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Unitarian Universalists


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  #1  
August 16th, 2006, 08:42 AM
kadydid
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How many of you go to Unitarian church? I was going to go a few months ago, but decided to wait a bit. We are planning to go in the fall.

http://www.uua.org/
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  #2  
August 16th, 2006, 08:45 AM
mrobinson
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I used to go.. Motherbird used to be the host of the spirituality board and pointed me in that direction.. I loved it. If I ever take my kids to a church it would be that one. The kids learn about all the different religions.
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  #3  
August 16th, 2006, 09:15 AM
smt smt is offline
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Since Unitarians are typically spiritual monotheists, isn't this more of something to discuss on the spirituality board? I would assume that an agnostic or atheist would not be a Unitarian. Maybe I just don't understand what UU is.
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  #4  
August 16th, 2006, 10:28 PM
kadydid
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Quote:
Since Unitarians are typically spiritual monotheists, isn't this more of something to discuss on the spirituality board? I would assume that an agnostic or atheist would not be a Unitarian. Maybe I just don't understand what UU is.[/b]
I know a few atheists that go to UU church. http://www.uunashua.org/100quest.shtml I have read before that most UU members are humanists and generally humanists do not believe in the supernatural and can in fact be atheists.
I would mostly like to check into this because of the kids, I think that is really the only good thing about church is it provides a sense of community.
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  #5  
August 17th, 2006, 04:41 AM
my_boys_are_my_joy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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i went a couple of times. it's been over a year since i went. i really liked it and would go again. when the pastor prayed, he prayed "to the powers inside as well as outside us"

when peyton gets older, i would like for him to go on occassion. i've never sat in a religious ed. class, but i remember they were doing this whole series on the opposing sides of God. one week was "God is light" and the next was "God is darkness". One week was "God is noise" and the next was "God is silence" etc.
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  #6  
August 17th, 2006, 05:48 AM
smt smt is offline
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i went a couple of times. it's been over a year since i went. i really liked it and would go again. when the pastor prayed, he prayed "to the powers inside as well as outside us"

when peyton gets older, i would like for him to go on occassion. i've never sat in a religious ed. class, but i remember they were doing this whole series on the opposing sides of God. one week was "God is light" and the next was "God is darkness". One week was "God is noise" and the next was "God is silence" etc.[/b]
So, when the pastor prays to the "powers outside of us", what exactly does that mean? What is this the source of this power? How do they determine the attributes of this "God"?
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  #7  
August 17th, 2006, 08:11 AM
mrobinson
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Quote:
Quote:
i went a couple of times. it's been over a year since i went. i really liked it and would go again. when the pastor prayed, he prayed "to the powers inside as well as outside us"

when peyton gets older, i would like for him to go on occassion. i've never sat in a religious ed. class, but i remember they were doing this whole series on the opposing sides of God. one week was "God is light" and the next was "God is darkness". One week was "God is noise" and the next was "God is silence" etc.[/b]
So, when the pastor prays to the "powers outside of us", what exactly does that mean? What is this the source of this power? How do they determine the attributes of this "God"?
[/b]
The UU church I went is where I learned what a humanist was.. which is why I called you one. I think everyone feels the way they interact with the world as a power, controlled will, so that's what "the powers outside of us" could be referencing too.. Of course not everyone feels that way, so maybe a UU church wouldn't be the right place for you? I dunno.
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  #8  
August 17th, 2006, 10:14 AM
my_boys_are_my_joy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Quote:
i went a couple of times. it's been over a year since i went. i really liked it and would go again. when the pastor prayed, he prayed "to the powers inside as well as outside us"

when peyton gets older, i would like for him to go on occassion. i've never sat in a religious ed. class, but i remember they were doing this whole series on the opposing sides of God. one week was "God is light" and the next was "God is darkness". One week was "God is noise" and the next was "God is silence" etc.[/b]
So, when the pastor prays to the "powers outside of us", what exactly does that mean? What is this the source of this power? How do they determine the attributes of this "God"?
[/b]
i guess it can mean whatever you want it to mean--strength of the human spirit, love, etc. he never called it "god".

