UU Dogma as a Tool of Oppression

The author is a cognitive scientist and philosopher, and a member of the Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Seattle

By David Cycleback

It rather boggles the mind that one has to remind Unitarian Universalists that it is okay to think differently, ask questions, question the orthodoxy, read banned books, and listen to different viewpoints. However, here we are with the current UUA.

It rather boggles the mind that one has to remind Unitarian Universalists that one of the biggest and oldest tools of oppression, marginalization and persecution in the history of humankind is top-down dogma.  However, here we are with the current UUA.

This is written by a member of one of the “official” marginalized groups who thinks differently, asks questions, questions orthodoxy, reads banned books, listens to different viewpoints, and will tell you that top-down dogma, required one-size-fits-all ways of thinking and methodology are tools of oppression to his marginalized group. In fact, they are standard tools of oppression of UUs in general and people across the board. (Actually, I saw a list of five or six marginalized groups posted by a UU and said, “Hey, I’m two of those!” I admit that I also joked “Where are my reparations?”)

While a longtime academic scholar in cognitive science, philosophy and artifacts studies, I am also Type I bipolar. Type I bipolar is a mental illness, and I’ve exhibited symptoms since I was a little kid.  I won’t go through my colorful personal history dealing with the mental illness other than to say that I’ve been on lithium or anti-seizure medications for more than half of my life and have had psychotic episodes throughout my life at least since I was seven years old.

With the help of a loving and supportive family, I have worked hard over the years and become a productive and happy member of society, including having authored seven university textbooks in cognitive science, philosophy and natural science.

While adapting to society’s norms and expectations has been a skill practiced and developed over time, I don’t say that I’ve succeeded in my work as a scholar despite my mental illness but because I think differently than others. I am an original and fiercely independent thinker, one looking at things from different and new viewpoints. Do I consider my thinking differently a curse?  Of course not. It’s a gift and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am proud of who I am.

Mental illnesses involve not just thinking differently but literally and neurologically processing sensory information differently than normal. There are many ways for humans to process sensory information (something to which anyone who has had a mystical experience can testify), and the mentally ill do it in valid but different ways.

Schizophrenics, for example, perceive all the normal sensory information but lack the standard methods normal people have to cognitively structure, order and label the information as normal people do.  This is the reason they have trouble adapting to society’s norms.

However, as they perceive and experience in a different way, schizophrenics have included great artists, thinkers and mystics.  A schizophrenic artist said being schizophrenics is great for painting and writing poetry, but horrible for driving because you are constantly immediately aware of every crack and leaf in the road.  Many famous ancient mystics, prophets and aboriginal societies, who processed sensory information in a valid but different way, would be cataloged today as schizophrenic.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have what I call my “bipolar traits.”

  • I don’t follow detailed formats or rule lists and chafe at being micromanaged.
  • I don’t like group ceremonies or symmetry, don’t think linearly, dislike cliches and crowd following and groupthink.
  • I question and analyze orthodoxies and bring fresh views to board meetings, discussion groups and social hour.
  • I like variety, am aesthetically attracted to juxtapositions and disorder, am good at working independently, have a wide range of artistic tastes. (A local rock band singer said that I have the most diverse musical taste of anyone she’d ever met.)
  • I have an off-beat and provocative sense of humor, like to hear the variety of viewpoints and opinions, love expanding my mind with new ideas and knowledge and art — the last aided by being raised in a family of lifelong learners, where learning as lifestyle and learning as enjoyment was the home culture.

When I was younger, my engineering-professor father said to me, “You have a strange mind.”  He followed that up by saying that, as a professor, he meant that as a compliment in that I thought about subjects that never even entered most peoples’ minds and saw topics from unique viewpoints. It didn’t surprise him that I became a philosopher.

I grew up in a completely non-religious family, and, at age 45, my first entry in a Unitarian Universalist congregation around six years ago was a revelation. Not only were the people warm, welcoming, fun and intelligent, but it was a place where people did not have to conform in thought or belief. UU was dogma-free and interfaith, with Christians, Jews, Buddhists, atheists and agnostics. People had different reasons for being there. Some were there for the community, some for spirituality, some for education, some for the music and music programs, some for social justice and volunteering, and many for a combination of those. My personal interests are the spiritual, education and community.  It was a place I felt welcome, encouraged and loved.

You might be able to easily guess my favorite UU line: “We don’t have to think alike to love alike.”

