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Monday, September 25, 2006

This week at uuworld.org: The sin of perfectionism.

David Hubner writes about the dangers of perfectionism, which may afflict religious liberals more than most. He writes:

We Unitarian Universalists gave up our Calvinist forebears' concept of Original Sin — that humanity was in its nature flawed and incapable of moving toward good. That was a positive step for a prevailing religious understanding that at the time left little room for the worthiness of human aspiration or human reason. But along the way it seems that many Unitarian Universalists and others in our culture have moved to an expectation of the possibility of human perfection that in its own way is as unrealistic and harmful, I think, as was Original Sin.

In the news this week, Don Skinner reports on more honors bestowed on the Unitarians Martha and Waitstill Sharp for their work saving refugees from the Nazis in the 1940s. The US Holocaust Museum and the US Senate honored the Sharps earlier this month, following their designation as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Authority in June. Representatives of the UU Service Committee, which the Sharps helped found, urged people to turn their attention to the ongoing genocide in Darfur.

Meanwhile, in the magazine's news blog, Sonja Cohen tracks additional coverage of the Holocaust Museum ceremony and finds a syndicated columnist defending Starr King's statue in the US Capitol, among other things.

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 25 September 2006 at 7:06 AM

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2 comments:

Chalicechick:

September 25, 2006 08:46 AM | Permalink for this comment

I don't need perfection per se, but is a 178 LSAT too much to ask?

CC

Peter:

September 27, 2006 11:16 AM | Permalink for this comment

Maybe I've made this comment on this blog before, but I tend to think the "basically good" vs. "basically evil" question is in fact a misguided question, and gets into the didactic, black-or-white thinking that UU's try to avoid. Can't we just say that we have dual good/evil natures, and that we make choices daily that are a result of the tug-of-war between those two natures? This puts our "faith locus" on our daily actions rather than on speculative metaphysical philosphies and dogmas.



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