You doom yourselves…

“You doom yourselves, Susannah. You seem positively bent on it, and the root is always the same; your faith fails you, and you replace it with rational thought. But there is no love in thought, nothing that lasts in deduction, only death in rationalism.”
~Mia

I am currently reading Song of Susannah, the sixth book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, which is where I found the above quote. The same day I read this quote, my wife suggested that my first post, You can believe anything you want…, sort of missed the mark, so I’m having another  go at it.

In that post I said that folks misrepresent Unitarian Universalism by saying that it is the church where you can believe anything you want, but then I didn’t exactly refute the point. The point I tried to make instead was that our diversity of perspective comes together to point toward a more integrated truth. Admittedly, this does not paint a clear picture of what we, as a whole, do believe. And I think my failure to do this may represent what is often lacking in our Unitarian Universalist congregations…a consistent message about our shared values.

The personal beliefs you will find in Unitarian Universalism range the whole spectrum of theology, from liberal Christianity, Judaism and Muslim on one end to Agnosticism and Atheism on the other end, with everything in between, including Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism and any number of unnamed theisms. And a favorite pastime of UUs is to debate the finer points of all of these positions. But the thing that brings us together is Love. UUs are full of questions and doubts and without a faithful, loving community, we may as well just give up. The questions and doubts are important…essential…but there is no love there. Love is about relationships, so the community…the church…is even more essential. Through relationship, we find our commonalities, our shared values, and our commitment to serve the larger world as a way of expressing our love.

When asked what we share, the first thing that is usually pointed to is our seven principles. Most UUs would agree that we hold these in common, though we do not present it as a creed, nor do we require our members to subscribe to it dogmatically. There is also our commitment to social justice, and our belief that a good faith leads to good works.

Of course, all of these beliefs and actions can be undertaken on their own without a UU church, so what binds us together? It’s love. It is an acceptance…not just tolerance…of one another where we are. It is encouragement of each each in our spiritual paths…it is important that we have one and important that we practice it. It is compassion for those who not only are in unfortunate circumstances, but also for those who have stumbled and are not living up to their higher selves.

Despite our differences of opinion, Unitarian Universalists are committed to loving one another. It is our spiritual practice. Our differences need not divide us, but without love, we doom ourselves.

“We need not think alike to love alike.”
~Ferenc David (often rendered “Francis David”), founder of the Unitarian Church of Transylvania, 1565

~)-{ In peace…
rob

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One comment on “You doom yourselves…

  1. Ah, if only Mia hadn’t basically been possessed by an evil spider-creature she might have learned of the wonders of rationality 😉

    -Brad

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