Believe? Don’t? We don’t care because it doesn’t matter! Just come and join our weekly cuddle sessions. No one will ask you what you believe or tell you what to believe. Even our cherished 7 Principles are entirely optional. Believe in equal rights for gay and transgender people? Great. Don’t? Fine, either way, because we’ll never know.
We don’t ask, and we don’t tell. You may have heard the slogan “If you see something, say something”, the idea that to be responsible, loving citizens, we have to speak up when we see things that don’t add up. Well, not in UU. If you want to speak up, you may, but only if no one objects to the way you speak up. We’ll make sure that no one makes you uncomfortable, and that you will not make anyone feel that way. But don’t worry, that almost never happens in UU, because people like that rarely show up, and when they do, they usually just don’t come back. Whew!
In UU, we are nice at all costs. UU was born in freethinkers like Michael Servetus. He boldly told the Catholics and Calvinists that the Trinity made no sense. We love to pick up reflected light from his great sacrifice at being burned at the stake for that. But today, we are anything but freethinking because that might cause a conflict, and that would harsh everyone’s vibe. UU is a safe space. You won’t find any tough love here, so relax.
What if someone shows up who is familiar with UU’s history of freethought? Don’t worry, we know how to deal with that. We use shunning. It’s very effective, and we always have plausible deniability. We can just say a person made us feel uncomfortable. It usually only takes one treatment for such a member to leave for good, taking his whole family with him. Vibe restored!
You may be worrying that some churches have a vibrant apologetics movement. Members are educated about their tradition, and are urged to be ready to defend their positions. Rather than getting offended or deflecting challenges to their faith, people react charitably, trying to take in the often well-founded critiques of religion, and even considering where their faith might be wrong or in need of improvement. The idea is to have good reasons for what you believe and communicate them, even to detractors.
You won’t find any of that in UU! If a member were to suggest that we can be more inclusive, or more in line with the 7 Principles, our proven techniques drive them away. We won’t require you to defend any UU positions, or even to understand them. We’re creedless, so the 7 Principles are mostly for show. If we took them seriously, we’d have to hold our members to them, and in this postmodern era, that would be bad for business. Oh, we love to take shots at Right Wingers, but that’s ok because there are never any present. Conflict avoided!
We like to say we’re radically pluralistic, but that’s required! Everyone is welcome, as long as you fit in.
So, UU is a no-conflict zone. Still not reassured? You’re probably wondering how UU makes sure they only drive out real abusers and troublemakers, and not someone who is honestly concerned about living up to UU’s principles.
Consider this recent case:
One cunning UU sought out the Humanists in UU and posted his invective on their Facebook page. He thought that if anyone was a freethinker in UU, it would be the Humanists, but boy was he wrong. He had the temerity, based on UU’s own statistics showing that UU is inbred, to post “UU is inbred”. Well, the admin was on top of things and banned him.
We hope you can now see that there is no possibility this caring man had our best interests in mind. He had his own narcissistic agenda to make sure we were living the 7 Principles (in this case, the responsible search for truth), and that is just not what we’re about.
So, as much as we hate to make anyone feel unwelcome, it is sometimes necessary to purify our church. If freethinkers are not expunged, our Safe Space is infected and that infection could grow. Believe me, we’ve seen it happen. When outspoken, “caring” people show up, perfectly comfortable churches are often transformed within months into challenging, vibrant movements with almost constant discussion about how to best serve everyone, not just the members who happen to fit in because they never risk saying anything of import.
So, please check us out. Not because we need you or the diversity you might bring. But because you need us. You need a Safe Space.
Well, that’s 800 words of 8th grade English, so it’s time to stop. Remember:
This isn’t your parents’ UU.
This isn’t Enlightenment UU.
This is UU 2.0. We’re with it and in the know.