Along the way, I studied interfaith theology at seminary, was ordained in interfaith outside of UU, and was exposed to and taught to understand different religious and secular beliefs, philosophies, cultures and psychologies — Islam to secular humanism, Ancient Egyptian philosophy to Christianity. My thesis adviser was Kabbalah and the program director was Hindu. With a Hindu director, you can bet an integral part of our education was the Hindu theory of “There are hundreds of paths up the mountain.”

I have not attended either of the two UU seminaries, but if it’s true that they are currently preaching and requiring allegiance to a single dogma, I would not consider them interfaith. I would recommend other seminaries or schools for interfaith education.

David Cycleback

My work in cognitive science and philosophy is the study of minds (human to artificial to non-human animal to theoretical) and the nature and extent of knowledge. I study and appreciate the many ways humans think and process information, from Western logic and science to Eastern and aboriginal mysticism. All are useful to understanding and give unique insights.  I encourage people to learn about different ways of thinking, different cultures, experience new types of art, expand their minds

As the mantra of UUA these days is “anti-oppression,” I can tell you that if you want to oppress and disrespect the mentally ill and people who think differently — if you want to “erase their voices” (using a UUA buzzphrase, even though I hate buzzwords) — instill top-down dogma, enforce one-size-fits-all ways of thinking and methodology on everyone, and, on top of that, make sure you shame, bully, call out and censure people for thinking differently, for asking questions, for wanting to and having to do things in their own way and having their own priorities and interests.

Alas, these are all things that current UUA not only condones but endorses. As a member of a marginalized group, do I think top-down dogma and expected mass conformity are oppression of the mentally ill and those who think differently? Yes, 100 percent.  Further, I think it’s a tool of oppression against UUs and people in general.

The self-righteous, narrow-minded arrogance of people who say they have the one truth and one way of doing things and that they are going to try to force everyone to follow it, this is one of the oldest and most recurring stories, and embarrassments, of the human species.

And don’t let anyone in the UUA tell you that white male heterosexuals cannot be marginalized. One of the most common causes for marginalization and persecution throughout history is thinking differently and questioning orthodoxy and dogma. I’m pretty sure Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Michael Servetus, Vincent Van Gogh and Galileo didn’t consider their voices “centered” in society.

It also offends me, my senses and intellect that some people in today’s UUA will only consider my viewpoint because I am a member of a marginalized group. All UU voices matter, no matter what their demographic, no matter what their gender or sexuality or race or “privilege.” We all offer important and valuable insights, knowledge and perspectives.

My father was a white heterosexual upper-middle-class male. Some in the UUA would thus label thus him a boogeyman whose voice is to be “decentered” if not completely ignored (and certainly not published or pictured in UU World). He was the most intelligent, insightful, big-picture-seeing person I have ever known, and one who embraced that his son was different from the norm, and encouraged and engaged his son’s different and sometimes “exotic” intellectual interests and hobbies.

As an important side note, one of my dad’s favorite books was Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer. I strongly recommend that everyone in the UUA, and many other UUs, read the book.

I am here to tell you that it is not only okay, but good, to think differently, have your own priorities and focuses, ask questions, question dogma and orthodoxy, but also to be open to different viewpoints, be open to having your own views challenged.  I encourage it. It’s good for your mental health. If anyone in Unitarian Universalism tells you you cannot ask questions, ask “Why?”

If UU leaders are concerned with ridding the religion of the tools of oppression, they should start by rejecting, not adopting, perhaps the biggest and most insidious tool of oppression in human history — a tool used against genders, races, peoples, cultures, mentally ill and thinkers. That tool is top-down dogma and enforced mass conformity.

If UU leaders are concerned with the mentally ill, and in fact all congregants, they should foster a religion, environment and congregations that welcome differences of opinion, different ways of thinking, people with different ideas. They should welcome and encourage, not shame and bully, those who ask questions.

I end by noting I belong to a congregation that, while there was a bit of a bumpy road at times, is going well and living up to UU traditional values. Congregants have differences of opinions on issues, and they’re treated respectfully and with interest, with opportunities to learn from each other.  It is respected and expected that, as UUs, we can and will have different viewpoints, philosophies and opinions on matters. One congregation leader told me, “It would be boring if we all thought alike.”

The congregation has started groups where congregants get together to discuss “hot topics,” in part as forums to be able to express and listen to differences of opinions, and in part as a way to learn how to express, listen to and learn from differences of opinions. I recommend this for all congregations.

