The Tension Between UU and Christianity

A very decent and candid discussion of the tension within the Unitarian-Universalist Association community was recently published in UU World, written by Doug Muder who also writes for Daily Kos under the nom-de-plume “Pericles.”  A notable sample:

I’ve been in far too many discussions where Christianity was the unmentioned elephant in the room.  Most of us, I think, live in some kind of tension with Christianity.  Some of us miss it.  Some are running away from it.  Some feel alienated from it or oppressed by it.  And some, like me, feel all those things at the same time.  But like a dysfunctional family with a secret, we seem to have an unspoken agreement not to bring it up.  Say much of anything—positive or negative—about Jesus or the Bible, and many UUs will look at you like you just let out a loud belch.  On those rare occasions when we do discuss it—on the Internet, in discussion groups, or informally at coffee hour—too often we just debate whether Christianity is good or bad.

This haunting of UUs by the ghosts of Christianity is an artifact of the incomplete break made with Unitarianism and Universalism.  Rather than viewing themselves as members of the new faith of Free Religionism, founded in the late 1800s by former Unitarians who were later joined by former Universalists, today’s UUs walk through their religious lives still cloaked in the mummified skin of a dead Christian heritage.

AUR may criticize the continued use of the “Unitarian” moniker by UUs who are no longer ideologically Unitarian, but we sympathize with the discomfort that this cognitive dissonance causes the community and individual members of the Association.  However, that is our view. On this Thursday, we want to honor the other by encouraging visitors to read Mr. Muder’s piece for the UU view of the matter.