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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Reminder from the Department of Not All Religions/Churches Are Trying to Strip You of Your Rights

Posted by on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

In fact, some of them are working to achieve marriage equality. Slog Tipper Emma sends along this note:

The ministers of our church, UUC [University Unitarian Church], will be talking about Marriage Equality this Sunday. After the worship, people from the congregation will be invited to stand outside on 65th, underneath our 17-foot banner, to make a statement. This will happen at 12:45 pm.

You are welcome to join us.

Thanks, Emma!

On a personal note: This is a church I have attended, and it is a great thing. The Unitarians are here for you, people who like the idea of church but struggle with misogynist, heterosexist, or just it-doesn't-feel-quite-right dogma. The hymnals have a lot of songs you may know if you grew up attending church, but they don't use gendered pronouns for God or language that implies people are innately evil or bad. They teach a comprehensive and extraordinarily thoughtful sex-ed curriculum to teens, they have a strong focus on social justice, and they offer (or have in the past) "Build Your Own Theology" classes. It's a pretty interesting church and a pretty interesting religion.


Comments (25) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Sex-ed isn't just for teens, anymore.
"Our Whole Lives Lifespan Sexuality Education Curricula... a series of sexuality education curricula for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adults (ages 18-35), and adults."

Resources for DIY/virtual church

Posted by BiCycleRider on September 19, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
Jaymz 2
Like I mentioned in another comment earlier, Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, a UCC church on Bainbridge Island, formally passed a motion on Sunday in favor of marriage equality and encouraging everyone to vote in favor of R-74.
Posted by Jaymz on September 19, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 3
@2 Even though I agree with the statement, churches/mosques/synagogues should stay out of all political contests.
The problem isn't that some churches support the wrong political stances, it's that they shouldn't be abusing their tax-exempt status to tell people how to vote.

It's like the ref kicking one of the boxers in the knee: doesn't matter who you bet on, the fight isn't fair.
Posted by Sir Vic on September 19, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Report this
I'm with Sir Vic @3. I know where my pastor stands politically, because we've talked about it one-on-one. But he makes a very conscious effort not to bring politics into the pulpit, write about them in the newsletter, or portray the congregation as a whole as taking a stand on any political issues.

My bishop sometimes strays too far into the political realm. I agree with what he is saying, but I'm uncomfortable nonetheless with any foray into politics.
Posted by Sheryl on September 19, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 5
plus their building is classic PNW modernism. it's really nice.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 19, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
@3 On one hand I fully agree. Unfortunately, everyone has to play by the same rules. Since the other side is jumping into the arguement, we need to jump in also. Wayside UCC has also endorsed R74, and we will be hosting a "house party" on Thursday Sept 27th at 6:30 in Federal Way. This is open to everyone, and will provide a safe space to ask questions and talk about the issues, no matter where you stand on the issue.

As to the OWL program, it is an amazing program. It was developed collaboratively between the UUA and the UCC, and it can also be taught in a secular environment. It is science based, comprehensive and inclusive. If you want your kid (or yourself) to have good sex education, find a program in your area. You will be very happy you did so.
Posted by SeattleKim on September 19, 2012 at 2:30 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
When I look at the Hubble's photos of the universe, churches and religion seems so superfluous.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 8
A friend of mine once told me that the UUC was for people who didn't really believe in God per se, but liked to spend a lot of time talking about that.

(I have no idea if that's accurate or not, but I thought it was funny. And I have had nothing but positive interactions with UUC folks.)
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on September 19, 2012 at 3:05 PM · Report this
That sex-ed curriculum seems pretty good, except for one thing:

Parent orientation programs that affirm parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children

I think children's primary sexuality educators should remain TV, the Internet, schoolyard word of mouth, coaches and priests and Boy Scout troop leaders, and adult magazines and sex advice columnists who drive demand by making readers feel inadequate and insecure about themselves. But apart from that, it seems like a pretty great curriculum.
Posted by PCM on September 19, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Unregistered User 10
I used to think I might be interested in attending a Unitarian church until I met some serious Unitarian who talked about as much bizarre organizational baloney associated with a structured church as several other churches I'd visited over the years, just less dogmatic religion.

Probably great for just visiting a place on Sunday to hear some nice things, but I guess with any organization comes the irritating human nature-related baggage.
Posted by Unregistered User on September 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 11
@9 Yeah, children should be kept in a sound proof box until eighteen. You can plaster the inside with bible verses to keep them entertained.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
@3, why? Few things make me prouder than knowing my congregation is fighting for marriage equality and has been for half a decade at least.

There's nothing in the tax code that says religious organizations shouldn't be political. It's a prim little myth. We can't endorse or oppose specific candidates for office, there's no prohibition against educating a congregation about an issue, lobbying for a specific cause, etc.
Posted by jt on September 19, 2012 at 4:11 PM · Report this
venomlash 13
Hm. Looks to me like:
Posted by venomlash on September 19, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Jaymz 14
There is a difference between politics and social justice. Our local church never endorses a candidate or a political party, and our pastor never suggests who should receive a vote. But we believe we must stand up to support those who are downtrodden or subject to discrimination.