Copyright 2019 © David Cycleback


  1. Wow David, that took courage to talk about, but especially speaking truth to power like you just did, this puts you in the noble ranks of all the great reformers who have stood up for right, and liberal values, thank you, your a light in a dark era!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi David,
    I have always appreciated your friendship, perspective, and openness to disagreement. It is the last trait on the list that I will leverage here.
    I think it is easy to lean on a single tenet of our faith tradition that supports our position and feels good, like, “We don’t need to think alike to love alike.” Taking this out of the larger context to justify our individual preferences, though, creates a false lens through which to view an issue like this. Saying, “UU is a place where you can beleive anything you want” is not only inaccurate, it takes away any and all value of the tradition.
    What you are describing is your current right as an American citizen. You can believe whatever you want, and as long as youre not hurting anyone else. Party on with your bad self.
    But when you make the choice to be a part of an intentional faith community like UU, you are saying that you agree with the general tenets of the larger framework of the faith.
    Here is where I think your logic has gaps. Specifically, I would posit that you are overlooking the key aspects ofour Principles and our Covenants.
    Our 7 Principles follow an arc, beginning where you are planting your flag (Principlen 1-The individual search for truth and meaning), all the way to Principle 7 (We’re all interconnected) which validates that what happens to one impacts all, with a stop in the middle at Principle 4 which grounds our collective effort in the Democratic principle.
    Finally, knowing that we are inviting people with different perspectives to come together, our faith is covenental. We attempt to define how we will be in relationship with each other, and strive to have processes in place to address disagreements that arise by coming back to the agreements we made in calmer moments.
    Putting this all together, ours is a faith that encourages individuals to find their own answers, recognizes that our individual acts impact the collective, relies on the democratic process to set our direction, and relies on shared covenant to work through our differences.
    I’d like to share an example to offer my perspective on your statement.
    Supppose their is a convicted pedophile that wants to join one of our congregations. Since we profess a shared belief that each individual possesses intrinsic worth and dignity, we would seek to find a way for this person to join our community. There might be parents, however, that might express real discomfort with allowing this person to have access to their children. To navigate this, folks might come together to develop a covenant that outlines specific behaviors and actions this individual might have to abide to in order to remain in the comminity. As long as all of these agreements are adhered to, this person would be allowed to remain in the community.
    How is this relevant? There are many marginalized people that desire to be includes in the UU community that have expressed significant discomfort in the way we have approached some things in the past and in the present. They have, over many years, brought their concerns to the collective through the UUA. These concerns have been researched, discussed, and debated. The result of these efforts are the positions we have collectively voted on and the UUA now espouses. There is no central “big brother” at the UUA making up rules. The position the UUA holds were developed through the processes we have chosen the follow (again, through the democratic process).
    Going back to my example…if the individual violates the agreeements they made to enter into our covenental community, there are processes available to revoke their access to our community if they are not willing or able to hold up their end of the shared agreement.
    What you are asking for, in my opinion, would be analogous to asking the concerned parent to just suck it up and accept this other persons way of being. Does that sound right to you?
    Can you see from this example why your perspective might be lacking some critical components?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mattsplan: I think your analogy actually supports David. UU communities have covenants covering behavior, not beliefs. So a person convicted of a sex crime against a minor would need to agree to avoid certain behaviors, like interacting with children. And if the person agreed, the parents would likely still object to his being a member of the community (if they were aware). That’s what’s now happening. People who agree to live by our Principles and Sources are still being told they’re not fit to be full members of our communities unless they have certain beliefs: that the US and the UUA are white supremicist

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mel, That’s a very insightful summary – “UU communities have covenants covering behavior, not beliefs” and now “being told they’re not fit to be full members of our communities unless they have certain beliefs”

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The significant risk here, Mel, is that a child, who does not participate in the dialog or covenant-making, may pay the ultimate price. Not sure that this is the best example.


    2. Hi Matt! (Matt and I are friends at the same congregation, and literally sat across the table from each other at thanksgiving).

      Without due process or even talking with the minister, the UUMA publicly censured a UU Minister (which is a breaking of the UUMA’s own code of conduct), and the Minister was expelled from GA, for passing out a book, a book that’s contents many UU’s agree with. This is not only of great concern to many UUs, including in our own congregation but many UU ministers.

