On any given Sunday I guess somewhere around 5% of UU congregations use the reading by Sophia Lyon Fahs:
It matters what we believe.
Some beliefs are like walled gardens. They encourage exclusiveness, and the feeling of being especially privileged.
Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider and deeper sympathies.
Some beliefs are like shadows, clouding [children’s] days with fears of unknown calamities.
Other beliefs are like sunshine, blessing [children] with the warmth of happiness.
Some beliefs are divisive, separating the saved from the unsaved, friends from enemies.
Other beliefs are bonds in a world community, where sincere differences beautify the pattern.
Some beliefs are like blinders, shutting off the power to choose one’s own direction.
Other beliefs are like gateways opening wide vistas for exploration.
Some beliefs weaken a person’s selfhood. They blight the growth of resourcefulness.
Other beliefs nurture self-confidence and ignite the feeling of personal worth.
Some beliefs are rigid, like the body of death, impotent in a changing world.
Other beliefs are pliable, like the young sapling, ever growing with the upward thrust of life.
Yet there seems to be a cadre of UUs who think that we can be a religion beyond belief–at least if I’m reading the conversation on the “Congregations and Beyond” facebook page right.
Let’s be clear about one thing friends…this cannot be had both ways–either UUism is a religion beyond belief or it matters what we believe.
Now…why do I say that religion beyond belief exists only in fantasy land? Simple. Religion, at its base, is about what one believes about humans, the nature of humanity and their relationships thereof. So to say that there is a religion beyond belief means that there is religion beyond humans. And that is not possible.
UUs need to stop being afraid of religion. It is easy to be religious without being dogmatic/doctrinaire. But you must believe something. Maybe if we took Fahs seriously we would grow.