The United Church of Christ (UCC - not the same as UUC) has fought slavery and racism and sexism for many, many decades and even famously successfully sued a radio station in the South that refused to broadcast civil rights messages.

Jesus stood for social justice, and so do we.
Posted by Jaymz on September 19, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
We have direct experience with UUC's OWL program. It is amazing. Our 14-yr-old completed it last year. It made him WANT to attend church every Sunday. And he is so much more aware, tolerant and prepared for life -- at least at this stage -- as either of his parents were at the same age.

And I' m no church goer. As someone whose wife forced him to make room for UUC in an otherwise very busy life, I can say unequivocally that it's a great experience; the pastor can flat-out preach, he speaks to the heart and has an undeniable ability to lift up the spirit...without being churchy.
Posted by gawd on September 19, 2012 at 5:34 PM · Report this
I can't tell, are these religions theist?
Posted by wxPDX on September 19, 2012 at 6:16 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 17
@16: Unitarian Universalism is a non-denominational community united by certain tenets: the worth and dignity of all people, interconnectedness of life, social justice, and so on. In my experience, congregations included pagans, atheisists, buddhists, and even a few Christians.

It's basically church for people who don't like the idea of church.
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm on September 19, 2012 at 6:49 PM · Report this
brocaine 18
@2 & 14 - amen: I worked for a UCC church for years (and my husband currently works for one - both of us are atheists) and was surprised week after week by the members' current and historical commitment (seen Amistad?) to social justice and their no-big-deal treatment of ordination of LGTB ministers and consecration of same-sex marriages.
Posted by brocaine on September 19, 2012 at 7:09 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 19
Promoting social justice does more than merely serve the greater good; it's also the best way to show the public that SSM and GLBT rights don't threaten ALL religious faiths (as NOM and other opponents would want everyone to swallow, even if their arguments are illogical).
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on September 19, 2012 at 7:58 PM · Report this
SRJ 20
@17: I joined a UUC church because I MISSED the idea of church, even though I was no longer a Christian. The covenant and the community, potluck dinners, and yes, even singing hymns on Sunday all make me very, very happy.

@10: Yes, you get the irritating human nature-related baggage, but I'm terribly proud of the fact that our congregation is run by elected officers and not by the minister. We adore our minister, but are not reliant on his personal magnetism and managerial skills.
Posted by SRJ on September 20, 2012 at 12:42 AM · Report this
FYI, Unitarians have not cornered the market on social justice and progressive religion. Did anyone attend/cover/hear about this event last month, co-hosted by Jewish Family Service, Congregation Beth Shalom & Temple DeHirsch Sinai:


Also, opening next month, the Jewish Marriage Equality Coalition is hosting an art exhibit at the Linda Hodges Gallery, Equal Vows- Same Sex Ketubbot in Washington State. This is the nation's first exhibit of same-sex ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts), and will include decorated wedding contracts from local couples. Opening reception is October 4. The evening will be dedicated to Seattle Jewish activist Faygele ben Miriam (aka John Singer) who in 1971, became one of the first individuals nationwide to seek an official same-sex marriage license with his partner.

Posted by MBeth on September 20, 2012 at 1:09 AM · Report this
Unitarian Universalists. Unsure if Jesus existed. Absolutely certain they know how he would have voted.

Without a unifying theology, UU politics assumes a dogmatism usually reserved for Christian evangelicals.
Posted by on September 20, 2012 at 6:41 AM · Report this
Jaymz 23
Thank you @18.

To others: acronyms get in the way, so remember that UCC is United Church of Christ. We respect and frequently work with our UUC bretheren, particularly on Bainbridge Island, but we at EHCC are "free range Christians" who take the Bible seriously but not literally and have supported LGBT causes for many years. Our stand on R-74 was unanymous and not difficult.
Posted by Jaymz on September 20, 2012 at 7:07 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 24
@6 Cheating isn't OK just because the other guy does it. (Do we really need a 1st grader lecture on this?)

That is a prescription for a race to the bottom. In capitalism, the end result of that race is slave labor. In religion, the end result is slaughtered clergy and bombed out buildings. You don't have to look too far for examples. When you sink to the level of the enemy, everyone loses.
Posted by Sir Vic on September 20, 2012 at 8:11 AM · Report this
HellboundAlleee 25
Anything church groups say they can do, people can do secularly. Even singing in front of an organ. Don't care if some churches are "good" and some Christians are "better Christians" and not like those baddies. You all use the same stinking piece of printed pornography. I'd like to remain as far away from that filth as possible.
Posted by HellboundAlleee on September 20, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this

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