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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas loot report.

Choose Your ReligionWhat do you get a magazine editor for Christmas? Why, The Complete New Yorker on disc, of course! What a cool and time-consuming present. Thanks, Santa. Mrs P gave me Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy — three of my favorite movies. Her sister set me up with the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah CD, which is undeniably cool. Thanks for the loot!

And, because Christmas just isn't the same without a good bit of religious kitsch, thanks to my wife I'm now the proud owner of the Choose Your Religion Wheel O' Wisdom — from a line of "cordless search engines for life." The handy wheel describes and lists perks, drawbacks, accessories, afterlife promises, and potential new friends for 30 "world religions" (including Voodoo, consumerism, and snake handlers).

How is Unitarian Universalism presented to the savvy convert? The wheel describes the religion as "socially liberal, creedless, inclusive. Traces to Reformation. Unity of God (anti-trinity) & universality of salvation. Experience, conscience, & reason inform faith; ethical living is way to worship." Not bad. Accessories? "Flowers to exchange in God's love during services." Okay, but flower communion is really just once a year. Afterlife promises? "Human understanding of life & death is never final." How true. Potential new friends? 629,000 — reflecting the number of people who self-identified as UUs in a national survey a few years back, although only one-third of 'em go to church. Perks? "Accepting, compassionate. Can be ordained in time for friends' weddings. Supports gay/lesbian marriage." Whoa: You can't get yourself ordained a UU minister in a hurry; that's the Universal Life Church. But the best thing about the wheel is its list of drawbacks to Unitarian Universalism: "Nickname is UUs or UUism. Old marketing slogan: 'I was a Unitarian all along & never knew it.'" Yeah, being part of the "yooyoo" religion has always bugged me, too.

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 29 December 2005 at 10:13 PM

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Scott Wells:

December 29, 2005 10:22 PM | Permalink for this comment

Well, that about sums it up.

Jamie Goodwin:

December 30, 2005 03:26 AM | Permalink for this comment

I must be strange, 'cause it seems I am the only UU in the Uni who likes the name Unitarian Universalist. It isn't the historic roots (although those are pretty cool) and it isn't that it sounds so particularly inspiring. It is that look on peoples faces when you say "Why I am an Unitarian Universalsit" and they cross their eyes and say "What the hell is that!?"


December 30, 2005 08:36 AM | Permalink for this comment

I don't mind the longer name, but I do hate the term "UU" (pronounced yooyoo).

Steve Caldwell:

December 30, 2005 04:57 PM | Permalink for this comment

How about the portrayal of Unitarian Universalism that came up on the HBO series Six Feet Under in the episode titled " Making Love Work."

The script quote below comes from a fan web site:

NATE and LISA, DANA and TODD (two young adult couples with kids) sit around the campfire (talking about religion) as we enter the scene

Todd: U.U. Stands for Unitarian Universalist.

Dana: But it's about as not religious as a religion can be.

Lisa: That would be nice. Not a place that preaches, but a place where we could be with other people like us.

NATE nods.

Dana: Right. No big God thing. No crosses or dripping blood or shit. Exactly. Just people getting together.

Nate: Anyone wanna catch a buzz? I got my bullet in the tent. Should I go get it?

Todd: (smiles) Sure, I might have a hit.

Dana: Yeah, go, grab it.

He does.

Lisa: How often does Jesus come up?

Todd: Pretty rarely. But whenever he does, they always remind us that he was black.

Lisa: Right. As opposed to the Brad Pitt Jesus America tries to sell us.

Dana: Jesus wasn't black!

Lisa: Yes, he was. Everyone was!



January 2, 2006 04:19 PM | Permalink for this comment

How else would you pronounce it if not "yooyoo"? At least it's not "yo-yo". (Although I am proud to be an official yoyo -- long story....)
I don't mind the name except for the length. I do sometimes find myself just saying "Unitarian", but when I started it was just Unitarian.
Names are very delicate and powerful things -- you just can't change them lightly. If we can't agree on who we are, why would we be able to agree on a new name?

I don't think claiming Jesus was black is accurate -- he was probably swarthy, with a big nose, and muscular and short....He was a carpenter after all, and I am told that carpenters in those days chopped their own trees and milled the wood by hand. and he was semitic. and he was called a glutton and a drunkard by his detractors, so maybe he had a belly and a red nose?

h sofia:

January 2, 2006 04:55 PM | Permalink for this comment

Wasn't Jesus's physical characteristics described in the Bible? Not that we believe everything in the Bible ....


January 2, 2006 05:39 PM | Permalink for this comment

Not a single physical description of Jesus in the NT.

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