An Open Letter to the New President of the Unitarian Universalist Association

The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

UUA General Assembly - Plenary V

To the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray,

Congratulations on your election to the leadership of the most liberal religious group in the world descended from Christianity. After the embarrassing end to the last Presidency several months ago, the slate has been wiped clean for you to add your own accomplishments, and perhaps mistakes, to it.

The most important thing I think you need to do in order to revitalize the UUA as a religious organization is to confront and completely dismantle deeply entrenched anti-Christian bigotry in it. As long as people outside the UUA see it as a place for atheists, pagans, and left-wing extremists, but not for Christians, the UUA will never be seen as a viable choice for those of Christian background who want to abandon and reject fundamentalist bigotry but still feel a spiritual orientation to the religion they knew as children and still have love for. Not everyone benefits from having their faith destroyed. As long as it is modified to be more realistic and inclusive for others, that should be enough.

Even though you are white, your being a woman should give you some idea of how you and others around the world may be discriminated against. Keep in mind that while black men got the right to vote in the USA after the Civil War, it was not until 1920 that women of all colors were also granted the right to vote as well. We must always strive to LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND including transgender people! I was deeply disappointed to learn that white men were still treated with favoritism in the UUA and am more than happy to see that the process of confronting unthinking racial biases among us is happening at last. It was indeed long overdue!

We must work harder over the next several decades to make Unitarian Universalism the next great world religion and that can happen when we speak out loudly about it. No longer must we think of ourselves as an “American” religion, but we must try to build up Unitarian bodies in other areas, including places where it was popular before. You should certainly endorse as much as possible the Church of the Larger Fellowship, using it a a vehicle for global UU evangelism, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, which actually does good works in the world. The UUSC is the closest thing we have to missionary work and we need more of that!

As I see it, the version of the Baha’i Faith led by the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel is the UUA’s most direct rival, having some values in common, but also some critical differences that make it necessary to draw clear distinctions between the two religions. Baha’i values were similar to those of the Unitarians and Universalists about a century ago, but since then it has degenerated into a cult of extreme dogmatism that makes it a threat to unsuspecting souls looking for a new spiritual home after leaving one they no longer feel comfortable in. The best way to counter the Haifan Baha’is is to establish or at least officially endorse a sub-division within the UUA for Baha’is who wish to think for themselves instead of being mentally enslaved to a body consisting literally of nine old men. There is already such a small community that the internet has made possible, it just needs some support. For more details, see:    http://unitarianbahai.angelfire.com/   and also:

http://unitarianbahais.blogspot.com/

With the election last year of the worst President the USA has ever had, we as UUs have a moral obligation to revive the spirit of civil disobedience pioneered by civil rights protesters in the past. Unless and until we are willing to be imprisoned for our ideals, they mean nothing. Together, we can change things for the better and in the process gain many new converts who want a refuge from the madness of right-wing politics. Even in “red” states like Oklahoma and Texas, UU churches thrive.

Please consider creating a cable TV channel devoted to Unitarian Universalist programming. We already have a strong presence on YouTube, so such a channel is the next logical step. For ideas on what content we can make for it, look at the example of Democracy Now. Of course, that is liberal politics, but where is a channel for liberal RELIGION?

The UUA must look into forming strong alliances with other liberal religious groups, and not just the United Church of Christ, the UUA’s closest spiritual relative. Also join with non-religious groups like the American Humanist Association that are not so infested with anti-religious extremism and other forms of bigotry that they are a disgrace to humanity. Many feminists and non-white people that may be attracted to atheism find themselves repulsed by bigots who are also well-known atheists in social media. We can provide them an alternative.

I wish you the best of luck over the next six years.

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic

Facts Worth Repeating About Shoghi Effendi

Shoghi Effendi is known to Baha’is around the world as the Guardian of their Faith. But with a Guardian like him, the Baha’i Faith never needed enemies to destroy it!

Consider that in 1957, he:

  1. Died at age 60,
  2. Died suddenly of Asiatic Flu,
  3. Died in London, not the Baha’i World Center,
  4. Died in the middle of the Ten Year World Crusade (1953-1963),
  5. Left no will and testament,
  6. Had appointed no successor, and
  7. Had expelled from the Baha’i Community, often for trivial reasons, EVERY ONE OF HIS BROTHERS, SISTERS, AND MALE AND FEMALE COUSINS! None of them were spared his holy wrath.

