I can’t remember the last time I posted anything UU (unitarian universalist) related. Maybe a year or so ago when I wrote something titled my UU church must change? I don’t know but I feel compelled as our national conference, known to UUs as General Assembly or GA, is underway in Phoenix.
So GA started yesterday and with Twitter, Facebook and blogging platforms being used in official and unofficial capacities, it’s almost as if I’m there. Almost.
One of the biggest problems I’ve had with UUism since I attended my first service 10 years ago has been the fact there is always some cause du jour and for the most part, those causes usually feeds the caricature that the Everyday Joe has of left-leaning, liberal-minded people.
- Please help the eight toed children of Burma have free-trade coffee!
- We must be the voice of the disenfranchised in equatorial Guinea who don’t have access to clean sinks and toilets!
- Save the three-legged, blue-spotted ninny muggins of Gila Island!
- What would a world with dignity and a fair wage for food chain workers look like?!??!!!
Believe it or not… that last one is a real cause the UUA is pushing at General Assembly this year. Some of the other causes I’ve seen are something about ethical eating and voicing the unfairness of server wages. I wish I knew who to talk to about trying to raise awareness about pushing for laws that raise the wage of waiters and waitresses because the UUA is going to embarrass itself if it goes full tilt on this. By law, food servers make at least minimum wage. It is federal law. Just because a food server is making $2.13 an hour… you know what, I’m not gonna get into it. But I work for a payroll company. I do it every single day. They are NOT being short changed. No pun intended. : )
Back to the social justice thing though… I mean, history is replete with examples of religious people taking up the banner of justice and heading to the front lines to make a wrong a right. Often times that is how change happens. But the UUA and my church I believe have it wrong.
It seems as though they are moving further and further in the direction of social activism as the means toward spiritual fulfillment when it should be the other way around. It’s the cart before the horse.
I delivered a sermon at my congregation on Easter that touched on the point. I acknowledged it being a holy day for Christians and that although it is their holiday, we can learn from this narrative. I ended by emphasizing the idea that it is from spiritual transformation and the UU Good News of universal salvation that we are moved beyond the walls of our church and into the larger community to do good works. NOT the other way around.
It is apparent that the trendy missional theology bandwagon has its horse trailing the back end and many UUs are hopping on board, including my own congregation. I am afraid there is only a nail or two left before the coffin is sealed for me and I am no longer willing to call any UU church my sangha.