Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The President Of The UUA Is Not A National Minister Of The Unitarian*Universalist Religious Community Nor Should He And/Or She Be One. . .

At least that is what Rev. Scott Wells asserts in his 'Boy In The Bands' blog post titled 'The President of the UUA is not a national minister'.

Amongst other things Rev. Scott Wells says -

"The last UUA president used his position to confect the presidency as a national pastorate: a role our governance does not include, and for which he was not elected."

"Bill Sinkford was never my pastor. There is a confusion of personal and organizational roles. . . I cringed every time he sent out a “pastoral letter”. The president’s office has enough influence on its own without affecting pseudo-episcopal privileges. I call on President Morales to abandon this misleading and presumptuous practice."

"the president of the UUA has never not been an ordained minister, even though this isn’t a requirement for the office. Funny, huh?"

"Using a ceremony that necessarily ties the presidency of the UUA with the ordained ministry frames who can be president, apart from our own established rules. It is thus an abuse of our polity, and should be abandoned."

It seems to me that concerned Unitarian*Universalists just might want to engage in a free and responsible search for the truth and meaning of what Rev. Scott Wells is asserting here. After all he may well be right on the money. . .

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Rev. Peter Morales Is A Golden Pastor In The Denver Post

Seriously. . .

and The Denver Post comments forum has emoticons!

I congratulate Rev. Peter Morales on successfully competing against the UUA's "chosen one" "establishment candidate" Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman for the position of President of the UUA or what I like to waggishly refer to as President of *The* Tiny Declining Fringe Religion :wink: which obviously references Rev. Peter Morales' own description of what Unitarian*Universalism is today in his stump speech announcing his candidacy for UUA president in January of 2008. Quite frankly Rev. Morales has his work cut out for him if he wishes to transform Unitarian*Universalism from the "tiny, declining, fringe religion" that he bluntly but quite justifiably acknowledges U*Uism is today into "the religion of our time" within *our* time. I repeatedly asked Rev. Peter Morales to provide a realistic 25 year plan for transforming Unitarian*Universalism from a tiny, declining, fringe religion into "the religion of our time" but he declined to directly answer my questions that were posted to his 'Along The Campaign Trail' blog and other U*U blogs or online forums.

I have publicly shared my concerns about Rev. Morales' belittling and maligning of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, to say nothing of other "old religions". . . as "obsolete religions, created for another time" :?: and that are only contributing to "the darkness" of fear, prejudice, and hatred etc. etc. in his stump speech but he has yet to address those concerns either. Anti-religious intolerance and bigotry on the part of the "fundamentalist atheist" subset of U*U Humanists is one of the major problems of the U*U Movement and is a major, if not primary, contributing factor to why U*Uism is in fact a tiny, declining, fringe religion today. . . :oops: I hereby call upon Rev. Peter Morales to firmly and forthrightly address this major problem of Unitarian*Universalism in the coming weeks and months so that God believing Americans can feel genuinely and fully welcome in each and every U*U "Welcoming Congregation". :idea:

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Rev. Peter Morales Is UUA President Elect

According to the UUA GA 2009 blog post titled Morales wins UUA presidency decisively

UUA President-elect Peter Morales won the UUA presidency decisively with 59 percent of all votes. He won 55 percent of the absentee vote (1,020 to 827) and 61 percent of the on-site vote (1,041 to 654). His margin of victory is 580 votes. Seven ballots were disqualified for discrepancies; one vote was cast for "No."

end quote

I guess that means that U*Us overwhelmingly elected The Emerson Avenger as UUA President Reject. :-)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Forgive Me For Thinking That Rev. Peter Morales Was Talking About The Final Days Of The UUA Presidential Election Campaign When He Said. . .

This is a time of anxiety, fear and tribalism.

After all Rev. Morales did urge all his supporters "to campaign joyfully in that spirit even if they encounter negativity in the heat of the final days of campaigning at GA:"

I mean it's not like there is no precedent for anxiety, fear, and even internal U*U "tribalism" during UUA elections. No U*Us?

