July 28th, 2008


"...Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."

The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church (TVUUC) shootings have been all over the news (and all over my FList) all morning.

[Please note: The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Web site is getting hammered right now. So if you're looking to see what the official UUA's response is, you're in for a looooooong wait.]

According to the reports coming in, it's looking like that the shooting was a hate-crime against UUs. I wish I could say that this was not the first thing that jumped to my mind and the minds of many other UUs when the news first broke, but I can't.

In fact, it appears that none of UUs or liberal Christians (at least those who are talking about it) are terribly surprised that our worst fears were realized. Given the stream of eliminationist rhetoric that have been aimed at liberal mainline Protestant churches and UUs, the only thing I can feel is surprise that it didn't happen sooner.

[For an example of eliminationist rhetoric against UUs, see information about the 'Left Behind' video game, as well as every accusation that UUs are members of a "cult" because we are not, technically speaking, a Christian religion. Nor do we want to be.]

Sara over at Orcinus movingly writes about what it means to be Unitarian Universalist and why, despite the shootings, UUs will retain and hold tight to the belief that the human spirit is inherently noble and that it is our job to make the world a better place. Not God's job. Not the job of the Gods. Ours.

Once my season of finding "God in the kayak," so to speak, is over I really need to get off my duff and actually start attending my local UU congregation, rather than just trying to follow the 7 Principals and Purposes on my own.

The shootings at the TVUUC have hit me strangely hard, considering that I haven't set foot in a UU congregation for a few years (no reason in particular...just needed some time away I think to work out a few things). I don't know why, but I think maybe it's time for me to "sign the book" (as we used to joke in my old parish) at my local UUC in a couple of weeks. And I'm only delaying that long because of family obligations.
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    Kill the Messenger — Shawn Colvin