In Order to be Prophetic, You Actually Have to Say Something

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has until Saturday to veto a bill that would make the nullification efforts in the South back in the day look like child’s play. The UUA has been eerily silent about this.

It has been 11 days since the verdict came down in the Jordan Davis murder trial. Still no “official” response from the UUA.

For all this talk about being a prophetic religion, the UUA seems to not be speaking about the pressing issues of the day.

In order to be prophetic, you actually have to step up and say something.

The UUA Homepage Has No Offical Statement About the Jordan Davis Trial Verdict, But Plenty About the New Logo (A Response to Tom Schade)


You describe the chatter around the new UUA logo and its roll-out as painful. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t; that’s an individual matter of taste.

You also wonder about why more UUs aren’t talking about things like Moral Mondays/the Moral March.

May I politely point out that the UUA homepage mentions nothing about the fact that 1,500 UUs were in Raleigh for the Moral March, but has plenty to say about the new logo and the UUA’s new (yet old) attempt at branding?

Should I point out that it was Saturday night that the verdict in the Jordan Davis murder trial came down, and yet there is STILL no official response from the UUA (while many other religious groups have said something) but the UUA homepage has plenty to say about the logo?

You want more UUs to talk about the “things that matter.” May I suggest that the UUA do the same?

What’s the old saying…..if you do the same thing the same way, don’t expect a different result. The UUA’s treatment of the new logo and its roll-out being more newsworthy/homepage-worthy than 1,500 UUs in Raleigh or a statement about the Jordan Davis murder trial verdict seems to be par-for-the-course to me.

There is nothing new here, Tom. The UUA is more interested in style than substance. Is it any surprise that there was going to be more written about the new logo/UUA branding effort(s) than about the Moral March or Jordan Davis or #neverlovedus?

When the UUA changes its focus, then the focus of many UU bloggers will probably follow.


Who Is the UUA Marketing To?

And don’t give me the “millennial” line. That tells me nothing. “Millennial” is too broad a term; especially when talking about the religious impulse.

So, what “millennial”? The Daft Punk millennial? The Kendrick Lamar millennial? The Romeo Santos millennial? These may or may not be the same millennial.

And what about those who fall slightly outside of the millennial age range? What message is being sent to them?

The traditional UU market is diminishing. So if you plan on marketing to a diminishing market, expect diminishing returns.

Once again…who is the UUA marketing (or planning on marketing) to?

A New Logo When You Have No Mission Will Get You Nowhere

At first blush I didn’t think that the unveiling of a new UUA logo would be just another volley in the Association or Movement quandry, but I am wrong.

According to the article published today on the UU World site:

The Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, the UUA’s Program and Strategy Officer, said the new initiative developed out of a growing realization that the UUA and its congregations have been sending “inconsistent” messages about Unitarian Universalism into the larger world.

Let me see if I have this straight. A new logo is going to make the UUA have a consistent message? Wow….that’s a hell of a lot to ask of a logo.

It’s time for me to call bullshit again. Contrary to what seems to be popular opinion/belief, the UUA has been remarkably consistent in its message–to those who fit its target demographic. And that’s the real issue. The primary demographic that the UUA has been giving its message to is shrinking at a fairly decent clip. And the demographic that is taking its place looks at religion and spirituality differently.

A new logo won’t change the fact that the UUA continues to ignore the real demographic changes to its detriment. A new logo won’t change the fact that the UUA and many of its member congregations (if not most of them), until recently, went out of their way to ignore the issues that members of the growing new majority face on a daily basis. A new logo cannot and will not change the fact that many UU congregations have no raison d’etre other than being enablers of suburban and exurban flight.

So, here’s the major question….what message does this new logo give that the last one didn’t?

Third Question for the ‘Movementarians’

What’s the movement’s mission?

My last post posed the question of why should anybody join a movement that really just sees itself as a throughway. That question still stands.

But the reason the question stills stands is because I’m trying to understand what the mission of this throughway movement is  and why this throughway movement is needed.

So what’s the mission?

A Question for the ‘Movementarians’

How long do you plan on sticking around?

The reason Rev. Barber was able to issue the call out for the march on Saturday was because he was part of an ORGANIZATION that has not moved from its core mission since its founding more than 100+ years ago: the NAACP.

Can we say the same about Unitarian Universalism? Can we even say what the core mission of Unitarian Universalism is?

Has the core mission of Unitarian Universalism been articulated to the growing majority in the country in a way that is relevant to them?

As I said in my last post, movements need a positive message. What is UUism’s?

Movements Need A Possitive Message…What Is UUism’s Positive Message To Trayvon Martin?

It’s time for UUs and UUism to get its/their heads out of their proverbial [—-] and face some facts.

In the lifetime of many of us, the majority of the country’s population will look more like me (black and female) than like my internship supervisor (white and male). And surveys show that while the numbers of “spiritual but not religious” is growing in people that look like me, it’s not growing at anywhere near the same rate as it is among young whites.

If UUism is going to survive, it better have a positive message that speaks to the issues that the majority of people are going to face/are facing.

Here’s the question…if UUism is/should be a movement, what is its positive message to the growing majority of the country? What is UUism saying to the Trayvon Martins of the country other than “we are working on being an anti-racist, anti-oppresive, and multicultural association”? [please do not read that question as a knock on the work of the Office of Multicultural Growth and Witness]

Today Is Trayvon Martin’s 19th Birthday (and how he ties into the Movement or Association quandry)

Had he lived, Trayvon Martin would have turned 19 today. I think of him often. Then I think about UU responses to his death. And I still don’t know what to think.

The longer I think about the discussions that are coming out of the recent UUA Board meeting; about whether UUism is/or should be a movement or an association, the larger shadow Trayvon casts over my thinking.

So here’s the question; if UUism is/or should be a movement, what does that movement say to the Trayvon Martins of the country/world? Because if that movement is going to survive for longer than a minute, it is going to need to speak to the issues that for the longest time it has ignored. It is going to have to speak to the issues of people that, in all honesty, it actively ignored for years.

Can UUism do that?