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman And Rev. Peter Morales Speak Out Against Hate Crime In The Salt Lake Tribune

UUA presidential candidates Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman and Rev. Peter Morales have co-authored and article speak out against hate crime in The Salt Lake Tribune. The article titled 'Changing the climate that's feeding hate crime' is well worth reading. Here are some pertinent snippets that I have duly taken note of and added some quite (im)pertinent hyperlinks to. . .

"Regardless of who is elected, our community recommits itself to promoting the inherent worth and dignity of all people -- including those with whom we disagree strongly. We will confront violence, oppression and exclusion based on identity."

"We know speech aimed at provoking violence and oppression is pervasive. Words have consequences."

"We cannot allow this cancer to go unchallenged. To remain silent is to be complicit in the destruction of our society. We cannot ignore hate crimes against anyone based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability."

"We must also respond by standing up for each other by challenging the agents of intolerance."

"We must be vigilant about intolerance in the media. We must be equally aware of its intrusion in workplaces, neighborhoods and in conversations with relatives and friends."

"We must learn to air our disagreements with respect, humility and reason. The alternative is more pain and heartbreak, and the sorrowful recognition that we have left our children a world even more intolerant than the one we inherited. We cannot allow that to be our legacy."

Here is the first comment that I posted in response to that article -

Some Unitarian*Universalists, including some intolerant and even outright bigoted U*U clergy, are themselves guilty of targeting people with oppression and exclusion based on identity. No shortage of God believing people and/or political conservatives find themselves to be considerably less than welcome in some U*U "Welcoming Congregations". Indeed, while serious physical violence may be rare amongst U*Us, psychologically abusive verbal violence, some of which can be justifiably described as hate speech, is tolerated and even condoned by U*Us, including top level UUA administrators. I look forward to the day when the UUA finally gets around to responsibly confronting the violence, oppression and exclusion that I and other people have been subjected to by Unitarian*Universalists including U*U clergy.

For the record I have been physically assaulted by U*Us and had threats uttered against me by U*Us for daring to confront U*U oppression and exclusion, and other U*U injustices and abuses, with peaceful public protest. For more than a decade the UUA has obstinately refused to respond to my serious grievances about the anti-religious intolerance and bigotry of Rev. Ray Drennan and other U*Us with anything even remotely resembling justice, equity and compassion in human relations. To its shame the UUA has allowed the cancer of anti-religious intolerance and bigotry and other oppression and exclusion within the so-called U*U World to go unchallenged for decades. Top level UUA officials, including UUA President Bill Sinkford, have obstinately maintained complicit silence in response to my own and other people's serious grievances about U*U oppression and exclusion, indeed some of them have actively participated in oppression and exclusion and/or expressly condoned it. . . The UUA has not only ignored oppressive hate speech spouted by U*U clergy but has even pretended that intolerant and abusive hate speech is "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership."

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Does Rev. Peter Morales' "Less Than Diplomatic" UUA Presidential Campaign Rhetoric Disqualify Him As The "Ambassador" Of Unitarian*Universalism?

The following was posted as a comment on The UUA Presidential Election and The Point of Our Faith post of Elizabeth's Little Blog in which she shares her concerns about some of Rev. Peter Morales' problematic UUA Presidential campaign rhetoric. I am cross-posting it here and on The Emerson Avenger blog for good measure. I encourage U*Us to read Elizabeth's thoughtful blog post and the various comments that have been posted to it -

Quite evidently Rev. Peter Morales pretty much *had* to portray the three "Abrahamic faiths" (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) to say nothing of other "old religions" in a purely negative and critical light, and even go so far as to write them off as "obsolete religions", in order to advance his "thesis" and campaign slogan that Unitarian*Universalism "can be the religion of our time." If one reasonably and rationally considers the possibility that, in spite of their various faults and failings, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and any number of other "old religions" such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism etc. are none-the-less far from being "obsolete religions" (as he would have U*Us believe) Rev. Morales' presidential campaign slogan comes across as vainglorious and even quite ludicrous, especially in light of the fact that Rev. Morales describes Unitarian*Universalism as being "a tiny, declining, fringe religion" in that very same "stump speech" announcing his candidacy for UUA President. . . I have been making this point for months now and am quite gratified to see Elizabeth so articulately share her concerns about Rev. Peter Morales' eminently *questionable* campaign rhetoric here in a manner that quite eloquently echoes my own concerns about it.

