Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Unitarianism

What’s great about having a blog (even a frequently dormant one like mine) is receiving e-mails from all sorts of interesting people. I have recently been corresponding with a Canadian Unitarian minister who is interested in Islam and other world religions. I asked him about Unitarianism and he was more than generous in his response:

Today the Unitarian church is the most liberal of the protestant groups. Some Christians and even many Unitarians do not consider us Christian. We are very humanistic in our outlook.

Unitarianism has its historical roots in Eastern Europe, England and the United States. In Eastern Europe it has survived in the Transylvania area. In England it developed out of the non-conformist church. In the United States it was the religious dimension of the "New England Enlightenment" of the early part of the 19th Century. It is Unitarian in that they denied the notion of the trinity. We jokingly say that "Unitarians believe in one God, at most!" This narrow theological doctrine has never been the extent of our religious view. We tend to have a more positive view of human nature than mainstream Christians do. The other branch of our denomination, the Universalists originally defined by the theological idea that all men and women would be saved. They had a very positive view of a benevolent God as opposed to the "fire and brimstone" theology of evangelical Christians. A funny expression among us is that "The Unitarians believed that Man was too good to be damned while Universalist thought that God was too good to damn Man." Both were Anti-Calvinist movements. Both have deep roots in the American ethos. They have been called "Americas Fourth Faith" along with Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. A case could be made for the Fourth Faith to include besides Unitarian and Universalists, Liberal Quakers, Reformed Jews, Ethical Culturalists and Religious Humanists. [The US (and Canada) has changed due to immigration such that Muslims, Hindus and Buddhist are significant in number to our religious tapestry. The idea of America having three or four faiths is outdated.]

Socially Unitarians are usually very well educated, socially and politically involved in their community. They seem to believe that Faith has more to do with how you behave rather than what you say you believe. "It is best to be known by deeds rather than creeds". Historically we have been in the forefront of education for women, concern for convicts, mental health, social work, anti-slavery, civil rights and opposition to war.

Part II:

Throughout Christian history there has been a minor theme of Unitarian Christianity. In fact, early in its history Unitarian theology might have been a majority view. At the Council of Nicea Trinitarian Christianity was made the orthodoxy. Since then Unitarianism has been a heretical view. It has had other names. Other than Unitarian. Today there are Christian theologians who do not hold to Trintitarianism in mainstream Christianity. There certainly is room for dialogue.... Channing was one of the early shapers of Unitarianism in America. The other two were Theodore Parker and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Parker was most famous for his anti-slavery efforts and Emerson was a literary figure. Emerson had notions in his writing influenced by Hindu thought. He wrote about the notion of the "oversoul". All three of these men were Unitarian clergymen.

Internationally, Unitarians belong to the International Association for Religious Freedom. This is an interfaith group. It even includes one small Muslim group if i remember correctly. There are also Buddhists, Hindus and Shinto and other groups. We are excluded from the Christian Council of Churches for we refuse to swear to a creed. Usually these groups require one "Believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour". Our faith has no creedal test of membership. Lots of Christians do not hold strictly to this test but swear to it for the sake of Christian Unity. In fact, I have recently read some Christian material that is indistinguishable from current Unitarian views. We are no longer such a heretical group.

Unitarians have long bee interested in World Religions. I spent one year taking a course at Harvard's Centre for the Study of World Religion. In the 19th Century and into the early 20th Century Harvard was the intellectual centre for Unitarianism. Harvard Divinity School has trained many of our ministers. I attended Tufts University, a Universalist University. I also took courses at Harvard, Boston University School of Theology and Andover Newton Theological School. Those were my days as a wandering student in Boston…

and a follow up:

I just googled "Antitrinitarianism" there is lots of information available on the history of this unitarian view of the Christian doctrine of God. The major history of Christianity has been written by Trinitarian Christianity but the unitarian view goes back to the beginning and has a persistent influence through the ages. There are many names for unitarian views: Armininism, arianism, socinianism, Polish Brethren, antitrinitariansm, protoantitrinitarianism etc. Seventh-Day Adventist today hold a unitarian view of God.

Unitarians, Universalist and other liberal Christians are comfortable with a unitarian view of God. Of course, in the modern day in Christianity there are few theological debates except among academics.

