WHY I AM NOT A UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST by Larry Reyka, Humanist Chaplain Humanist Society o

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WHY I AM NOT A UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST by Larry Reyka, Humanist Chaplain Humanist Society of Friends =================================================================== INTRODUCTION: This was my last sermon preached from a Unitatian Universalist pulpit, it was delivered in 1985 or so at The First Unitatian Universalist Church of Columbus (OH), and in it I share my, shall we say, misgivings about the Unitarian Universalist movement. Around that time is when I resigned from membership in that church. ================================================================== The reasons for NOT being Unitarian Universalist may be as diverse as the reasons for coming here in the first place. I've been told by a Unitarian Universalist minister acquaintance of mine that the average "stay" within the Unitarian Universalist church is about five years. In that sense, it seems to me the church is like a train station, a place to be between where you're leaving from and where you're going to. This led me to a working title for my talk today, UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM, THE TRAIN STATION RELIGION, OR PARDON ME BOY, IS THAT THE CHATTANOOGA U-U? My personal stay as a MEMBER of the church was approximately two years. My doubts began, in reality, about the time the ink was drying on my name in the book, but it took me a number of experiences, some of which I detailed in my sermon on my religious odyssey, to realize that I am, in fact NOT a Unitarian Universalist. The historical roots of the Unitarian Universalist Church have produced a religion with a unique flavor. The combination of residual Christianity and disguised Humanism found in this denomination is to be found nowhere else. The hospitality to atheists as well as to believers in mysticism, flying saucers, pyramid power and all manner of foolishness is amazing. You do provide a church home for a lot of people who simply would be without one otherwise. I am attracted to many things, and most of the people here. Hence, my reason for still being about as a FRIEND. However, as a Humanist, I find certain aspects of Unitarian Universalism to be frustrating. The principle of affirming no creed is, I believe, less than forthright. Agreeing to disagree is an appropriate principle for our pluralistic society as a whole, but it is not appropriate for a religious community dedicated to celebration and action as a community. Groups that stand for everything stand for nothing or else they deceive. The alliance of convenience between residual Christians and Closet Humanists is inhibiting - to both groups. Neither theists nor atheists may act boldly or creatively on their convictions out of fear of offending the other. For Humanists, the result is a timid humanism that spends more time keeping peace with the god believers in the church than meeting their own needs as Humanists and reaching out to other Humanists in the larger community. The Unitarian Universalist Hymnal - a hymnal for both Protestants and Atheists - is not a miracle; it's a disaster. This hymnal to me is a symbol of the watered down religion so often offered in the U-U church. The willingness on the part of the Unitarian Universalist Church to TOLERATE my Humanism is far from enough for me. My need is for an organization that AFFIRMS my Humanism. So, while I will remain a friend of the Unitarian Universalist Church and of all of you, as long as you'll have me, I cannot for reasons above consider myself a member of your congregation. ------------------------------------------------------------------


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