Life is full of suffering. How does Unitarian Universalism account for it?
Christians say that suffering is the result of Original Sin. Buddhists say that suffering is the result of attachment.
I suggest that Unitarian Universalists develop a theology that says that suffering is the result of stupidity, ignorance, and lack of awareness.
As I get older, but I think I always knew this, I am utterly amazed at how stupid people are. They are narcissistic, arrogant, willful, full of hubris, and then wonder why they suffer.
Suffering is different from pain. Pain is a symptom or sign that something is wrong, but suffering is our interpretation of pain and most suffering is unnecessary and nonsense. Of course you can't tell suffering people that because it would not be helpful and so suffering should always be dealt with compassionately. And yet it is our lack of awareness which brings about suffering.
And Unitarian Universalism already offers many ideas to counteract or prevent suffering like the idea that every person has inherent worth and dignity and should therefore be treated as such. How much human suffering is caused because we, humans, fail to act on this simple principle. We demonize our enemies and make them "less than human" which gives us permission to torture, abuse, and kill them.
When the President of the United States uses terms like "Axis of Evil" to demonize the people of whole countries and the congress of the United States rises to its feet in a standing ovation, this country is seriously fucked. I heard nary a word from our religious leaders when the World leaders vilifies the people of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq as if they were subhumans.
Unitarian Universalism has other principles which could explain and reduce suffering which I will write about in future articles. For now my basic point is that we have a Unitarian Universalist theology which can save the world if only we would preach it and act on it instead of staying politely silent.
Whenever our politicians would divide the world into us and them, and in our personal lives we divide our families into us and them, and at work we divide the world into us and them, we are contributing to the suffering in the world.
We need to remember or become aware that we are all in this together and none of us gets out alive. Our human problem is not Original Sin, or Attachment, but human stupidity, and from an evolutionary perspective, I would like to believe that we are becoming more aware.