Religion is an outgrowth of culture.
Religion is an expression of culture; it can give form to hopes, fears, taboos, and aspirations. Religion can be a force for good, expressing and guiding us to our best selves. Given that many (if not most) people feel drawn to religion in some form, it needs to be a force for good, because it isn’t going away.
This is one reason that Liberal Religion is important. It provides a vaccination against fundamentalism (in all forms). It helps those who are looking for community and acceptance steer clear of groups that prey on the depressed, the lonely, and the frustrated. We support people in a responsible quest for meaning and purpose that keeps them from being used by leaders with hateful or violent agendas.
Liberal Religion encourages people to question, it warns them against manipulative leadership. It strives to give them good information with which to make choices about their lives. It helps ward them against bigotry and asks them to confront the bigotry inherent in our culture.
Look at how the Unitarian Universalist Association teamed up with the United Church of Christ, despite some clear theological differences, to create the Our Whole Lives program, with accurate and positive information about sexual and emotional health for people of all ages in all types of relationships. Consider how the Standing on the Side of Love campaign teams up with local groups to support human rights for immigrants, the LGBTAQ community, to work at preventing violence, and to educate the public about all these issues. These are liberal religious ministries to the world, and they make the world a more just, more compassionate, and more peaceful place.
Liberal Religion is the best bulwark against Fundamentalism
This is why it matters that we share liberal religion. This is why we need to have Unitarian Universalism represented on the Internet and in media; not just as the butt of pseudo-intellectual humor, but as a vibrant option for people seeking a spiritual community where they can see their best self nurtured. We have a duty to help them find it and invite them in. If we do that well, there will be no need to convince, much less coerce. Plenty of people are looking for what we have to offer. Helping them find us is a public service.
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