Extremist social justice theology betrays Unitarian Universalist principles
White elites claiming to defend the interests of non-whites is the ultimate white privilege.
“The Evergreen Church of Perpetual Offense”!
That sums it up.
I know the educated, affluent elite white people pushing these ideas mean well, but the ideas are so rigid, ugly, condescending, bizarre, harmful and divisive -- so counter to everything we know about human growth and flourishing -- and it seems as if a child could see that.
This is not how we build a happier, better world for all. Or for anyone. How are so many people so oblivious to it?
A fascinating read--essential, really. I've never been a member of a UU congregation, but I've occasionally attended services here in Oxford, MS and found it to be a genuinely welcoming community with an ecumenical approach that makes a space for all-comers. What this article makes abundantly clear is that the church is profoundly troubled on the national level, its spirit of tolerance turned sour--I hate to say corrupted, but maybe that word is needed--by a hunger to manifest righteousness on the racial front that has generated profound intolerance and dogmatism. After reading this article, I went searching for even more of the story, and came across a 2018 article in Tablet that fills in a few more pieces of the puzzle--including the fact that the Beacon Press, ground zero for a certain hard progressive perspective, is a part of the UU church, and the fact that Robin DiAngelo and Tim Wise have been regular speakers at UU congregations. I'd urge those who enjoyed Cycleback's article as much as I did to read the Tablet article as well: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/beacon-unitarians-joseph-keegin
This whole situation is very disheartening. I practically grew up in the UU Church (Pacific Unitarian Church in CA). I fondly recall my gatherings and outings with the PUC YRUU group in the 1980s. My UU experiences even inspired me to attend seminary. I completed my studies at Pacific School of Religion, which is part of the Graduate Theological Union. While there I also attended classes at the UU seminary Starr King School of Ministry. I eventually wandered away from the UU Church, but it has always held a special place in my heart. I hope it will come through this trial fairly intact, perhaps even renewed.
The UU church was a haven for me in early adulthood in the 90's. Had considered returning for the sake of finding community, but this explains why my visits to different congregations over the past 15 years never felt right, so I didn't return. Just purchased your book!
I was a UU for twenty years and resigned because of exactly the changes described here.
The same thing appears to have happened, at the national level at least, to the United Church of Canada. The cynical and intolerant orthodoxy of race essentialism is cutting a swathe through many formerly noble organizations. Let’s hope this Orwellian craze exhausts itself soon.
I grew up attending UU services and having some great discussions. Sad to see people so thoroughly abandon or refuse to fight for their espoused principles. You can't value the inherent dignity and worth of every human being while simultaneously assigning value to them based on the color of their skin or other immutable characteristics. What I find most egregious is that the pretense of their authoritarian attitudes and actions is that they are fighting for the oppressed. Ha! This bullshit is perfectly aligned with the ideology of the ruling class that oppresses the entire western world. I would go tell them how ridiculously stupid they've become, but they still require an N95 mask to attend my local congregation. No thanks, may they enjoy their long slide into total irrelevance.
Funny how the new "Anti-Racism" subscribes to the "one drop rule" of the old racism.... Hmmmmm.
Just a minor point on the drop in UU membership from 2020-2022. COVID had a profoundly negative effect on church attendance and membership nationwide. The data from the next two years will be interesting if they reflect continuing declines, but unless they are normed against other denominations the 2020-2022 data tells us little.
I used to go to a Unitarian church and I agree with your analysis. The Congregational United Church of Christ has become the same way. My Mom is a member. Their goal is indoctrination while claiming to be all-inclusive and open minded. They are totally intolerant of different viewpoints.
Thank Dr. Cycleback for such an eloquent and well-researched piece of analysis. I can only hope that the more liberal, and thoughtful members of the UUC will re-group and ward of infiltrators, which is difficult to do. We're seeing the "march though the institutions" at every level of society. Have you seen the documentary "Better Left UnSaid" from Canadian filmmakers Jaimungal and Amila?
I’m new to this publication. So please forgive me. Yet, why is a white person writing for the “Journal of Free BLACK Thought?”
Check out what happened at First U Church in Mpls. Many members left and pulled funding. Over the years, people were encouraged to leave either explicitly or implicitly.
Well, that's what you get for denying European-Americans, and Europeans at that, their right to self-determination, freedom of association and the legitimacy of ethnic group identity.
Guess who's responsible for "critical" studies. You might say it's "a culture of critique".
The Anglican vicars I have spoken to here in England in recent years also seem to be infected with CRT. The silver lining here is that the Anglican church has been theologically diverse for a long time, from evangelicalism to Anglo-Catholicism. So there aren't mechanisms for dogmatic pronouncements to be made or for forcing people who disagree out of congregations. The only fundamental belief that we all share seems to be that the head of the church has to be the reigning monarch!