do they read out of the bible?
    If so, which one?
    Sometimes...as blog of one UU minister, says:
    Almost all UU's are Bible Interpreters. (There are a few UU's who insist on taking the Bible literally and rejecting it.) While we don't have a creed, we do have practices. In a few of our churches, the practice is to focus on the Bible. In some the practice is to include the Bible. In some, especially lay-led congregations, the practice is to ignore or reject the Bible.
    ...as for *which* Bible, there's no official Bible, simply because there is no "cannon" as there are in Christian churches. I would suspect that which ever Bible someone has handy, or which ever one they grew up with (if they liked it) or which ever translation/interpretation they prefer is they one they choose to read out of. I can ask Andrew how he decided which Bible to use if I get the chance.

    The Bible is just of many sources of information and inspiration for UU's, including:
    *Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
    *Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
    *Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
    *Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
    *Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
    *Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
    *These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community.

    source


    If so and so, how do they handle the discrepancies from what they believe (as in everyone is good etc etc and the fact homosexuals and the ilk burn in a fiery hell etc etc)
    Ah...well, the Bible isn't officially considered the inerrant word of an infallible One True God. The UUA "does not hold as a dogma that the Bible is or is not anything" (not sure where I found this quote). From my experience interacting with people, I would suspect that an overwhelming majority of congregants would definitely agree with that, even if they would identify their belief as Christian...how individuals see the Bible and its relevancy is pretty varied. I generally get a kick out of this blog, by a sociologist and UU reading and blogging the Bible (especially her post about how Jacob=Flynn Rider from Disney's Rapunzel. I mean, everyone that reads the Bible interprets the Bible--some people are deluding themselves into thinking otherwise, and some people are honest about it.

    Freedom from doctrinal creeds makes a big difference in how a person interprets a religious text. Often when a conservative church leader explains scriptures from a pulpit, listeners are led to believe that they are being given the “plain meaning” of the text. What they are actually hearing is an interpretation—usually one that has been handed down from a church council at some point in history, when an “authoritative” interpretation was defined, and dissenting interpretations were banned as heretical.

    Unitarian Universalists tend to view scriptural interpretation, and which religious texts should be considered “authoritative,” as essentially political questions. Answers to these questions come from human beings who are not necessarily more divinely inspired than anyone else. In the end, each person depends on his or her own judgment to arrive at meaningful insights.
    source
    The following quotes are from an article in the UU World called "Why bother with the bible? Interpret, or others will do it for you..." (the article is pretty interesting of a read).

    For the Bible, God and history are intertwined. Human history in all cultures is full of oppression, violence, and cruelty. So it is not surprising that the Bible should have mixed images of God’s role in history.
    ...
    But we are dealing with a story that is thousands of years old. If God is just a character in the story, then perhaps we should at least notice this about God in the Bible: God gets better. Seemingly arbitrary, unforgiving, judgmental, and even cruel at first, God grows up and mellows. Perhaps as we read, so should we.
    ...
    you don’t need to believe in the God of the Bible to understand its stories. You don’t even need to believe that the Bible is consistent in its image of God; it isn’t. Neither are we. At times, the Bible’s images of God seem tragic, oppressive, punitive, cruel, or destructive. So are we. We violate our covenants with one another and with God, who both judges our failings and constantly offers what the Hebrew Bible calls hesed—steadfast, enduring love. Even if the Bible remains for us only great literature, and not sacred scripture, we should try to approach it on its own terms
    (and since the natural follow up question is probably "then why bother reading it?" I'll toss in another quote from the article too...

    So why should skeptics, seekers, religious liberals, and political progressives bother with the Bible?

    The first motivation could be called political: If you can’t or won’t understand the Bible, others surely will interpret it for you. The second could be called cultural or literary: Within this culture you can’t be fully literate or creative, artistically or rhetorically, without an acquaintance with the Bible. But now we come to the third and most personal reason: You also can’t be spiritually mature or wise by simply rejecting the Bible as oppressive. The oppressive uses of the Bible are real, but unless you learn to understand that there are other readings possible, the Bible will continue to be a source of oppression for you, and not a source of inspiration, liberation, creation, and even exultation as you understand it anew for yourself, at a deeper and less literal level.
    An interesting sermon from another UU minister explores your question, pretty much from top to bottom...and does a better job than I am I think (I've been a bit kid distracted, so hopefully this all makes sense).

    Could I, as a Satanist, be welcomed and have my views worked into the church as well?
    Theoretically, yes. Around 18% of UUs consider themselves atheist, and another 33% are agnostic (though it depends on the survey and how the question was asked). So as atheist, your theological stance wouldn't be out of place. Of course...as we all know, there can be some sticker shock for many people when confronted with the label of Satanist.

