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Friday, November 21, 2003

Now accepting nominations...

Our first Philocrites discussion topic, interfaith marriage, started slowly — but it turned into a great conversation. Thanks to everyone who participated!

And now it's time to brainstorm the next discussion topic, which will get its own link up in the top right corner of the main page and will stay active for at least a few weeks. Unitarian Universalist theologies of marriage might be an especially interesting topic in light of the Massachusetts court decision opening the way to gay marriages in the state. Earlier, I had suggested taking up Matthew Gatheringwater's question, "What doesn't a belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person support . . .?" Or, we could go in any number of a million other directions — and they don't need to be limited to Unitarian Universalism, since I'm absolutely delighted to have such an ecumenical readership.

Leave your suggestions in the comments, or e-mail me.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 21 November 2003 at 5:28 PM

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November 21, 2003 09:02 PM | Permalink for this comment

I vote for "How do we live out/act out our faith?" or something there-abouts. How does our faith affect our daily lives? I wonder how much our denominational affiliation matters when it comes to the day-to-day. Which leads to another question: how much is faith personal? how much communal?

Joe Perez:

November 24, 2003 07:37 PM | Permalink for this comment

I'm a seeker not a UU (not yet anyways), but I'm willing to briefly comment on the issue of a theology of marriage in light of the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts.

I am imagining for a moment that I were in the UU church (as best I understand it). I would not want a cookie cutter teaching on, say, homosexuality or polyamorous relationships that applied across the board to every member. Instead, I would expect individuals within the fellowship to be willing to share their own wisdom and enter into dialogue with others around common values. Values such as love, fidelity, honesty, freedom, etc. Values are often in conflict in real life situations, so the most important contribution of a UU fellowship seems to me in the opportunity to have open dialogue and loving challenge from individuals who are coming from a variety of spiritual and religious traditions apart from UU. I would want UU principles to demand respect for the outside traditions individuals choose to affiliate with. And I would also want UU to provide standard processes and protocols for inter-tradition dialogue around ethical decisions. I don't think a simple statement of general principles would be enough. I would look for common protocols for, say, spiritual direction of individuals and, say, conflict resolution. Such protocols would give tools to individuals from different background to "meet in the middle" ground of shared values, so they can muddle through the complexities in a prayerful and respectful manner. I don't know that those protocols exist in the UU world, but they seem to me to be an invaluable step in the formation of a community of faith and common purpose.

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