And every single issue cited above was either a discrediting or disobedience of some Baha’i scripture or is something that was totally unnecessary and made the obedience to Baha’i scripture impossible.

Also, if Abdu’l-Baha really believed in the equality of men and women, he would not have appointed his 21 year old grandSON his immediate successor, but would have instead appointed his eldest DAUGHTER. But she, even as the mother of Shoghi Effendi, is merely a footnote in Baha’i history. So Abdu’l-Baha was himself a hypocrite! Did you know that in the early years of his Guardianship, Shoghi Effendi tended to take long vacations in the Swiss Alps to get away from his duties and his relatives had to beg him to return? As long as the Greatest Holy Leaf, Abdu’l-Baha’s sister, was still alive, she could keep him in check, but after she died, he became a tyrant to his relatives, treating them like mere servants and punishing them whenever they dared to question his orders and demands. This is what happens when you give a man so much power that he thinks he is like God! Shoghi Effendi was a megalomanic that official Baha’i propaganda has tried to whitewash with false narratives decades after the fact, but the truth speaks for itself and cannot be excused.

This is a direct quote from the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha:

The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice, to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both).

Read again the above the circumstances of the Guardian’s death. I guess the issue of “care and protection” for him was indeed a lie!

The Covenant of the Baha’i Faith is dead, may it be buried forever!

Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses

I’ve never been a Jehovah’s Witness (JW), but I think I can still relate to people that have left that religious group, having been both a Christian (Southern Baptist, specifically) and a Baha’i and rejected both faiths due to personal investigation of their claims and histories.

On YouTube, there are several testimonies by people that have left the JWs.

Note that some of them later promoted orthodox Christianity. Would they look at their new religion as critically as their former one? I doubt it. Just because you are AGAINST something false does not mean you are for objective truth. You may merely trade one set of falsehoods for another because it is more acceptable to a larger community. See my previous blog entry, where I noted that the difference between a cult and a world religion is popularity and not substance.

In later blog entries I will look up testimonies by ex-Mormons, ex-Baha’is, ex-Muslims, ex-Christians, and others. For now, enjoy these stories.

Private schools be damned!

One of the most contemptible stunts American conservatives have pulled over the past several decades is attempting to undermine the public school systems in the various states of the USA (which are expected to be open to and educate ALL children) and promote private schools which are designed to teach members of one specific religion. The results can be places of brainwashing instead of genuine education. Instead of merely teaching ABOUT religions, they often indoctrinate children with lies to justify religious bigotry.

This was shown clearly to me by this comment on another blog:
http://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/01/12/no-my-diversity-doesnt-have-to-include-your-bigotry/#comment-189808

I spent first through fourth grades in a Roman Catholic private school. We were taught that the only people who were Christians and who were going to Heaven were Roman Catholics. Everyone else was damned. No one else believed in God.

The summer between fourth and fifth grades my parents bought a house and I was told I would be going to the public school. I was terrified because I was going to be associating with the damned.

On the very first day of fifth grade I had a crisis of faith because how did the school day start? One of the kids stood up in front of the classroom and read five verses from the Psalms. In four years of school at a RC private school, we never once read from the Bible.

In my public school there were Jews who believed in God, Methodists who believed in God, Presbyterians who believed in God, black people who believed in God, Asians who believed in God…

That was the beginning of my leave-taking from the Roman Catholic Church because those lay teachers, nuns, and priests had lied to me.

I find it hard to believe that the Roman Catholic Church would deny the Christianity of Protestants, of Eastern Orthodox believers, or of others. Then again, it is common for conservative Protestants to claim that Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, or even Seventh Day Adventists are not true Christians, but are “cults” instead. But from a Jewish perspective, Christianity clearly began as a cult breaking away from orthodox Judaism. A cult is merely a dogmatic religion that has not (yet) gotten very popular.

Which is why I said elsewhere, “It is easy to assume you have the only true faith when you have only that one faith in your community and do not know followers of other religions except through crude stereotypes. Once you get to know those followers as people, those stereotypes tend to break down. Exposure to those people breeds tolerance quite naturally.”

In places like Saudi Arabia, only Islam is tolerated and it is therefore like a cult there. In some other countries of South and Central America, Roman Catholicism may be the cult. In parts of Israel, Hasidic Judaism may be the cult. When the state directly supports ANY religion and excludes all others, the religion no longer becomes a healthy means of support for the community and instead becomes an instrument of oppression and thus EVIL!