    Our services open with the same words every week: “All those of good will are welcome to join with us in our individual and collective search for truth and meaning, in a community where we commit ourselves daily to honoring the inherent worth and dignity of each person.” As far as most members of the congregation seem to be concerned, that's all that matters. I would imagine in practice and on an individual basis, it would depend on how educated individuals were on the matter, and how much and how often you want to explain what you mean by "Satanist"... In regular services though, there generally aren't "hey, what is your theological opinion and what do you call your religious philosophy" questions. If I wanted to, I could keep my Paganism and my UUism pretty much separate. UU congregations generally explore individual spirituality in smaller group settings.

    I'm all sorts of interested in this. I've had quite a few friends who said they were members. But I couldn't get quite a clear pic of what they were a member of.
    This is a pretty good "official" overview...but the simple fact is that you would have to find your local UU congregations and check them out--as a congregationalist organization, the specific focus of each fellowship/congregation/church depends on the members of that fellowship/congregation/church. It probably seems odd to someone that is more accustomed to a more orthodox and overarching religious organization (like Catholicism or LDS), for me...I grew up in a congregationalist tradition, albeit a Christian one...so I see a lot of parallels with Paganism in terms of the individuality of worship and interpretation versus strict obedience to dogma.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  6. #16
    Sr. Member Gunnarr's Avatar
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    Re: Uu q&a

    I read the website and it comes across as Christianity for theologians, there are however some excellent principles to live ones life.

    Some articles to support my point of view,

    Unitarian Universalism was formed from the merger in 1961 of two historically Christian denominations, the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association, both based in the United States. At the time of the North American merger, the theological significance of these terms had expanded beyond the traditional Christian understanding.
    Sadly Wikipedia

    It does however go on to say,

    Unitarian Universalist congregations and fellowships tend to retain some Christian traditions, such as Sunday worship with a sermon and the singing of hymns. The extent to which the elements of any particular faith tradition are incorporated into personal spiritual practice is a matter of personal choice for congregants, in keeping with a creedless, non-dogmatic approach to spirituality and faith development.
    The full article is,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarian_Universalism

    For me this Unitarian Universalist Fellowship ( General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, in the UK) has a taste of the opportunist, some think tank idea of getting those who can not commit to Christianity, I imagine there must be some pressure to donate, I know you will say no, but all there websites mention a donation.

    https://www.kintera.org/site/c.kkLRJ...WL7MMIgIRIeO2H

    It reminds me of Friedrich Nietzsche’s "God is dead, long live the ubermensch (superman)", a theology that is used in UU websites.

    http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/27168.shtml

    Not definitive, I know but makes me wonder about a new religions motivation.
    Gunnarr Sandisson
    "A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be." Albert Einstein
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  7. #17
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Uu q&a

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnarr View Post
    Not definitive, I know but makes me wonder about a new religions motivation.
    Okay...and I wonder about every religion's motivation.

    I'm pretty sure I addressed every "point" of your comment in previous questions in this thread, at least indirectly---from the origins of the UUA, to the issue of tithing, to what is done with money from tithing, to the religious make-up of the UUA as a whole, and how individual congregations vary and that the religious opinions of individuals are considered precisely that--the religious opinions of individual.

    If you would like clarification, or I somehow missed something, ask a question...since this is, after all, a Q&A thread.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    Sr. Member Gunnarr's Avatar
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    Re: Uu q&a

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    Okay...and I wonder about every religion's motivation.

    I'm pretty sure I addressed every "point" of your comment in previous questions in this thread, at least indirectly---from the origins of the UUA, to the issue of tithing, to what is done with money from tithing, to the religious make-up of the UUA as a whole, and how individual congregations vary and that the religious opinions of individuals are considered precisely that--the religious opinions of individual.

    If you would like clarification, or I somehow missed something, ask a question...since this is, after all, a Q&A thread.
    The question would be, How is this a religion?
    Gunnarr Sandisson
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    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: Uu q&a

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnarr View Post
    The question would be, How is this a religion?

    Gunnarr, I'm going to step in with my mod had on for a moment...in case you aren't aware, the rule about Q&A threads are a little different then the rest of the forum in that the beliefs discussed in them are to be treated with respect, and are not open for debate. At any time, the person hosting the thread can choose to not answer a particular question, as well.

    Please show Thalassa courtesy, as you are, essentially, a guest in her home on this thread.

  10. #20
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Uu q&a

    The question would be, How is this a religion?
    It is system of practice and belief that relates to the place and role of humanity in a greater cosmos which informs and is informed by a particular worldview and set of values and uses a common language of symbols and rituals among its members. The only difference between some other religions is that the UUA is open about allowing its followers to determine the role of divinity in a greater cosmos and the way in which it is manifested for themselves.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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