Lenten snark vigil
This blogging thing is new to me. Far too often I decide that what sounds like a good post to me does not have a tone that I want to communicate.
I have been really enjoying the posts on Lent and Ash Wednesday on Boy in the Bands and Peacebang.
I also particularly enjoyed the last two entries on The ChaliceBlog concerning liberal christianity and fundraising.
All these posts make some good points that I agree with. I consider these three blogs the most entertaining UU blogs I read. I am especially drawn to the snarkishness of these three writers. For the time being however, I think I am trying to give up snark for Lent. I came to this a few days late, after I posed the lyrics to Phil Ochs' Love Me, I'm a LIberal on DailyKos
I love reading Scott, CC and Peacebang. But sometimes I ask myself (particularly when I start composing a snarkish post or comment), I bet Reverend Phil could raise the same point without anyone feeling attacked. I know I am not that good. Chris from Philocrites, Sean from Ministrare, and Major Greg seem to do a better job of this than I do. On Coffeehour, Chalice Chick says she "goes back and forth on Rebecca Parker" but I find her another person who is good at this.
I aspire to be more like Rebecca and more like Reverend Phil. They seem to have the ability to address the divisions and problems in UU history, culture and theology wihtout going out of their way to rub anyone's noses in it. Maybe this is just my junior seminarian attempt to behave "more ministerial" but I think this is important. If we are to be more than the Lowest Common Denomination (In a more snarkish moment I gave serious thought to renaming this blog Lowest Common Denomination) we need to move beyonnd muttering tolerance and towards the power of inclusion and affirmation.
I'm an atheist from an unchurched background. I am comfortable exloring Christianity the way some other UUs approach Buddhism. I read Paul Tilich's Systematic Theology last year. The structuralist part of me thinks that UUs need a systematic theology that can tie us all together (and build a land where we bind up the broken). I think Tillich's latent and manifest church, and some of his doctrine of the spirit might provide a starting point for a "legitimate" Christian theology that makes sense of contemporary Unitarian Universalism. I understand why the Christian heritage (some would say baggage) of this idea is troublesome to some of us. I also fully understand why most of us would really question the need for anything this formal as well as the implications of any kind of "legitimacy" (Ooh air quotes or what I call "virtuation marks" twice in one paragraph).
More than any quick elevator speech that we can pitch to outsiders, I think we need a complicated story that expalins how we all belong together. And we need our RE and our sermons (or messages if you like) to develop and strengthen this story until it is internalized.
(If this post is unbearable sanctimonious I apologize. Perhaps it is a side effect of studying the Puritans for UU History this week.)