you don't have to agree with every little detail to benefit from the service. sure, some believe in God, some may not. It doesn't matter to me. But just because they may believe differently from me, doesn't mean I can't learn and grow from them. I appreciate the totality of who they are--differences and agreements. You know the old saying "don't throw the baby out with the bath water." That's how I approach the UU service and everything else in my life.
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  #9  
August 17th, 2006, 01:38 PM
smt smt is offline
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The UU church I went is where I learned what a humanist was.. which is why I called you one. I think everyone feels the way they interact with the world as a power, controlled will, so that's what "the powers outside of us" could be referencing too.. Of course not everyone feels that way, so maybe a UU church wouldn't be the right place for you? I dunno. [/b]
Ok, I am just trying to understand this. It seems church-like and religious, but in a sort of non-committal way, which makes me wonder... what's the point? Atheism would be in conflict with most UU "theology", and agnosticism would be skeptical enough of the concepts to dismiss it. If it is being asserted that the physical forces of nature are somehow sentient and "god-like", then I would again ask, what evidence is there to support this (besides a desire for there to be a big comfortable "thing" looking out for us). Redefining "God" to be "nature" makes no sense because we already have words for God and nature. If it is that this sentient "force" started evolution and just lets it run on its own, that is just veiled Deism.

smt

P.S.: I am not trying to be rude, I am just trying to ask logical questions about these beliefs which seem to be "faith beliefs" with no logical foundation. what is the difference between that and religion?
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  #10  
August 17th, 2006, 01:43 PM
mrobinson
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Ok, I am just trying to understand this. It seems church-like and religious, but in a sort of non-committal way, which makes me wonder... what's the point? Atheism would be in conflict with most UU "theology", and agnosticism would be skeptical enough of the concepts to dismiss it. If it is being asserted that the physical forces of nature are somehow sentient and "god-like", then I would again ask, what evidence is there to support this (besides a desire for there to be a big comfortable "thing" looking out for us). Redefining "God" to be "nature" makes no sense because we already have words for God and nature. If it is that this sentient "force" started evolution and just lets it run on its own, that is just veiled Deism.

smt

P.S.: I am not trying to be rude, I am just trying to ask logical questions about these beliefs which seem to be "faith beliefs" with no logical foundation. what is the difference between that and religion?[/b]
(I know you better than that!) I don't think you're trying to be rude.

The point for me would be to have a place of community with like-minded individuals and allowing our kids to accept others while learning about all the religions..
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  #11  
August 17th, 2006, 01:44 PM
kadydid
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
i went a couple of times. it's been over a year since i went. i really liked it and would go again. when the pastor prayed, he prayed "to the powers inside as well as outside us"

when peyton gets older, i would like for him to go on occassion. i've never sat in a religious ed. class, but i remember they were doing this whole series on the opposing sides of God. one week was "God is light" and the next was "God is darkness". One week was "God is noise" and the next was "God is silence" etc.[/b]
So, when the pastor prays to the "powers outside of us", what exactly does that mean? What is this the source of this power? How do they determine the attributes of this "God"?
[/b]
i guess it can mean whatever you want it to mean--strength of the human spirit, love, etc. he never called it "god".

you don't have to agree with every little detail to benefit from the service. sure, some believe in God, some may not. It doesn't matter to me. But just because they may believe differently from me, doesn't mean I can't learn and grow from them. I appreciate the totality of who they are--differences and agreements. You know the old saying "don't throw the baby out with the bath water." That's how I approach the UU service and everything else in my life.
[/b]
ITA
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  #12  
August 17th, 2006, 04:09 PM
my_boys_are_my_joy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Ok, I am just trying to understand this. It seems church-like and religious, but in a sort of non-committal way, which makes me wonder... what's the point? Atheism would be in conflict with most UU "theology", and agnosticism would be skeptical enough of the concepts to dismiss it. If it is being asserted that the physical forces of nature are somehow sentient and "god-like", then I would again ask, what evidence is there to support this (besides a desire for there to be a big comfortable "thing" looking out for us). Redefining "God" to be "nature" makes no sense because we already have words for God and nature. If it is that this sentient "force" started evolution and just lets it run on its own, that is just veiled Deism.

smt

P.S.: I am not trying to be rude, I am just trying to ask logical questions about these beliefs which seem to be "faith beliefs" with no logical foundation. what is the difference between that and religion?[/b]

I'm not quite sure what you're asking. The point, to me, is to have a sense of community and sensible way of teaching values and morals to a child (i.e., something other than "if you do/don't do this, you're going to hell." Plus it allows them the freedom to explore other world religions and hopefully gain a greater understanding of the world and people around them than they would have otherwise.

