Read this article:
On October 20, 2018, I gave a talk about 50 minutes long at Westside Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Worth detailing my life and religious and political views and how they evolved over the course of my life. I spent the first half of the discussion merely speaking for myself in general, and the last half answering questions from the audience to focus more on specific topics.
For a short version of that story see:
I made reference to other issues that I have also dealt with on this blog, including:
Over two years ago, a massive controversy over racially biased hiring practices in the Unitarian Universalist Association caused its leadership to experience a turnover to try to solve the problem of white supremacy among them.
With the election of a new President of the UUA at the 2017 General Assembly (GA), it seemed like we could start to move forward to heal the racial divisions. But then came the GA of June 2019, which was held at Spokane, Washington. Imagine the shock among the attendees when the minister of the UU church at that city, Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof, backstabbed the rest of them with a book he had written and was trying to distribute at the GA without prior notice. This book, titled The Gadfly Papers: Three Inconvenient Essays by One Pesky Minister, attacked all the efforts to solve the racial problems, angering many non-white UUs. When the UUA leadership tried to talk to Eklof about what he was doing, he refused to meet with them, putting them in the awkward position of expelling him from the GA itself! After that happened, UUs in both Facebook and Reddit had an uproar about it.
Before you read this, read my earlier critique of A Conversion to Mormonism.
Now I will share a story about becoming a Unitarian Universalist (UU).
The UU World is the official magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the religious organization I belong to. About two years ago, a controversy erupted over the embarrassing fact that despite its stated commitment to racial diversity, the UUA was far too white dominated and people of color were being passed over for positions in it that they were indeed qualified for. When this became too obvious to ignore, it forced President Peter Morales to resign.
Now, two years after that blew over, another problem has emerged: the disrespecting of transgender people by the magazine itself!
Ever since I defected from the Baha’i Faith, my only dealings with members of my former religion have been through the internet and most of them have been battles that tended to leave me angered and even a little sick of their arrogance and nonsense.
Some of those battles are seen or described on these blog entries:
But last month a totally different encounter occurred on Facebook, one that gives me hope for the future.
In the following conversation, the Baha’i who contacted me will be referred to as L B (for Local Baha’i) and his words will be in red italics. My words in the actual conversation will be in blue italics, while additional notes I add here for commentary will be in green. To protect his privacy, all specific identifying information will be withheld.
First, L B sent me a friend request, which I rejected, not even recognizing his name at first. I then asked who he was.
Have we met before? I see you sent me a friend request.
Yes, you used to come to feast at my house in (city). I’m (mother) and (father)’s son
That was enough to jog my memory. This young man had been only a child when I knew him.
I remember them. But I haven’t been a Baha’i since 2005 and am now a Unitarian Universalist.
Paganism used to be a catch-all term for any religion in the world, past or present, that was not one of the “Abrahamic” religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam or the Baha’i Faith). Today it is used among various people to mean any religion that is “earth-centered” in its worship rather than worshiping a deity that is not associated with nature. This would include Wicca, Druidism and other varieties that are polytheistic, though some forms are monotheistic.
Because the gods of modern Paganism are directly associated with nature, Pagans are likely to be dedicated environmentalists. I myself wrote about a form of Pagan worship I am sympathetic to:
Those who see Paganism as the right path for them can find fellowship here:
http://www.cuups.org/ as well as any Unitarian Universalist church or fellowship with a Pagan group. These Pagans, in turn, might lead you to explore and contact other pagan groups that may not be affiliated with UUs.