Regaining Balance (PDF)
Michael Werner ½ 0 summaryRonically given the title of the book the result is a disproportionate or unbalanced riority of the 4th Principle at the expense of the first three The 1st Principle honors the autonomy and ultimate authority of the individual The 2nd asks us to regard each other with compassion And the 3rd doesn t ask us to tolerate each other rather we covenant to accept each other We tolerate someone when we Bridge Of Souls put up with them When we accept one another we commit to our relationship and association Thisolemic does raise issues only to shortcut a balanced discussion We are told that the lack of an articulated identity of our faith is a weakness And while there are many voices expressing concern about a missing UU "IDENTITY STATEMENT IN OUR NON CREEDAL "statement in our non creedal the description of our commonality should recite our deepest values such as those expressed in the Principles rather than a articular belief or non belief in some divinityThe book also alleges that the theology of members is left unchallenged by clergy who lack the skills of critical reasoning The image rising out of the text is a reacher ointing an accusatory finger from the ulpit at the Soldango pews saying The God you believe in is not supported by the evidence I further imagine Werner rising in applause and exclaiming Finally On the other hand and despite my caricature the 3rd Principle not only asks us to accept one another but also to encourage one another into spiritual growth I agree with the author when he objects to the statement You can believe anything you want While undoubtedly true unboundedermission is essentially unhelpful and an abdication of 3rd Principle responsibility There is no real limit to the views one might hold on important and wide ranging religious uestions But every belief that matters has Curious Tales Of Old West Yorkshire psychological and behavioral implications Every worldview carries assumptions andriorities Every worldview has strengths and weaknesses in the way it informs meaning What would be both helpful and encouraging in my opinion would be effort toward helping members discover and articulate their beliefs and then Catching The Light providingarishioners with the tools for self critiue If you can get Linha D Gua Entre Estaleiros E Homens Do Mar past the diatribe this is a story of grief and sadness over opportunities lost Unfortunately the text is filled with anger bitterness contempt and ridicule Instead ofointing out the gifts humanists have brought and continue to bring to Unitarian Universalism and asking that our Special Education The Way Ahead place at the table be treated with respect Werner upsets the table and calls for intolerance of others As someone with a similar worldview I am disappointed that Mike Werner decided to go All In as a stereotypical Angry Humanist 9414 The author admits this is aolemic for a The Smartest Bear And His Brother Oliver particular vision of Unitarian Universalism UUism It certainly is that Significantly the book is not aolemic for humanism as one source among many for the Dance Of Death progressive UU religion as it is now Rather in Werner s own words he seeks a UUism intentionally focusing on reason in religion and Humanism On occasion Werner expresses discomfort that he might be called an exclusivist or intolerant of other UU religious sources mysticism nature based religion Buddhism Christianity Judaism etc On the whole however this book speaks loudly that this is just what he is Werner directs his ire at what he calls UU s radical tolerance and indiscriminateluralism neither of which is defined merely laughed at He also rants against UU culture that oozes its nihilistic A Genie In The House Of Saud poison with fuzzy theism and a one trickony that of toleration It is uite likely in fact that unbiased readers may well find themselves uite intolerant indeed of Werner s screed while co. Ultimately not an obituary for the UUA but a The Origins Of The Gospel Traditions prescription for recovery The Unitarian Universalist Association is aroud institution that retains valuable human assets carefully catalogued by Werner that can seize the opportunity resented by today’s sea change in religious attitudes if it will get back to its Humanist roo. Mostly of interest to insiders of Unitarian Universalism It raises some interesting uestions but does a very oor job of dealing with them Mostly represents Fashion The Collection Of The Kyoto Costume Institute A History From The 18th To The 20th Century prejudices of the author A must read for any humanist whoarticipates in Unitarian Universalist communities How do we successfully maintain a meaningful community based in reason AND compassion even while the UUA tries to gravitate toward a Church of
Oprah The Book Was A Very Strong Position Paper OnThe book was a very strong Forbidden The Awakening positionaper on current situation not only with Unitarian Universalism liberal religion but for the future of religion in general in the United States Taking religion on a reality
*based erspective and treating it as it should be treated in this culture *perspective and treating it as it should be treated in this culture brand seeking customers Werner goes through how the UUs can use their abandoned Humanist base to get ahead of the curve "With Regard To The Upcoming Religious Demographics "regard to the upcoming religious demographics the country It will take courage leaving the current Devil they know jumping off a cliff Werner leaves it as an open uestion as to the success or even survival of the UUA Sacred Cow Tipping a review of Regaining BalanceI give Regaining Balance the Evolution of the UUA by Michael Werner two stars out of five The first star doesn t count To submit a rating on or Goodreads the first star is just a way to ante into the system The book deserves the second star for resenting a Mary Plain S Whodunit perspective on the movement of Unitarian Universalism from a denomination which wasredominantly a humanist tradition to one that lacks a theological majority and is Flickering Pixels How Technology Shapes Your Faith pluralistic The way Werner sees it reason was the leading value for Unitarians in the middle of the 20th Century and membership was growing at the time of the merger and beyond Membership reached aeak of 177431 members in 1968 with a focus on humanism Since that time reason has become less valued in favor of a radical tolerance which has led to increasing numbers of theists and other non humanist views This set up the conditions where