The only true "theology" that I'm aware of associated with UU is they believe that all will find peace in death. Here is the spoken affirmation of the UU church in my area from their website:

Quote:
UUCJ Spoken Affirmation

Love is the doctrine of this church, the quest of truth is its sacrament, and service is its prayer. To dwell together in peace, to seek knowledge in freedom, to serve humanity in fellowship, to the end that all souls shall grow into harmony with the divine, thus do we covenant with one another.[/b]
Now I know you will take issue with the terminology of "all souls shall grow into harmony with the divine", but take that out and there's a wealth of information and value still left. Those are values that I want to instill in my child. I see UU as a resource or a venue to help promote those values.
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  #13  
August 17th, 2006, 04:15 PM
irishxrose
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My parents actually go to this church and they love it. The people there are so amazing. I've gone once or twice, but once I had Joshua I haven't really gone back. I plan to once he gets older because I want him to learn about many different religions in an openminded manner.
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  #14  
August 17th, 2006, 04:41 PM
smt smt is offline
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Quote:
The point for me would be to have a place of community with like-minded individuals and allowing our kids to accept others while learning about all the religions..[/b]
Ok, but I would question the "like-minded people" part when obviously many different beliefs exist. I guess the primary similarity is that of a group of eclectic people. They have in common.

Quote:
i guess it can mean whatever you want it to mean[/b]
That is a good argument for it meaning nothing. Something that means everything really has no meaning at all. This reeks of New Age rhetoric.

I hope you can understand my frustration. Your response implys that it is impossible to answer my questions, and the questions are critical to making the beliefs relevant in any reality based way: What is this the source of this power? How do they determine the attributes of this "God[power]"? If you can't answer those, then how do you even know the "power" exists? At this point, Christianity is sounding pretty good, at least they have a Bible.
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  #15  
August 17th, 2006, 04:52 PM
smt smt is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,587
Quote:
The point, to me, is to have a sense of community and sensible way of teaching values and morals to a child (i.e., something other than "if you do/don't do this, you're going to hell." Plus it allows them the freedom to explore other world religions and hopefully gain a greater understanding of the world and people around them than they would have otherwise.[/b]
I can appreciate the value of creating community in like-minded people, and I can appreciate the value in an educational system that teaches about religions, although, I do question the "like-minded" part.

Quote:
The only true "theology" that I'm aware of associated with UU is they believe that all will find peace in death. Here is the spoken affirmation of the UU church in my area from their website:[/b]
Well, that is one thing that they have in common with agnostics and atheists, when you are dead you no longer exist and thus have perfect peace.

