Thursday, July 05, 2007

Not Merely Heresy...

One of the minor pleasures of being a Unitarian Universalist is getting be be a heretic... or actually, at least two kinds of heretic. And, from some perspectives, a heretic to heresy and an apostate as well.


from a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion
chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. In the Acts of the
Apostles (5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5) it denotes a sect, without
reference to its character.
What distinguishes UUism from the run of the mill heretics is that we abandoned the dogma of having to defend and protect our heresy. Most heretics find themselves intently denying what they've abandoned and defending their new position on Truth. Instead, we've institutionalized heresy, and dumped dogma.

No (good) UU will tell you what to believe. They might well be willing to debate what you believe, but it's not in an attempt to convert you--rather more an effort to test whether you've seriously thought through what you believe. But a UU will expect you to have some well-considered belief, or a well explained agnosticism. Believe what you will--what you must, not what you'd like to believe, but we expect you to believe what you believe... and we expect you to test it and challenge it. Upgrade your beliefs, perhaps, or even change them, that's fine. Laudable, even.

But we damned well expect you to be a heretic--even if you insist on holding firmly orthodox opinions.

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