4 Comments:

At 6:06 PM, Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

Maybe you should Google - anti-religious intolerance in UUism. . .

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

Here is the latest *fatwa* in my Unitarian Jihad. . .


The following two-page letter was distributed to a number of Montreal Unitarians and others entering the Unitarian Church of Montreal today. It is a modified version of the letter that I distributed to UUs during the UUA GA in Quebec City in 2002.

Here is the "annotated version" -

http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/2005/12/letter-of-discontent.html


From Robin Edgar

Sunday December 4, 2005

To whom it may concern,

Today marks the 5th anniversary of my false arrest in December 2000 on trumped up criminal charges brought against me by Montreal Unitarians. After a few of criminal court dates I was acquitted of these unwarranted criminal charges that were intended to completely censor and suppress my legitimate public protest. I am protesting against the failure and refusal of the Unitarian Universalist religious community to responsibly redress my own and other UUs' legitimate grievances about abusive clergy misconduct. I am also protesting against the antireligious prejudice and intolerance that deplorably pervades and degrades UUism. The abusive clergy misconduct that I was subjected to arose directly from the antireligious intolerance, indeed the outright bigotry and hostility, of a self-professed "Humanist" Unitarian Universalist minister. I have seen too much evidence of similar antireligious prejudice and hostility towards God believing people within contemporary UUism. Such antireligious prejudice and intolerance, even hostility and bigotry, betrays UUism's monotheistic heritage and makes some UU congregations far from "Welcoming" (and at times even less than "Safe") for God believing people in general and Christians in particular. These UU injustices and abuses make a complete mockery of the claimed principles and purposes of UUism, and other UU ideals and must be responsibly redressed by all UUs, including current UUA and CUC leadership.

My clergy misconduct complaints did not involve sexual misconduct however I am also concerned about the UUA's and MFC's past failure to responsibly redress complaints arising from sexual misconduct by UU ministers. The UUA's "official apology" to victims of clergy sexual misconduct admits that the UUA has "largely failed" the victims of clergy sexual misconduct. In May 2000 I protested the failure of both the UUA and its Ministerial Fellowship Committee to responsibly address clergy misconduct, sexual or otherwise, in front of the UUA's offices at 25 Beacon Street. I also protested at UUA and CUC AGMs. I am protesting on behalf of all the victims of abusive clergy misconduct committed by UU ministers and all other people who have suffered either insult or injury (or both) as a result of antireligious intolerance as well as other injustices and abuses committed by hypocritical UUs who willfully disregard and violate claimed UU principles and purposes. I have been protesting in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal on most Sundays since May 1998 because these remarkably hypocritical UUs have rejected or willfully ignored all of my letters of grievance and my subsequent public protests. Montreal UUs have repeatedly unjustly punished me for refusing to “accept" their unjust, inequitable and uncompassionate rejection of my grievances arising from their well documented injustices and abuses. I have been repeatedly verbally attacked by Montreal UUs and I have been threatened and physically assaulted on occasion as well. Montreal Unitarians attempted to criminalize my public protest and have repeatedly called the police even though my protest is legal. In doing so Montreal UUs have made a total mockery of their purported principles and purposes, and other claimed ideals.

During a private meeting with him, the purpose of which was to try to explain a profound revelatory experience that I had undergone in early 1992, former UCM minister Rev. Ray Drennan sarcastically mocked and ridiculed my religious beliefs by labeling them as "silliness and fantasy" amongst other derisive and insulting comments. Rev. Ray Drennan contemptuous dismissed my revelatory experience as "your psychotic experience" and angrily insisted that I was in immediate need of "professional help." As if these words were not insulting and damaging enough Rev. Drennan went on to label 'Creation Day' (an inter-religious celebration of Creation that was inspired by my revelatory experience) as "your cult." When I immediately challenged him to qualify what he meant by this damaging slur (which is the 21st century equivalent of labeling someone as a "witch" or "heretic") he replied, "I mean a manipulative and secretive religious group." Ironically, less than a month earlier, Rev. Ray Drennan and the Board of the Unitarian Church of Montreal had banned ‘Creation Day' from being celebrated in the "sanctuary" of the UCM during an "in camera" segment of the October Board meeting that was totally secretive cynical manipulation of the democratic process; even though ‘Creation Day' had been unanimously approved as an adult RE activity by the UCM's Religious Education committee. Rev. Drennan never retracted these demeaning and damaging allegations about me, nor did he ever issue an acceptable apology that clearly and unequivocally acknowledged the wrongfulness of his words and actions. Rev. Ray Drennan was never held accountable by the Unitarian Church of Montreal or the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee. I on the other hand have been repeatedly punished and attacked by UUs for refusing to “accept” these UU injustices and abuses. The Ministerial Fellowship Committee complicitly "whitewashed" Rev. Ray Drennan by asserting that his demeaning and abusive misconduct, as I described it in more detailed letters of grievance, "seemed to us to be within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership." When I wrote a letter protesting this ludicrous decision, Rev. Diane Miller responded by vaunting the "wisdom" of the MFC's decision to "close the file."