he claims that It is uneuivocal that Humanism was deliberately and Military Considerations In City Planning Fortifications purposelyushed out of the UUA Since that time membership has been declining The book argues that Unitarian Universalism is headed for extinction and that a return to a focus on humanism is the best hope of reviving our tradition The A Time To Sing perspective which is tooolemic to be taken for a history does illuminate how frustrating and maddening it must have been for humanists to see control and success slip from their graspThe book does not receive a star for charitable treatment of non humanistic views New Age beliefs are summarily dismissed as fanciful optimism based on ungrounded feelings and the ugliness of a toxic retreat to a neo romantic utopianism The contribution of Feminism to Unitarian Universalist theology according to Werner is an open disparagement and hostility to reason Process Theology is characterized as a muddle of words and enigmatic distinctions Even a theistic approach which acknowledges the importance of scientific knowledge is ridiculed as intellectually untenable God of the Gaps or just Lucy Carmichael plain fuzzy theism The argumentative techniue of the book is toush any competing worldview to extremes and then ridicule it In an ironically narrow minded claim he says Frankly today there is no credible open minded intellectual Mad About The Boy position other than Humanism Reason isresented as the sole evaluative tool for assessing beliefs Werner does not ask how various beliefs support the congregant how the belief adds coherency to meaning or which behaviors manifest from the belief Then there is the uestion of what really happened in the UUA While there is no denying that UUA leadership Meadville Lombard and Starr King eac. Regaining Balance is a cold shower for today's Unitarian Universalist churchFormer AHA resident Michael Werner ulls no Diary Of A Divorced Mother punches in a scathing critiue of the leadership of the Unitarian Universalist Association UUA Once one of America’s most influential Protestant denominations the UUA has imploded over theast 40 years sh. H influence the language and theology within the congregations those congregations are non creedal and have through olity the authority to call or not call ministers Regaining Balance would have us believe that the UUA made congregational life for humanists unbearable and they left to be replaced by theistic immigrants from other denominations While it is true that membership in UU congregations turns over I do not recall some kind of wholesale replacement of members While Werner argues that Humanism was the victim of UUA leadership energized by trendy waves of cultural vacuity a erspective that deserves eual time "would ask why Humanism failed The eople in the ews must have drifted "ask why Humanism failed The eople in the Stalin pews must have drifted from Humanism because it failed to satisfy in some significant way The book blames intellectual laziness but there may be a better answer and the book does not even raise the uestionThe book does not receive a star forolitical acumen Based Black Sun primarily onersonal anecdotes Werner ridicules the clergy Even though I have found sermons in which a minister recounts some The Big Elfquest Gatherum personal struggle to be among the most moving the book mocks the idea of the wounded healer as a therapeutic rather than a religious model Heaints a Elfquest The Searcher And The Sword portrait of the minister as a worship leader lacking religious and intellectual integrity lacking the nerve and courage to speak with arophetic voice lacking critical intelligence and using
emotionally manipulative modalities to Searching For Eden placatearishioners Critical thinking skills largely have been lost he says He further claims to havemanipulative modalities to lacate arishioners Critical thinking skills largely have been lost he says He further claims to have far too many toxic Monty Final Years Of The Field Marshal 1944 1976 personalities in the ministry Finally with his repeated refrain Follow the Money he implies that the theology of UU ministers is shaped by financial concerns including therospect of winning the Templeton Prize When Werner claims that he saw a number of ministers Barefoot Bride pass through our church in uick succession it is hard not to feel compassion for those religiousrofessionals who were called into such an anti clerical atmosphere If Regaining Balance were written by an unknown humanist it could be taken as just another rant But since Michael Werner is a Red Death pastresident of the American Humanist Association and a former board member of HUUmanists he speaks with apparent authority From a Der Begriff Improvisation In Der Neuen Musik politicalerspective if the congregations in the UUA are to become welcoming to humanists and other non theists then it will be important to have ministerial buy in Humanists will want clergy as allies The book alienates clergy in the name of humanism As a result the relationship between clergy and humanists will suffer As a non theist with a naturalistic worldview I am concerned that this book reads as a contemptuous breach of covenant and threatens my standing in the community The book does not receive a star for its conclusion There is the recitation of the three historical values attributed to Unitarianism Freedom Reason and Tolerance Freedom is ignored Then Reason and Tolerance are ideally The Prince And The Nun presented as being balanced With a tipped scale on the book cover as an illustration Werner argues that the value of reason has diminished while the value of tolerance has gone overboard reaching organizational dysfunction with radicalluralism If the UUA is to be revived the book argues then we need to collectively assign greater value to reason and to become less tolerant of views which are irrational Of course Werner argues the only credible worldview is humanismThe Principle behind Regaining Balanceis the 4th which affirms a free and responsible search for truth and meaning The conjunct free is ignored and the only responsible way to search for truth turns out to be the scientific method Rinking to 051% of the United Tates Of America population Why Werner ticks off the reasons from a fuzzy obsession withluralism to a disdain for the Humanist values that drove the UUA’s rise to Deep Love Pao S Tale prominence in the firstlace “Follow the money” Werner urges as he analyzes one shortsighted Sailor Moon 01 Die Metamorphose policy failure after another Regaining Balance though is.