Weren’t Christians persecuted by Romans before they came to dominate the Roman Empire later? Wasn’t the Prophet Muhammad and his first followers persecuted by their pagan neighbors? Weren’t the Puritans persecuted by the Anglicans before leaving England to found the colony of Massachusettes….only to oppress others who were not Puritans, even killing some suspected of being witches? And don’t get me started on Israel’s Jewish dominated government and its bigotry against Arabs and Muslims!

These things happened because people did not fight for religious FREEDOM for all, but only for the right of their own specific religion to take over and rule the society. And that is evil. Equating any religion with exclusive goodness and truth is to lie to people. Goodness and truth can only be determined by how it actually affects real people in the present time; it does not matter in the slightest what scriptures said in the past, because we are not living in the past!

We need to stop the lies in the USA, in the Middle East, and elsewhere in the world. We have to oppose and condemn private schools that are designed for one specific religion so that all children can be exposed to as much truth as possible.

Quite simply, I do not want children being taught only religious bullshit like what is recorded on these earlier blog entries without some sort of response from non-believers:

https://dalehusband.com/2011/03/09/insulting-and-libeling-unbelievers/

https://dalehusband.com/2009/10/12/lying-about-history-for-the-bible/

https://dalehusband.com/2017/03/12/lying-about-history-for-the-bible-round-2/

https://dalehusband.com/2010/09/14/the-book-of-mormon-is-a-p-o-s/

https://dalehusband.com/2011/01/05/how-to-lie-to-children-about-evolution/

https://dalehusband.com/2010/08/20/the-prophet-isaiah-did-not-predict-the-coming-of-jesus/

And it is not just religion I worry about. What if private schools teach nonsense like that from the “Health Ranger” Mike Adams and insist everything he says is true?  https://dalehusband.com/category/skepticism/natural-news/

Or the lunacy of Pamela Geller as if she is always correct:  https://dalehusband.com/2014/08/30/pamela-geller-pathological-liar-hypocrite-and-bigot/

Or how about these dogmas?

https://dalehusband.com/2017/03/16/responding-to-the-future-of-freedom-foundation/

Yes, I already said similar things here, but I think it is well worth repeating now.

المسلمين، والحصول على الحياة!

Note: This is an Arabic translation of a blog entry I made years before:
https://dalehusband.com/2010/05/04/muslims-get-a-life/