My grievances arising from the abusive clergy misconduct of Rev. Ray Drennan, and the subsequent negligent and unjustly punitive responses of the Unitarian Church of Montreal must finally be responded to by Unitarian Universalists in a manner that clearly lives up to both the letter and the spirit of UUism's Seven Principles, other UU ideals, and policies such as the Safe Congregations program. I also expect the UUA, the CUC, and the Unitarian Church of Montreal to hold all those who are most directly responsible for the negligent, incompetent, and complicit response to my serious grievances fully accountable for their reprehensible actions and indeed their clearly negligent inaction. Rev. Diane Miller and other members of the MFC's Executive who unjustly, inequitably, and uncompassionately rejected my serious grievances, who complicitly "whitewashed" Rev. Ray Drennan’s clergy misconduct, and who have "largely failed" the various victims of sexual misconduct and abuse by UU ministers must face accountability for their own deplorable failures. Justice must finally be done for me and for others and I expect it to be seen to be done by the Unitarian Universalist community as a whole.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar email – robinedgar59@yahoo.ca

Google and Google Groups searches on pertinent names and key words such as - "abusive clergy misconduct" will find pertinent posts in various inter-net forums that provide considerable additional information about these UU injustices. See also the UU Debate section of http://www.beliefnet.com. My new blog that is dedicated to exposing UU injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy is found at - http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger tutamon said...

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

انفراد حصرى
اول شبكه قنوات الكترونيه فى الشرق الاوسط
اول بث مباشر وحى على شبكه الانترنت
(شبكه قنوات توت امون)
بالفعل
شمس الفضائيات تغرب وشمس الانترنت تشرق
القناه لازالت فى مرحلة البث التجريبى
مـــؤســس الـقـنـاه
الاعلامى الكبير أ/ سعيد عــــلام صــاحب برنامج (بدون رقابه)
الذى استمر عرضه على
القناه الاولى والثانيه
والفضائيه المصريه الاولى والثانيــه
لمدة 9 اعوام

الموقع الالكترونى للقناه www.tutamon.net
القناه سوف يذاع عليها برامج لكبار الملحنين والفنانين والعلماء وبرامج اخرى للشباب ، ومن الممكن التواصل مع البرامج عن طريق جروبات البرامج على الفيس بوك على الجروبات التالية:

برنامج سيبر البنات
مع الاستاذة الدكتورة زينب درويش
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=29027827843

برنامج الموسيقار
مع الفنان المبدع محمد على سليمان
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مع الاستاذ الدكتور العالم فى طب النفس عبد الناصر عمر
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الناس والقانون
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على الجروبات التالية:

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طـفــره جـديـده ورائـعــه فى مـجــال الانـتـرنت وتـكـنـولـوجـيـا الـمعلومات
هل انتهى عصر التليفزيون والفضائيات وبدأ عصر البث الحى على الانترنت؟؟؟؟؟



www.tutamon.net

قناه توت امون (شمس الفضائيات تغرب وشمس الانترنت تشرق)

 
At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Viagra Online said...

I was reading some interesting things about Unitarianism, did you know that the American Unitarian Association was formed in Boston in 1825. It was organized "to diffuse the knowledge and promote the interests of pure Christianity" and it published tracts and books, supported poor churches, sent out missionaries into every part of the country, and established new churches in nearly all the states.

 

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