      Duly note that when I voice my opinions, I know (from experience) that not everyone will agree with them or share my viewpoint or even philosophy. Thus, someone countering them is fine. In fact, that’s very UU. People disagreeing with the Gadfly book is fine and expected (I don’t agree with all of it, and I have people I like and respect who don’t like the book), but that’s not the point. If it were up to many in the UUA and UUMA, the book would be banned, and most certainly a Minister was attacked (and literally censured) for expressing opinions. Some UU reverends, as expressed by one on this site, are concerned that the UUMA is trying to move so they can gain the ability to remove Eklof and like ministers as UU ministers for dissention such as Ekloff’s.

      And, for me personally, any magazine (namely UU World) that would refuse to even include a picture of my father because of “who he is” is a magazine not worthy of my father.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Mattspan, your analogy is flawed. It’s more like this..most of us are defined as pedophiles and when we claim we are not, we are told we don’t care that children are abused.

      Liked by 2 people

    4. That was a bit pathetic, long winded, but it boils down to a form of tyrannical thinking totally out of line with “the tradition” of Unitarianism and its non-creedal religion.


  3. I add that, knowing Matt personally, he recently “passed the bar” to be a future UU minister, and, from my personal interaction, I think he’ll make a good one. Though he’ll have to learn how to deal with mouthy congregants like me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I know one UU minister who said (paraphrase): “The UUMA board wasn’t just censuring a minister for offering a dissenting view. It was censuring all UU congregants across the world who have different opinions.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t know, but would your UU seminary have allowed you to graduate and be ordained if you said and wrote you disagree with their dogma? If you said “I disagree with this whole theory,” what would they have done?

    My divinity school was not tied to or of one religion (thus, I’d say, making it interfaith– and it was specifically designed as non-denominational interfaith), and the students came from different religions (including, two UUs), thus there was no single church dogma to have allegiance to, or even one expressed. Though my particular program and masters was in theology not divinity.

    As anyone who knows me, I’m an independent thinker and don’t bow down to someone else’s theories or orthodoxy, and my school has no issue what my theories or writings, even though the director and my advisor were of different religious beliefs.

    I’m concerned about seminaries that call themselves interfaith, but are really of one religion and require students to subscribe to that one religion and its dogma (or they won’t graduate and be allowed to be reverends). I don’t consider that interfaith or interfaith education. It’s fine if a seminary does it that way (there are Catholic seminaries to produce Priests, Jewish seminaries to produce Rabbis, Buddist seminaries, and that’s all great), but don’t call yourself or consider yourself interfaith. Interfaith isn’t just learning about different religions and theologies– and certainly, interfaith ministers come from their own personal faiths (Christian interfaith minister, Hindu interfaith minister, etc), but a way of thinking.


    1. When I first joined Unitarian Universalism 30 years ago I remember hearing that the minister at the Memphis UU church called himself a “Goldwater Republican”. I strongly doubt that such a person would get through today’s ministerial training process. While I lean slightly to the left I feel that ministers should not have to pass any political litmus test to work in a UU church. My understanding is that we are “liberal” in a theological sense, not necessarily politically, although most UUs are liberal. However, I have known conservative and libertarian UUs. It seems to me that the gap formed by the absence of a theological creed has been filled with a political creed, and that gives the lie to the claim that we are a non-creedal religion. Thank you for standing up for the true spirit of Unitarian Universalism.


  6. At my divinity school, we never had a class on racial justice (though, as I said I was in the theology side– and maybe there was something on that on the divinity side). But I bet if the current UU anti-racism issues were the topic of a required paper there, and one student wrote an excellent paper defending the favored UUA side, another student wrote an excellent paper defending the Gadfly Paper’s side and a third student wrote an excellent paper with a third, completely different point of view, all three would pass. In fact, I’m sure of it. (Duly note that all of our papers required references/points of from Abrahamic, Eastern, aboriginal and “modern religion” theological points of view.)

    That’s the type of seminary I attended, and why I’m concerned (if that’s the case) about a school that would only pass one of those three students and why kind of reverend they are producing.

    But, as I said, I have not attended either of the two UU seminaries, so I will not jump to conclusion.


  7. I will end by saying that I’m agnostic and, though I appreciate and understand and respect different religions and philosophies, didn’t entirely agree with any of the religions or philosophies I studied. In my papers, I critiqued every one, and that includes secular humanism and world pantheism (which I catalog as religions no better or worse than any other religion). And I was the star student. Before I handed in my massive thesis, the director told me “We usually have to return their theses to students and how to amend and fix their theses, but we know we won’t have to do that with yours.” My Jewish thesis advisor told me that if my thesis had been a published book he would have bought a copy for his reference library.

