There seems to be some chatter about the UU-World feature article about the time that President Obama spent at the Honolulu UU church. In another round of strum-und-drang the usual questions come up…why don’t our youth stay?… why did so-and-so not become a UU instead of [blank]?
Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? (Luke 6:41)
C’mon now friends…let’s cut the crap. Let’s start noticing the log that’s in our eye. There are some very obvious reasons why some people, like President Obama and Martin Luther King Jr., who did spend time amongst Us/Us/UUs choose not to stay or affiliate.
If you want to understand why President Obama is not a UU, answer this question honestly…can you name a UU congregation on the South Side of Chicago? [Bill Baar, I know you know the answer, so don't answer it]
If you want to understand why MLK Jr. didn’t become a Unitarian, let’s remember the words of Coretta Scott King…
We gave a lot of thought to becoming Unitarian at one time, but Martin and I realized we could never build a mass movement of black people if we were Unitarian.
If you want to understand why President Obama and MLK Jr. didn’t become Unitarian (or Unitarian Universalist in Obama’s case), what do you say about these words MLK Jr. wrote…
There is one phase of liberalism that I hope to cherish always: its devotion to the search for truth, its refusal to abandon the best light of reason. . . . It was . . . the liberal doctrine of man that I began to question. The more I observed the tragedies of history, and man’s shameful inclination to choose the low road, the more I came to see the depths and strength of sin. . . . I came to feel that liberalism had been all too sentimental concerning human nature and that it leaned toward a false idealism. I also came to see that liberalism’s superficial optimism concerning human nature caused it to overlook the fact that reason is darkened by sin. . . . Liberalism failed to see that reason by itself is little more than an instrument to justify man’s defensive ways of thinking. Reason, devoid of purifying power of faith, can never free itself from distortions and rationalizations.
You cannot change what you refuse to acknowledge. And let’s be real…UUs don’t want to acknowledge the obvious reasons that people like MLK Jr. and President Obama chose not to affiliate with U/U/UUism. UUs don’t want to acknowledge the very obvious reasons why so many UU-raised youth choose to go a different way after Coming-of-Age/Youth Group involvement/OWL. (a subject which has been written about by others who are much more knowledgeable than I)
It’s time to start seeing the log that’s in our eye.