Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fundamentalist or lover?


"A fundamentalist mind is a mind that has become rigid. First the heart closes, then the mind becomes hardened into a view, then you can justify your hatred of another human being because of what they represent and what they say and do."
Pema Chodron, Practicing Peace In Times Of War, p. 21

"Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all." These are 4 of the 7 values of Unitarian Universalists. These are the "liberal" values which got two UUs killed in Knoxville, TN. The murderer said he was looking for liberals to kill after reading books by political fundamentalists, O"Reilly, Savage, and Hannity.

It is interesting how religion and political ideology become bed partners when people are seeking power, celebrity, money, and influence. Charismatic people ascend to positions of leadership encouraging their followers to adopt their religion/ideology and hate other people who are different. The basic dynamic contributes to prejudice, discrimination, oppression, domination, and genocide. It is evil incarnate.

Initially evil comes looking smart, charming, attractive, righteous and evil bestows increases in self esteem, a sense of betterment, a sense of security, a sense of belonging, but at someone else's expense.

Prejudice, discrimination, oppression, genocide are not based on love but on pride, arrogance, power and greed.

To live life in an open hearted way takes a great deal of patience, empathy, love which comes from a connectedness to one's higher power whatever you conceive that higher power to be. In the end, Unitarian Universalists have a tremendous, life giving, awareness and respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which I (we) are just a small part.

It is in living in an open hearted way as compared to a closed hearted way that distinguishes a lover from a fundamentalist. Unitarian Universalists are lovers.

As I attempt to live out my UU faith, I practice inclusion not exclusion. I believe in the universalist idea that there is goodness in every human being and that ultimately we all can be "saved", made whole, enlightened. We do this by helping each other, and at my church, the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, we work hard on "being there" for each other. We strive to be a church where everyone is welcome.

Linda: I like our church, Dave, because I always feel so welcome. Those people at the Bible study just want me to agree with them and join their church. I don't like it. They don't want to listen to me. They tell me, "We have to get back on topic. We can't talk about that now." So, I don't know if I'm going to their bible study anymore. I don't feel right there.

David Markham: Our church is a very welcoming church. We try to help people regardless of what they believe and where they are in the faith journey in their life.

Linda: Yeah, the people are so nice.

David Markham: They are, yes.

Linda: Well, I'm coming back to your church.

David Markham: Any time, we will always be there and you are always welcome.

Linda: Can I have a hug?

David Markham: Hugs not drugs. See you Sunday.

Linda: Okay, I'll be there.

1 comment:

  1. "A fundamentalist mind is a mind that has become rigid. First the heart closes, then the mind becomes hardened into a view, then you can justify your hatred of another human being because of what they represent and what they say and do."

    You *mean* like this David?

    ReplyDelete