    All ideologies and belief systems have holes in them and problems with them, including mine. They are artificial human creations after all. To say one’s ideology or belief system (including me saying mine) is beyond critique is nothing more than ignorance and fundamentalism.

    And this says something about the school I attended. I critiqued Hinduism for the Hindu class and the Hindu professor said “Good job, nice paper.” I critiqued Judaism for the Judaism class, and the Rabbi professor said “Good job, nice paper.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. In short, if (and I said if) the UU religion has a required dogma that the UU religion says is the one correct dogma and the UU religion says the dogma is beyond critique and it cannot be critiqued or questioned, that is the definition of fundamentalist religion.


    1. It’s helpful for me to explore examples in trying to understand anothers point of view.
      So let me ask this question…
      If a group of Nazi sympathizers began attending our church, and gained enough support to hang a Nazi flag next to our Black Lives Matter banner…what would be your response? That’s what they believe and I value their right to believe what they do, so here I go to church under that new banner? Or something else?
      I think your response to this example will help to draw out some of the relevent parts of this discussion.


      1. Matt, of course there are limits (in fact, many limits) and basic expected beliefs to belong to a UU congregation– as expressed in the Covenant of Right Relations. Anti-semitism, ant-LGBT+ etc rhetoric would not be allowed. Nazism and hanging the Nazi flag by definition is against and incompatible with the first principle and would no doubt get you booted out of any congregation (and maybe even a court order preventing you from entering the building).

        And, in the context of this debate, all support racial justice and working towards it. So that’s not the debate.

        The debate is about the methodology and theory, along with the ability to debate it and consider other methods. There are many UU reverends who disagree with the WSC methodology and theory. Many ministers will say, and have said (some published), that WSC theory and methodology don’t work, break UU’s very principles (such as #1) and even is counterproductive to the cause of anti-racism. Obviously, Todd Eklof was one of them, but there are others, and, in fact, we both know two others. One UU said that all identity politics does is produce more Trump supporters.

        But, beyond the above paragraph’s debate on methodology, many UUs, and UU reverends, are concerned that the UUA doesn’t even want debate, and wants to transform the religion into a dogmatic, fundamentalist religion where even questioning a particular methodology or dogma is a “sin” and will get a minister defrocked and a congregant excommunicated. Many UUs have said they disagree, or don’t entirely agree with, with The Gadfly papers but are shocked the UUs would move to ban it and the UUMA censure its author. Many UU ministers themselves have revolted against the treatment of Eklof.

        Personally, I’m also a big supporter of right relations as a general rules of personal conduct within UU.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Aww, Matt.
    Are you saying that people who aren’t crazy about the Black Lives Matter organization are the equivalent of Nazis?
    Incidentally, I read in the online UU world that there is a UU church in Georgia that got tagged with some anti-semitic graffiti recently. They decided to leave the graffiti in place for a week or so, to allow it to serve as a lesson for the community. They also made a public invitation to the anti-Semitic vandal to come to church and “see what UU ism is all about.”

    So I guess their answer to your question is…yes?
    Meanwhile, during the height of the #BLM riots (with attendant murders of police officers) a member of my church told me, in all seriousness, that she would feel “uncomfortable” if a police officer came to church. Any police officer. She was astounded to learn that there were already law enforcement officers in the congregation. One a lesbian who comes with her wife. (Love those intersections, don’t you?)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Skip the Nazis; Let’s make this difficult. An Islamic organization wants to hang a banner outside the church that says “Sharia Will Come To America!” You okay with that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting question. Is the banner a statement of desire, of intent, of attack? Make it even harder. Most Jewish Ketubahs (marriage contracts) include the line ..”according to the law of Moses and Israel.” As a minister, would you sign such a Ketubah? (Note: Ours is worded “authorized by the civil authorities of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in the tradition of the laws of Moses and Israel” – signed by a Buddhist UU Minister.)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Though, Matt, I was serious. If in your seminary paper on WSC and anti-racism you wrote that, after studying it, you don’t agree with the theory and methodology, or all of it, or think there are better and more useful ways to address racism, what would have been the reaction of your seminary? Would you have been allowed to graduate or pass the interview? Would they have allowed you to become a UU reverend?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From what I have seen over the last 20 years, since we embraced the current strategy, the answer is no. UUA has made it an explicit formal requirement in hiring and fellowshipping that ministers and UUA staff embrace that particular theory and methodology.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. “Our 7 Principles follow an arc, beginning where you are planting your flag (Principlen 1-The individual search for truth and meaning), all the way to Principle 7 (We’re all interconnected) which validates that what happens to one impacts all, with a stop in the middle at Principle 4 which grounds our collective effort in the Democratic principle.”

