It is easy to write off the cultural problems that plague Unitarian Universalism as being Atheist versus Christian. This week, we want to give consideration to the influence and contribution of our other sources and some (certainly not all) of the other points of view that are often overlooked in these discussions.
Let us thank the Deists, who brought us Humanism before the Atheists were common. We welcome the belief that whatever gods exist, and whatever their purpose, we have been given life and eventually blessed with the power to understand that gift, and it is up to us to shape our destiny.
Let us thank the Buddhists, who teach us the freedom of minimalism and of doing things now. We welcome the belief that we have the ability and responsibility to look within ourselves for something greater, and that this search can lead us to new kinds of freedom.
Let us thank the Hindus, who envisioned the web of all creation and imagined it as a circle, with coming and going around but never being apart from the wheel. We welcome the belief that we are all part of one creation, and that we have responsibilities to every other part.
Let us thank the European Pagan traditions, which teach us about the wheel of time and the year in terms more familiar to our culture. We welcome the many beliefs about the power of legend and myth to inspire and connect us intellectually and culturally.
Let us thank the indigenous religions the world over, those that are rare in our understanding and those that have been lost. What we know today all started with small groups of humans asking questions, creating answers, and eventually testing those answers against their lived experience.
Let us thank the prophetic voices, be they ancient like Buddha, Abraham, or Paul, or recent like Gyatso, King, or Yousafzai. They teach us that we have the power to change the world with our passion and our concern for others.
Let us remember that we pull from many, many sources, and that Unitarian Universalism is none of them, but the product of taking those parts of each that speak to us, and putting them, responsibly, to work in helping us define the truth and decipher the meaning of our own, unique lives.
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