Are We Afraid of Religion? or, What Is At Our Core?

Those of you who are on the GA-listserv will know that there has started to be a real conversation about the staff re-organization that’s going on at 25 (and the closing of the Washington office), and those of you who are UU blog readers will know that there have been a few blog posts by others (Scott Wells, Chalicechick and Bill Baar particularly) that are talking about it as well.

I’ve been too busy to read the GA list until today, so I’m just catching up. And I might write about the staff re-org later, but what really struck me was this one line that appeared in the first digest that I read.

Advocacy has always been..and will always be…at the core of UU…

Really? ADVOCACY has been, and always will be, at the core of UUism? Really?

‘Cuz if it is…friends…we are dead.

Why do I say that we’re dead if advocacy is at the core? Simple…we don’t do it well. The Quakers do it much better on the national level as a religious movement [think FCNL…the Friends Committee on National Legislation] and don’t seem to try to go out of their way to alienate interested parties. The Catholic Church has you beat when it comes to direct service and advocacy mixed together. And the National Council of Churches reaches across lines that we are loathe to acknowledge.

And on the non-religious social justice side…you in no way compete with the ACLU, NAACP, PFAW, the Human Rights Coalition and those in that league.

So if advocacy is at the core of UUism…we’re a dead religious movement walking.

I hear you asking…Kim…if advocacy isn’t at the core of UUism…what should be? Well friends…let’s try something new for UUism…how about RELIGION being at the core of UUism? How about the exploration of the sacred/mystery being at the core?

Are we so scared of religion that religion can’t be our core?