Quote:
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE
Quote:
UUCJ Spoken Affirmation
Love is the doctrine of this church, the quest of truth is its sacrament, and service is its prayer. To dwell together in peace, to seek knowledge in freedom, to serve humanity in fellowship, to the end that all souls shall grow into harmony with the divine, thus do we covenant with one another.[/b]
Now I know you will take issue with the terminology of "all souls shall grow into harmony with the divine", but take that out and there's a wealth of information and value still left. Those are values that I want to instill in my child. I see UU as a resource or a venue to help promote those values.
[/b][/quote]
Well, you can't just "take it out". I have no problem with the first part of that, Love and Knowledge are the cornerstones of humanistic thinking, but the rest is unsubstantiated, feel-good, religious rhetoric. This is NOT compatible with agnostic/atheistic beliefs. Spiritual "souls" and the "divine" are god things.
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  #16  
August 18th, 2006, 10:35 AM
mrobinson
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smt: Is it possible that the concepts of from the Christian church has distorted what is "divine" to you to always be from something like a God? I wonder if you can understand to many people soul and being divine don't have to include anything outside of humanity? Soul and being divine can be human traits worthy of something to strive too. I know you question the "like-mindedness" but at a UU church is an undestanding of respect, love and community.. That is like-mindness. It's all human qualities.
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  #17  
August 18th, 2006, 02:53 PM
smt smt is offline
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Quote:
smt: Is it possible that the concepts of from the Christian church has distorted what is "divine" to you to always be from something like a God? I wonder if you can understand to many people soul and being divine don't have to include anything outside of humanity? Soul and being divine can be human traits worthy of something to strive too. I know you question the "like-mindedness" but at a UU church is an undestanding of respect, love and community.. That is like-mindness. It's all human qualities.[/b]
Ok, well based on the context and the fact that the word "divine" (according to the dictionary) is mostly used to refer to a deity, I thought it was a fair assumption. If by "divine" you mean "perfection" then I can see your point, although I think it is a gray area that is secretly masquerading as a god. If anything, it is extremely ambiguous and confusing to use that word. It is like Christians I run into (NOT LITERALLY!) that say they are not part of a religion. I will just drop the UU discussion regarding this and leave it at that.
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  #18  
August 18th, 2006, 08:00 PM
my_boys_are_my_joy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well, you can't just "take it out". I have no problem with the first part of that, Love and Knowledge are the cornerstones of humanistic thinking, but the rest is unsubstantiated, feel-good, religious rhetoric. This is NOT compatible with agnostic/atheistic beliefs. Spiritual "souls" and the "divine" are god things.[/b]
You may be unable to take it out (or unwilling), but I assure you it can be done because I do it all the time. I still watch this one evangelical lady on TV, not to make fun of her, but to hear her message. I ignore the God/Jesus/Holy Spirit parts. When you take it away, she still has a good message at the core. My dh doesn't understand how I do this, either.

In fact, the songs I sing with my baby are divided pretty evenly between generic kids' songs (like the Itsy Bitsy Spider) and religious kids' songs. I'm using them as a tool. Are you familiar with the psychological term scaffolding? Keep in mind that my dh is a believer. I'm sure we'll have to introduce the baby to some idea of god at some point. The way I want to teach him is by using the God concept as a right/wrong ideal to aspire to. And as he gets older and more mature, I hope to be able to drop the scaffolds/crutches so that he can see that he, in fact, is his own God--in other words, in the end, the only person he has to answer to is himself and his conscience. He must live up to his own ideals and doesn't need an outside force for inspiration. He will find the inspiration to do right and avoid wrong from within.

I hope that makes sense or at least sounds somewhat like a coherent thought. I find it exceedingly difficult to put these thoughts/beliefs/ideas into words.

It's completely understandable if you don't find going to a UU service remotely appealing. But I hope you see that it is reasonable for other non-believers to want to attend.
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  #19  
August 19th, 2006, 01:13 PM
mrobinson
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Quote:
smt: Is it possible that the concepts of from the Christian church has distorted what is "divine" to you to always be from something like a God? I wonder if you can understand to many people soul and being divine don't have to include anything outside of humanity? Soul and being divine can be human traits worthy of something to strive too. I know you question the "like-mindedness" but at a UU church is an undestanding of respect, love and community.. That is like-mindness. It's all human qualities.[/b]
Ok, well based on the context and the fact that the word "divine" (according to the dictionary) is mostly used to refer to a deity, I thought it was a fair assumption. If by "divine" you mean "perfection" then I can see your point, although I think it is a gray area that is secretly masquerading as a god. If anything, it is extremely ambiguous and confusing to use that word. It is like Christians I run into (NOT LITERALLY!) that say they are not part of a religion. I will just drop the UU discussion regarding this and leave it at that.
[/b]
I'm glad you chit chat about things smt. I really think you're a 10 on the non-believers scale and frankly, I'm glad you're here. You make us think about things in a very logical fashion..

Quote:
I still watch this one evangelical lady on TV, not to make fun of her, but to hear her message. I ignore the God/Jesus/Holy Spirit parts. When you take it away, she still has a good message at the core. My dh doesn't understand how I do this, either.[/b]
My dh does that too! (I sleep in too much to catch it.) He has more a Buddhist/Atheist feel about life so he can see the message without the God/Jesus/Heaven part.. My chiropractor, who I respect completely, is a born-again.. When I speak to him, I can seperate it too and understand the meaning.. I do love the messages some of the Christians express ~ assuming I can seperate it.
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