Months ago I directly challenged Rev. Peter Morales' about his questionable campaign rhetoric in comments on his apparently moribund 'Along The Campaign Trail' blog*, the YouTube video of his "stump speech" and in various comments on other U*U blogs. To date, Rev. Morales has declined to respond to even a single one of my legitimate questions and critiques. The UUA Presidential elections are less than three weeks away yet Rev. Morales has consistently failed to responsibly address the serious questions and concerns that his rather dubious campaign rhetoric has caused to be raised. Recently someone pointed out that the President of the UUA plays a role as an "ambassador" of the U*U Movement. I am really not sure how Rev. Peter Morales can realistically serve as an effective ambassador for the UUA and the Unitarian*Universalist religious community more generally when he managed to belittle and malign, if not insult and defame, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and any number of other "old religions" with the considerably less than diplomatic language of his "stump speech" announcing his candidacy for President of the UUA. I expect that an explanation of, and/or apology for, his undiplomatic attack on all those "obsolete religions" would be something of a prerequisite in that regard. . .

* if you want to read my own and other people's comments submitted to Rev. Morales' apparently "obsolete" 'Along The Campaign Trail' blog you will need to view it in Microsoft Internet Explorer since comments are not displayed when it this poorly designed blog is viewed with the Mozilla Firefox browser. I am not sure about whether or not other internet browsers display the comments but Firefox does not and Internet Explorer does.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Where's The Beef Rev. Peter Morales? What Do You Mean By "The Religion Of Our Time"? And How Do You Propose To Make U*Uism "The Religion Of Our Time"?

The following is a "new and improved" version of a comment that was just submitted to the 'MSG Religion' blog post of Rev. Thomas Perchlik's Weblog -

It is not very likely that any UUA President will be able to assert that -

"We are the religion for our time,"

with any credibility any time soon.

UUA Presidential candidate Rev. Peter Morales' campaign slogan is -

"We *can* be the religion of our time."

In other words, in UUA Presidential candidate Rev. Peter Morales' personal estimation, Unitarian*Universalism has the *potential* to become "the religion of our time" (whatever that rather grandiose phraseology actually means, assuming that it has any substance at all. . .) but has not yet achieved that lofty goal. Indeed one wonders if U*Uism is even within striking distance of reaching that goal, or is realistically capable of achieving that rather vain (in every sense of the word) aspiration. In that Rev. Morales currently assesses Unitarian*Universalism as "a tiny, declining, fringe religion" it would seem that he has his work cut out for him if he wants to transform U*Uism into "the religion of our time" in *our* time. Let's say 25 to 30 years at the outside.

Of course, to paraphrase former U.S. President Bill Clinton, just how realistic and credible Rev. Morales' UUA Presidential election campaign slogan is depends very much on what the meaning of the phrase "the religion of our time" is. . . To my knowledge Rev. Peter Morales has never clearly defined exactly what he means when he pretends that Unitarian*Universalism *can* be "the religion of our time", nor has he laid out a legible and credible "road map" for just how he intends to move Unitarian*Universalism from Point A of currently being no less than "a tiny, declining, fringe religion" to Point B of "the religion of our time" within *our* time. . . In comments posted to his apparently moribund 'Along The Campaign Trail' blog months ago I have repeatedly requested that Rev. Morales provide this information, and I have reiterated this request in comments on other pertinent blog posts here and there in the U*U blogosphere, but, so far. . . he has declined to answer these legitimate and quite straightforward questions.

One or two of Rev. Morales' supporters have suggested that "radical hospitality" is all that is needed to achieve that goal but "radical hospitality", in and of itself, cannot "grow" U*Uism into "the religion of our time". To use your own analogy, without spiritually nourishing "full meals that have real integrity and their own unique flavor" being served at the figurative "table" of the Unitarian*Universalist religious community, no amount of "radical hospitality" will sustain and retain new "citizens" of the U*U World. If people are invited to a "feast" and find the fare being served to be little more than thin spiritual porridge liberally sprinkled with dollops of MSG, to say nothing of saccharine. . . they will seek their spiritual nourishment elsewhere.