How do you respond when someone asks you this: “So you are a UU. What do you believe?” Is your UU elevator speech fuzzy? Limited to what you have rejected? Can you clearly articulate your beliefs?
Several UUFE members and friends explored and defined their personal theology in a four-part weekly series in October and November, facilitated by UUFE’s Amanda Schaller. At our December 10 service on spiritual exploration, we joined Amanda and Rev. Sue, and heard from members of the “I Believe” seminar.
By Gayle Scroggs, UUFE Adult Exploration Chair
Do you know what Lenny Bruce said about Unitarians? (NB: It was before the UU merger.)
“I know my humor is outrageous when it makes Unitarians so mad they burn a question mark on my front lawn.”
A question marks! If the chalice had not become the symbol of our faith, I would have proposed the question mark. Take these old jokes:
Q: Do you know what you get when you cross a UU with a Jehovah’s witness?
A: Someone who knocks on our door and asks you what YOU believe.
Q: What do you get if you put two UUs together?
A: You get three opinions.
There were 10 of us—so you do the math.
What I appreciate about UU Religious Education—and this class in particular—is the question mark, the doubt, the willingness for individuals to entertain various beliefs. Thank you, Amanda, for organizing and leading the class, and thank you to each of you who participated.
A few years ago, the Hirschhorn Gallery of the Smithsonian mounted an intriguing exhibit in which giant banner with a peculiar phrase in red capital letters two feet high:
BELIEF + DOUBT = SANITY
As the artist, Barbara Kruger, said: “Belief is tricky, because left to its own devices, it can court a kind of surety, an unquestioning allegiance that fears doubt and destroys difference.”
That could be one of our mottoes, right? Our UUFE covenant asserts that we are here to promote intellectual and spiritual growth and to support each other in the spirit of compassion, respect, and, love.
And that is what we did.
That is what we will keep doing in Adult Exploration, and I hope that many more of you will join us…. for questions, for beliefs, and for a good bowl of soup and just maybe a piece of cake.