July 18, 2008

There is a God

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:38 pm by Rev. Thomas Perchlik

The few responses to my recent posts have mostly about UU lack of, or antagonism toward, God, monotheism, and the Christian faith.  It seems a little troubling that after centuries of theistic tradition, and three decades of worshipping ‘The Goddess,’ goddesses, and almost constantly using the word “spirit” and all its variations in worship what we are still most known for is atheism (meaning literally not-god-ism). 

Just the other day my Mormon neighbor, while she was weeding with her daughter on one side of the fence and I was putting away garden tools on my side, suddenly called out “Thomas, does your church believe in the Bible?”  My immediate response was my usual response to such questions with uncertain agendas, “Yes… in a sense.”  After a little conversation about this she said, “I ask because a friend at my church said that there were atheists in your church.”  I pointed out that there were many different variations of theism there too, and that even many of the so-called atheists in our church believe very deeply in the power of goodness, even if they don’t call it ‘God.’  “What matters is how we treat one another and making the world a better place,” I said, “Don’t you think so?” and she agreed wholeheartedly. 

I am sad, and I apologize, that some people have been hurt by angry atheists and frightened or self-righetous existential humanists in UU churches; but the domination of some parts of our culture by a particular philosophical and cultural thread is only one small part of our story.  Both atheists and theists have been hurt and divided for too long by small definitions of the word “god.”  Our power lies in our openness to the radical and transforming truth, known in all cultures and times and places and by many names.  What we embody, at our best, is that aspect of reality which leads to a renewal of the human spirit and a vibrant alliance with all that creates and upholds peace and justice in life.