Anonymous writes ,
I have found this topic that I stumbled upon very interesting and surprisingly uplifting. As one who suffers from recurring episodes of depression I feel sort of motivated to seek a liberal Christian church for awhile, just for a change.
Unitarian Universalists who privilege intellectual prowess over all other qualities of a human being often point proudly to their Jefferson Bible as a great example of how liberal religion should work. A robust man, that Jefferson! Just took out his scissors and chopped the gospels up, amputating all of that miracle nonsense and keeping just the teachings and the social justice stuff. THAT’S what’s good for all this stupidity that ails America!
Because I am a generally well-respected smartypants with a Harvard degree and an ability to articulate my opinions in the UU setting, I feel perfectly confident flashing a big smile at such moments and saying, “Sure, works if you’re a rich white male. As for myself, I consider the miracles the best part of the gospels and wouldn’t dream of cutting them out of my heart… or my Bible. What an arrogant desecration, although certainly I understand what he was doing as brave and exciting for his time.”
I’m a minister and therefore privileged myself. I can say that and start a conversation from a place of confidence, acceptance and equality. The vulnerable person who is standing on the outskirts of that conversation looking in has no such confidence. What they accurately intuit is that this is no place for a suffering person, not a welcoming spiritual home for someone who has deep doubts about humanity’s inherent worth and dignity, and who comes in need of gentle companionship. How does such a person participate in the verbal jousting we so often mistake for fellowship? They don’t. They just go away, feeling terrible about themselves for not being able to connect with the religious group that advertises itself as the accepting, welcoming, open-minded ones.
When Jefferson took his scissors to the Bible, he cut away all the healings performed by Jesus. Only the most comfortable individuals would call that the act of an enlightened man. What it says to others is, “You shouldn’t need this.” And that hurts. This is a perfect example of how Unitarian Universalists unintentionally commit spiritual abuse.