Saturday, November 14, 2009

A-HA! on that Freedom From Religion Ad

Well, I got my UU World today. It recounts some of the letters for and against the infamous Freedom From Religion ad. Old news, now. And then, at the end of the wrap, on page 13, comes a reply from Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation:
"Our ad was not an attack on the UUA, it was an espousal of the views of most Unitarians! Perhaps the infiltration of the UUA by new members who are not freethinking, who do not really understand its creedless position, accounts for this mind-boggling reaction."
And suddenly, I get it. If you believe that those who have a problem with that ad are exclusively:
  • new UUs
  • not freethinking
  • not understanding the creedlessness of Unitarian Universalism
then you truly do not understand this religion yourself. Ms. Gaylor, I am a life-long Unitarian Universalist and a seminary student. My parents, both fairly atheist, have been Unitarian Universalists since the 1950s.

They, and I, were mind-boggled by YOUR ad. Respect has always been a part of Unitarian Universalism. Mocking and belittling others is NOT a part of my religion -- it is a part of yours? Oh, I forgot. You want freedom from religion.

Yeah. I get that.


Robin Edgar said...

Well said Lizard Eater.

Anne Laurie Gaylor obviously just doesn't get it. If the negative reaction of many U*Us, thankfully including a good number of atheist or agnostic Humanist U*Us, to the FFRF ad seeking donations for their rather "in your face" anti-religious bus sign ad campaign boggles her mind it only shows how small minded she is. . . I was very gratified to see that several Humanist U*U bloggers spoke out against the offensive ad in the U*U World and the fact that the U*U World magazine's business manager quickly acknowledged that it had been a mistake to run that particular ad. The Freedom *From* Religion Foundation has shown its proverbial true colours with this ad which had virtually nothing to do with the issue of separation of church and state and everything to do with condemning ALL religion in a much more general manner. Several of the ads were blanket condemnations of religion and that would include Unitarian*Universalism although many, including myself. . . have reason to debate just how genuinely religious Unitarian*Universalism is today. After all the UU World *did* choose to run the ad and I and many other people have encountered anti-religious intolerance and bigotry perpetrated by "fundamentalist atheist" Humanist U*Us which makes any number of U*U "Welcoming Congregations" anything but genuinely welcoming to GOd believing people.

For the record I would like to point out to Anne Laurie Gaylor and other smallminded atheists who believe that only atheists can be "freethinking" "Free Thinkers" that plenty of GOd believing people are every bit as freething as atheist "Freethinkers", their freethinking just happens to *include* believing in GOd and freely thinking about God and religion.

Bill Baar said...

Is Gaylor a member of a UU Church?

ogre said...

Add me to the list, LE. Lifelong UU, feet well down the road to being in a UU pulpit--I've *preached* about our non-creedalism... and the ad was incredibly tin-eared.

Ours is a greater vision than just freedom from religion.

goodwolve said...

Sorry sweetie, not on your side with this one. As a marketing person I think they were trying to reach the audience they thought most suitable for their message - for some reason though some of you were (and I am saying this nicely) a tad sensitive and not looking at the whole picture.

Then again - I want a shirt that says Good Without God, so who am I to understand.

SC Universalist said...

they claim that the UUA "slammed them" - so either they think UU bloggers are the UUA or they are rather thin skinned themselves; as the official position of the UU World was rather mild....