    There is a diagram floating around of the Principles as a circle, which may be a better representation – with the first, inherent worth and dignity, in the center, and the interdependent web encircling the whole. The analysis of “That’s what they believe and I value their right to believe what they do, so here I go to church under that new banner? Or something else?” needs to include not only democratic process in the 5th principle, but also its first half, the irght of conscience – which to me says that we do not throw people out based on their beliefs. But also, our democratic process is constitutional – all our congregations agree to affirm and promote those principles, and what we democratically decide must be within those principles. If a congregation decides that Nazism is a worthy belief, they must either have either decided that it is compatible with inherent worth and dignity, and all the other principles, or that they are no longer in covenant with UUA. If the first, it is up to the larger community of other congregations to discern whether that is true, and reason with them; if the second, it is their duty to withdraw. And the same of individuals within that congregation – while the community may not eject them simply because the do not agree with the majority, it is their duty to withdraw from the community if they feel that the community holds principles or behaviors with which they cannot agree and from which they cannot be dissuaded.

    Something I have not seen discussed, although Rev. Ekloff mentions it, is the widely broadened idea of what consitutes “harm.” It seems to me that the charges against him are based in that broadened idea of harm – that words and ideas are actively harm people – that speech is an act that can harm someone as much as the proverbial sticks and stones. People can agree on the right of conscience, the freedom of the pulpit, and the right of free speech, without agreeing on the boundaries of what constitutes violent speech that goes beyond those protections.

    I have been thinking about this problem for some years, long before the current controversy. As someone who was sexually abused by a relative, in a fairly minor way, as a child, I came to the realization, after many years, that the most harm came to me by my belief, fostered by the prevalent attitudes of society, that what had happened to me had damaged me and that I had no control over that. I’ve been reading Adlerian psychology lately that has clarified this for me, although in the beginning of the realization it was the Buddhist teaching about the cause of suffering, and Albert Ellis’s Guide to Rational Living that clarified it. Suffering – psychological harm – is caused mainly by our reaction to what happens to us, not by what other people say, or even do. I think that is what Rev. Crawford is getting at in her broken glass post.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Matt and I discussed this off the site. We are not in agreement in philosophy. But Matt and I get along fine, I look forward to seeing him at the congregation on Sunday. If he’s ever up as your minister candidate, he’s a good and thoughtful guy and thinks about others’ points of view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you David.
      I have appreciated this discussion. And while my position hasnt necessarily changed, i have benefitted from the additional perspective gained through this dialogue.
      Mostly, I am comforted by the fact that it sounds like we generally agree upon the long range goals but just disagree about the path. My position remains that overcoming deep structural, societal-level fractures require some discomfort on the part of those of us with power. I know if no instutution poised to lean into this and break through deeply entrenched barriers than the UU faith.
      In hope (and sincere appreciation) with everyone on this thread).


  14. I am wondering where you have heard anyone say white heterosexual men can’t be marginalized since the point of your article seems to mostly hinge on that.


    1. Plus, he’s from Boston and I’m from Wisconsin so we can debate sports teams.

      I once joked, “I know about bigotry. I’m a Green Bay Packers fan in Seattle.” The comments on the street I get when I wear a Packers cap.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My best friend is a Cowboys fan from Texas, so we’re proof disparate views can get along. I also know two young women who share an apartment in Seattle, and one is from Russia and the other from Ukraine. The hope for world peace in our time?

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Speaking of U*U dogma as a tool of oppression. . .

    The UUA somewhat inadvertently deemed “such despicable crimes as pedophilia and rape” to be sacred to Unitarian Universalism when it falsely accused me of the archaic criminal act of blasphemous libel in UUA child sex abuse cover-up legal bullying in 2012.

    I’m still waiting for the UUA to formally withdraw that false accusation, publicly apologize for bringing it against me, and publicly disclose just how many Unitarian Universalist ministers, to say nothing of UUA Religious Educators and other lay leaders. . . have been charged, tried and convicted of committing “such despicable crimes”, or who have been credibly accused of child sex abuse.

    Robin Edgar aka The Emerson Avenger


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