Sunday, August 31, 2008

That was enlightening

Thanks for all who commented on the posts about political parties and UUism. I had no idea that it would spark so much talk on and offline. Thank you to those who brought up the other angles beyond political parties, too.

Since the postings, I experienced a mostly UU weekend that was nearly derailed by political disagreements. I have had more members and friends "come out" as uncomfortable with the flavor of the discourse online and at UU events. And I continue to ponder why this isn't a discussion that can be had more openly and in a friendly way.

We have had a Power of Now discussion group which has been looking at the roots of anger, fear, and emotional pain. In that context, the political issue at church seems to make some sense. Politics are often based in our dreams of what this world can be. Religion is part of that same process. If someone is part of your safe group, the people who share your dreams, how can they be part of something you consider the antithesis of your hopes?

Well, young grasshopper, normally we call that FAMILY. And I know plenty of families who have had the same kind of painful interactions I have described and witnessed on the subject of politics. I know of some families that have been torn apart by their behavior and attitudes regarding politics. Most of the families I know find ways to work through it. Having already shared my hopes on how to move past pain and anger, I hope we can follow positive examples in our church.

Thank you to the politically conservative UUs who have contacted me and been so honest, gentle, and appreciative. And, of course, thanks to those who opened my eyes to this conflict in the first place. My life is more exciting to live with a variety of travelling companions.

1 comment:

Will said...

You wrote, "And I continue to ponder why this isn't a discussion that can be had more openly and in a friendly way."

That is a fascinating question that I'd never thought of! *Why* can't this be talked about? The only other topics that are as uncomfortable among the UUs I've ever known are divorce and pledging.

My guess is that fear, whether founded or unfounded, lies beneath it. But of what?