I’m creating this blog to share ideas, perspectives, and lines of inquiry that I feel are generally “forbidden” one way or another within the UU community. I fear that, despite our best intentions, we are in danger of becoming an unwitting tool of evil and oppression if we choose to maintain dogmatic adherence to certain assumptions that “we all know” to be true – beliefs in which we have collectively invested our identity as “liberals”.
Some of this might be sacrilegious (e.g. questioning the legitimacy of government) or downright offensive to some (e.g. questioning our faith in vaccines). This might very well be the beginning of the end of my affiliation with the UU church, and very well could make some people hate me. But I can’t stand by quietly and watch while this religion becomes co-opted to become a political tool of the ruling class – which is our destiny if we become intellectually lazy.
It should be noted: I’m “just a dude” – no masters of divinity or philosophy degree or anything like that. I’m just a hard-core truth seeker. I believe that “truth” can be slippery, and that there are incredible forces – both within and without – that distort, deceive, and manipulate each and every one of us. I don’t claim to have a monopoly on “The Truth”, but rather I want to encourage the my fellow UU’s to fearlessly, vigorously, and honestly evaluate some of the topics I’m posting about, paying careful attention to the fact that our assumptions and worldviews are in all likelihood actively working against our critical thinking abilities due to a lifetime assault from toxic marketing and propaganda to which not a single one of us are immune.
I’ve been a member of a UU church since 2012. One thing I appreciated about the church was that it seemed to be a distillation of the “good parts” of religion – community, spiritual connection, the drive to do good in the world – and rejected the bad stuff, like superstition, bigotry, and dogma. As a young adult I had rejected religion as a whole, but I think my seeking of the UU church was due to a part of me that was missing these “good parts”; church (albeit one of a more fundamentalist variety) was such a big part of my life growing up.
I admit, I entered with a bit of an idealized perspective on what the church was. Turns out this church has got some “bad parts” of its own. But that is to be expected of any human endeavor; it’s unreasonable to expect otherwise. I worry, though, some of these “bad parts” may completely undermine our intention of bending the arc of the universe toward justice. They may cause us to succumb to forces that would prey on our good nature and redirect our activist energy and funnel it toward causes that only reinforce the power structures of the ruling class.
I ask the reader to please understand that movements that are a threat to power and to the status quo get infiltrated and neutralized. The entities that benefit from the status quo have vast resources and expertise in the art of manipulation. Just because we are intellectuals with advanced degrees and believe ourselves to be critical thinkers doesn’t make us immune to manipulation and propaganda.
Consider the infamous “Tea Party”: it wasn’t always what it is today. It started out as a radical liberty-loving, freedom-centered, anti-imperialist, anti-authoritarian grassroots movement. But in its original form it was a threat to the status quo. It has since been infiltrated, redirected and neutralized into just another astroturf “movement” that perpetuates the left-right us-vs-them “conservatives-good-liberal-bad” ideology that divides on differences rather than unites on commonalities.
How long is it before the UUA is simply a lefty party-line toeing arm for the establishment espousing “liberals-good-conservatives-bad” dogma, advocating a corporate-friendly groupthink and a brand of “activism” and “social justice” that serves the agenda of the ruling class? That’d certainly be a lot more favorable to the ruling class than a strong organization of free thinkers who question authority.
Please, check out the articles and videos I post and link to with an open mind with critical thinking faculties fully engaged. If I get something wrong, feel free to add substantive, thoughtful comments to challenge me. (Just note, I won’t tolerate worthless name-calling like “conspiracy theorist” “anti-vaxer” “denialist” and such.)