So Shawn at LoFi Tribe (sorry, no time to link these – you can google them) has left the UU path and is going to be straight up Christian (he didn’t say what denomination he is switching to). I’ve read the blog some here and there and find it a fine blog to read. I just hate losing cool people. But, the main point of this quick post (I’m trying not to make posts need to be perfect and essay like) is that he writes:
The UUA is a new age smorgasbord that does not – and will not – resonate with the majority of people living in this country (especially young adult families w/ young children). It will appeal to a very small segment living on the fringes of our culture and society. That’s it.
Okay, so I don’t love my beloved denomination (with all its flaws) being called a “new age smorgasbord” and I would not say it appeals to “fringe” people (there are some, but not most), but the main reason this stood out to me is because it could come across that our faith needs to get with the program and resonate with more people… um, like, say, fundamentalism or evangelicalism? As CC says, if all the Methodists jumped off a cliff, would we? The thing is, Jesus’ message was not so popular in his day. Didn’t quite resonate with that many people. But a lot of people stuck with the Jesus tradition because they believed in it – they thought it was the right thing to do even when it was way unpopular and people called them weird. And when people tried to come up with new ideas, and they didn’t fly, they were thrown out or killed. I don’t want to throw people with new ideas out of our faith. Even if they seem new age-y to some. I think now folks might like to call us “new age” to say “Hey, they aren’t the real thing” and/or “Those people are WEIRD” (this may not be what LoFi Tribe is doing – but I’ve seen it done other places). And I think also people are called and have been called heretical or pagan or heathen over the years to say “Hey, they aren’t the real thing – We’ve got the answer. And it involves a particular path. That we set.” My point is not at all to pick on Shawn at LoFi Tribe, but just to point out this sort of criticism that takes place in multiple context, blogs and otherwise. I’m not saying that Unitarian Universalists in general cannot be a little cooky seeming. Okay, it happens. But it isn’t as if they Catholics or Baptists don’t have cooky people or institutional issues similar to those that the UUA might have. I think it is totally cool if someone feels that they need a Christian faith to be ordained in or attend church or be a minister in or whatever. But I reject that Unitarian Universalism is “new age” in a clearly not good way or that it is for people on the fringe and that (by implication) we need to get more mainstream to attract less fringe-y people. More people in general would be fine, but not if it means we have to tell the people with new ideas or less traditional ideas (those new age people) to get out. Oooo, I’m dying to write more and articulate this more clearly but I must must stop. Anyway, just some quick thoughts. Don’t yell at me if there are mistakes or this isn’t articulated perfectly. If I’m going to blog these days it must be fast.