هذا هو خطاب مفتوح لجميع أولئك الذين اعتناق الدين الإسلامي.
هل نؤمن حقا بالله، الذي يوصف طوال القرآن باسم “الرحمن الرحيم”، وكذلك “الغفور”؟ ويبدو أن العديد من رفاقك في الإيمان وليس مجرد استخدام اسمه لتدمير حياة الناس والحرية!
أنا لم ننس كيف أن بعض من كنت تهدد حياة سلمان رشدي في عام 1989 لكتابة روايته آيات شيطانية. إلا أنها تحدث أي وقت مضى لك أنه إذا كان الله وجدت حقا ما فعله ليكون هذا الهجوم، لكان قد ألغت رشدي نفسه؟ سمعة ولم يفعل ذلك دليلا لي إما الله لا يمكن أن يفعل ذلك (لماذا هذه العبادة ضعيفة إله؟)، أو أنه لم تراه مناسبا ل(لماذا أنفسكم ما هو لا؟). باختصار، شاء الله فعل “التجديف”. فلماذا لا تدين له أيضا؟ لماذا هو إيمانك بالله ضعيفة جدا، التي ترونها أنفسكم أن أكثر من قاض ما يستحق الموت من الله نفسه؟ ويلاحظ أن الذي أصدر حكم الإعدام على رشدي مع فتوى الزعيم الإيراني أياتولاه خوميني، وتوفي بعد ذلك بوقت قصير، في حين رشدي لا يزال يعيش اليوم! ويبدو ذلك واضحا أنه كان الخميني الذي كان مجدفا، وليس رشدي!
لا تكن أحمق وذلك لجعل أي شخص أو أي شيء، بما في ذلك دين الإسلام وأفعال وأقوال النبي محمد، فوق النقد! تذكر أن محمدا نفسه انتقد بشدة الديانتين اليهودية والمسيحية، وحتى حين قالت إن ثمة أتباعهم “أهل الكتاب”. وبالمثل، انتقادات السماح الإسلام في الجمهور وذلك تمشيا مع قوله تعالى في القرآن الكريم أن يعلن: “لا إكراه في الدين” (سورة البقرة 2: 256). كيف يمكن أن يكون هناك لا إكراه في الدين إذا كنت تهدد المنتقدين للإسلام والنبي محمد مع الموت، وكنت المنافقين!؟
الإسلام ليس أفضل من أي دين آخر. إذا كنت تعتقد خلاف ذلك، ثم لماذا الله في وجود الأديان الأخرى؟ لماذا المسيحية لا يزال الدين الأكثر شعبية في ما يقرب من ملياري أتباع؟ أليس من الممكن أن محمدا يقصد الإسلام للعرب فقط وليس لجميع شعوب العالم؟ لماذا الإصرار على حقيقة واحدة للعالم كله عندما العلم لا يمكن أن تجد حتى وجود الله في أي مكان، ناهيك عن العقائد في الإسلام؟
القرآن ما هو إلا كتاب، كشف محمد. أن أقول أنه يساوي الله نفسه هو الكفر، ولكن أنا دائما انطباع بأنك ويبدو أن أعتقد أن كل كلمة من القرآن يجب أن beleived في ويطاع تماما. NO! لا تعلمون أن القرآن لم يكن حتى تجميعها بشكل كامل حتى عدة سنوات بعد وفاة محمد؟ كيف يمكننا أن نتأكد من كل من هو نسخها بدقة وحقا من النبي؟
أنا أشعر بالاشمئزاز جراء ممارسات رجال مسلمين كبار السن يتزوجون فتيات لا تتجاوز أعمارهن 12 و جعلها تقع حاملا. ما انتهاكا لكرامة الفتيات! نعم، أنا أعرف محمد تزوج من فتاة عمرها تسع سنوات. وأنا أعلم أيضا أنه وعائشة لم يكن الأطفال، ولذلك فمن الممكن أن الزواج كان يكتمل أبدا فما استقاموا لكم فاستقيموا بدلا من أصدق هذا يفترض أنه كان شاذ جنسيا، والبعض alledged! في أي حال، هل ننسى هذا كان النبي رجل وليس أن ينظر إليها على قدم المساواة مع الله نفسه؟ لماذا نفترض أنه إذا فعلت شيئا محمد قبل 1400 سنة، فإنه يجب أن يكون الصحيح الذي ينبغي عمله حتى اليوم؟ هل لا عقول بنفسك؟ إذا كنت يتم إعطاء العقول الله وعدم استخدامها لتحديد الحق من الباطل والأخلاق من ما هو غير أخلاقي، وإهدار تلك العقول وبالتالي يهان الله. إذا المصدر الوحيد للحقيقة والأخلاق الخاص بك هو الإسلام وأفعال النبي محمد، ماذا ستفعل إذا تبين لك يوم القيامة إن محمدا كان لا نبي على الإطلاق؟ المشككون مشرفة مثلي لا تقلق بشأن ذلك، لأن لدينا الأخلاق التي لا تعتمد على أي دين.
ويقال بين المسلمين، “لا إله إلا الله، وأن محمدا رسول الله”. ولكن هل الملحد يقول، “لا إله وكان Muhmmad لا نبي.” إذا رفضت مسلم الهندوسية والبهائية والإلحاد، لماذا لا يمكن الحادي والهندوسية ينكر الإسلام (البهائية لن؛ وكل البهائيين يرى محمد كنبي)؟
كيف تجرؤ على المطالبة الإسلام هو دين الله النهائي! لماذا وضع أي قيود على كلمة الله؟ ماذا أقول له أن يكون الصمت والكلام لا أكثر؟ هو أيضا ليس من الكفر؟ أعتقد ذلك!
أيضا تذكر ما يقول القرآن في سورة 109: “قل يا أيها الكافرون! التي لا أعبد ما تعبدون. ولا عبادة انتم ما أعبد. ويجب أن لا أعبد ما تعبدون. ولا أنتم عابدون ما أعبد. لكم دينكم، ولي ديني “. يتبع ذلك، وسوف تحذو حذو الله الذي هو الرحمن الرحيم.

If any who are fluent in Arabic can contact me and tell me how accurate this translation, via Google Translate, is, I would appreciate the input.