Two days ago, a madman walked into a church just like mine (and only four hours away from mine) and opened fire, killing two people and injuring others.
Compared to many religions, Unitarian Universalism is a tiny denomination; we have maybe 100,000 members in the United States. So this tragedy hits extra hard — particularly because the man wielding the weapon didn’t choose a church at random. No, he deliberately planned to attack the Knoxville UU congregation because of its liberal social policies. He hates liberals, says the letter he left in his truck; he hates gays. Apparently, while he was shooting, he was shouting hatred for all to hear.
The banner at my Louisville, KY church reads, "Civil Marriage Is a Civil Right."
High on one of the outer walls of my church hangs a banner that says “Civil Marriage Is a Civil Right.” My congregation of about 300 people are very progressive in our politics: I’d estimate us to be 90% pro choice, 95% Democrats, 100% supportive of gay rights. UUs don’t adhere to a specific creed; rather, my church includes atheists, humanists, pagans, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and those who create their own spirituality.
Many beliefs, but one congregation. Why do we come together? Because we find truth and meaning in the seven principles that all Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:
The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
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;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Although we have no common prayers or mantras, we recite a covenant each Sunday. UUs everywhere speak a variation of these words each week:
Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law. This is our great covenant: to dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.
We are liberal. We are welcoming to all. And for this, a man decided people just like me deserved to die.
Posted in church, Grief, liberal, progressive, religion, Unitarian Universalism
Tagged church, church shooting, Grief, insanity, Knoxville shooting, liberal, progressive, religion, sorrow, Unitarian Universalism, UU
Whattya know? I’m a member of the liberal elite! 🙂
My Liberal Identity:
You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.
Take the quiz at
I found this quiz via Thud. Unlike some such quizzes, this one came up with a startlingly accurate result — plus it included a question about bumper stickers, which is always a plus in my book…
My mother was recently in Key West and picked me up two new pieces of political bling for my car (otherwise known as the Democratmobile).
One is a sticker that celebrates W’s last day in office; it’s available from BushsLastDay.com, along with keychains, buttons, and lots of other date-imprinted miscellany.
The other is a magnet that makes my political affiliation abundently clear — as if it wasn’t already. You can find it at Blue Q. And by the way: I like the idea of the bumper magnet, which is easily removable. I do worry that a scandal-crazed Republican will pull it off my car and shred it to pieces with his or her teeth in a frenzy of longing for the good old days of the Grand Old Party; but hey, someone stole my Darwin fish once, and I just ordered another one.
I was pleased (and a little surprised) that on vacation in the land of Jeb Bush, no one made any obscene gestures at us while we were driving. On the contrary: An airport limo driver honked his horn and gave us a thumbs-up, and another guy pulled up beside us in traffic and told us that he and his wife had been greatly enjoying our display of messages as we inched our way through Ft. Myers. But maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised — after all, as a friend pointed out, half of Florida voted for Kerry. Politically speaking, we were probably more at home there than we are here in the bright red state of Indiana, where I tend to think of myself as one of the few; the proud; the Democrats. At least, until Nov. 4, 2008; maybe by then my state’s Republicans will have had enough of what they wrought…
You may have noticed that I’m a Democrat. So is my husband. Our cars are plastered with stickers promoting liberal causes. What we think of President Bush, his war, and his policies is mostly unprintable. Among other things, my husband, who is president of the local teachers’ association, despises W’s “No Child Left Behind” education plan.
Now, guess who’s coming to town on Friday and speaking at one of the elementary schools in our school system, to promote NCLB? And guess who’s been invited to attend the event, to represent local teachers?
I wish I respected W even slightly, so I could be excited about the prospect of being married to someone who may very well be personally introduced to the POTUS. I wish I wanted to be there and wanted to take my kids to maybe see W enter or leave the building. Instead, I feel only the irony that my husband, who disagrees completely with NCLB’s approach to public education, is being asked to represent 600+ teachers, most of whom also disagree with NCLB, at an event that promotes the plan’s supposed success.
Of all the presidents… why does he have to be the one to come to town?
Every Christmas, I buy some gifts that are for the entire family (including myself). This year, one of my favorites is Sticker Nation: The Big Book of Subversive Stickers. The book, created for disinformation by the guy who runs the StickerNation website, contains more than 400 stickers, each white print on black, 8″ x 1-1/2″. The subversive subject matter tends toward the liberal end of the spectrum and covers almost any conceivable topic.