Tuesday, April 06, 2010

On Religion Is More About What We Love Than What We Think: Unitarian Universalists encouraged to "get religion"

Some congregations are full of life. The energy fills the room. The warmth is palpable. We feel it in worship. We sense it in coffee hour. There is something about the “buzz.” We see people smile and embrace. They engage one another.

Alas, some congregations—far too many—don’t have it. They feel lifeless, cold, moribund. Why is this? What makes the difference between being full of life and warmth versus being dead and cold?

I think the difference is religion. Really. Religion. The key to the future for every single congregation and for Unitarian Universalism as a movement is whether we can “get religion.” If we “get religion” we will thrive. We will touch lives and change the world. If we don’t, we will decline.

Perhaps I should explain.

We tend to think of religion as a set of beliefs. That is a huge mistake. Religion is much more about what we love than about what we think. ...

Actually, the very word “religion” comes from a Latin root that means to tie, to bind. Ultimately what ties us together, what makes us a religion, a united people, is what we love. Religion, our religion, is what we truly care about, what we want to preserve, embrace, and create.

...when we ask one another what we truly love, what we truly value, what we care about more than anything else in life, something amazing happens. We don’t argue. We listen. We connect. We discover that we love and want the same things. We care about one another. We want honesty, depth, and intimacy in our relationships. We want enduring friendships.

We also discover that we realize that we are all in this life together. We want to help heal the world. We want compassion, understanding, and justice to guide our actions and our governments. We want to work together, hand in hand, to build a world beyond exploitation and violence.

When you and I focus on what we love and what we long to create, something almost miraculous happens. We are energized. We form lasting bonds. We become eager to commit ourselves and to work together. We become more generous. We come to care more about “us” and less about “me.”

In other words, when we focus on what we love we “get religion.”

The truth is that we do care deeply about the same things. We share a vision. In our congregations there is love, idealism, and energy waiting to be released. When we release these, when we really let our people go, we transform lives and change the world.

Let’s get religion. I can’t wait to see what we can do together.


This excerpt from an article in UUWorld by Peter Morales hits on so many points that I associate with Baha'i. The purpose of religion is to unify. If we press our thinking on others we get in trouble; if we listen, we love. The love that I experience anytime I am with the Baha'i friends of my community is that same love that Rev Morales is writing about, I am convinced. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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