My Unitarian Neighbors

It may seem I have been waging a vendetta against the members of the Unitarian Church across the street, but I don’t mean it that way. Speaking to them individually, they seem to be kindly, gentle people. It is their thought process I do not understand. Turn your back for a second and those same people will come out with the most outlandish flights of twisted logic I have ever heard. They seem to purposely push principles to illogical extremes.

Take the vinyl banner on a crude frame of raw wood they put up last year along Concord Pike. They initially had problems with vandalism of the sign (it was right next to a bus stop), so they installed motion-detecting security lights on it that light up as I pass by on public sidewalk on my daily walk each night before I go to bed. They also have a smaller sign warning potential vandals of what they will do in retaliation— passive retaliation, but retaliation never-the-less. I don’t know if they also take my photo, but the whole thing—the crudeness, the retaliation—seems reminiscent of a Nazi prison camp, anti-Unitarian and anti the spirit of their stated beliefs. The sign should read somewhere, Arbeit Macht Frei.

So here is the sign stating their beliefs and my comments on each:

  • Love Is Love: Glad they cleared this up. I thought love was broccoli.
  • Black Lives Matter: This implies, by omission, old white guys’ lives do not matter, which I would resent if I thought about it, which I don’t. Of course some lives mean more to us, which is why we go to our grandmother’s funeral, but not the funeral of a stranger. My experience is to be suspicious of any statement that isolates one segment of the population and assigns special characteristics to them, good or bad.  But Unitarians are surely aware of this (as I isolate and generalize them). I would prefer they emphasized the inclusive by saying, “All lives matter.”
  • Climate Change Is Real: Most people agree with this, but the real question is if there is anything we can meaningfully do about it while living in a democratic society among independent countries. Would even Herculean sacrifices only delay global warming by, say, 15 minutes? Have we already passed the tipping point, no matter what we do? They are my questions.
  • No Human Being Is Illegal: They sure are when in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as creeping around my dark bedroom at 3 a.m. How about in their church sanctuary after hours? Perhaps they are trying to say it is not the people themselves who are illegal but the circumstances they are in.  Sure, we all understand that, but the difference is academic nit-picking, hardly a core belief.
  • All Genders Are Whole, Holy, & Good: What all genders? I thought there were only two genders with many intermediates. I certainly disagree they all are holy and good. I have known a few bad apples in both the extremes and among the in-betweens and the change-overs, just as in the general population.
  • Women Have Agency Over Their Bodies: I don’t understand this. I think it is something about abortion. Don’t make us guess.  Just say what you mean, straight out.  Don’t shilly-shally.  Coyness never won battles.

The most important one is missing, one I recently read on Peggy Noonan’s website that posts her past newspaper columns (she is probably my favorite contemporary author, consistently with important things to say and an engaging way of saying them).  It is: This life you’re living has meaning.


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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