Submitted by frlarry on Thu, 03/17/2011 - 15:10

That seems to be the motivation for many mergers of what the Church calls "ecclesial communities.1" One of the more interesting mergers from an historical point of view is the union, in 1961, of the American Unitarian Association (which consisted of ecclesial communities united in the belief that God is not trinitarian, except for more conservative sects such as the Jehovah's Witnesses) and the Universalist Church of America (which consisted of ecclesial communities united in the belief that everyone will eventually go to heaven) to form the ecclesial community of Unitarian Universalism.

According to the Wikipedia article on Unitarianism, there are various and sundry explanations of who and what Jesus is within this theology that make it an incoherent mish-mash. Evidently, flesh and blood revealed these ideas to them. The question that naturally comes to the lips of a coherent theologian is this, what unites them, other than the conviction that Jesus is not God?

We can ask the same question regarding the Christian Universalists, who believe in universal reconciliation, namely, what shape does that reconciliation take? What unites them other than the belief that no one is going to hell?

So, what's even more puzzling to me is this, what produced a joint ecclesial community from two disparate groups, one of which consisted of people who don't believe Jesus is God and the other of which consisted of people who don't believe in hell? What is it that attracted these groups to each other?

We may as well ask ourselves what is it that attracts people who don't believe in capitalism or Christianity with people who believe in implementing Sharia? Could it be that the Unitarian Universalists are going through another phase? What will the impact be on subgroups of the anti-capitalist/anti-Christian rainbow coalition, such as the feminists (who are being asked to accept second class citizenry in Sharia) and the GLBTQ folks (who are being asked to accept being stoned to death under Sharia)? I can understand what attracts the Muslim Brotherhood to socialism. They already practice it as a major recruiting tool, like Hamas and Hezbollah, and since lazy people can be found in all religious traditions, they're having a signal success selling the "entitlement" idea.

But, what is the entitlement idea, really? People might believe that it holds that people are entitled to such benefits as food, clothing, shelter, education, health care and entertainment, all without having to pay for them. Oh, and they're also entitled to a job, but without the inconvenience of having to work at it. Of course, since these entitlements are all impossible to achieve under the stated conditions, in reality, the entitlement belief is ultimately a negative one, namely that rich people are not entitled to keep what they have earned. This is certainly the position advocated by Michael Moore and other rich people who have no intention of giving up their own wealth. (The one thing that seems to unite people who hold a negative social or economic dogma is that they are personally exempt.)