17 July 2005

And then they came for the Unitarians?

A conservative Christian convention in Denver (the International Christian Retail Show perhaps?) arranged to picket the Unitarian Universalist churches in Denver this morning. Their beef? Basically, support for gay rights. First, abortion clinics, then UU churches, are mosques next? Right now, these people don't have power, so picket is about all they can do. Their actions now, however, are a clear illustration of whose at risk if they ever do get real power.

2 comments:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Looks like this may have been the group:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/8/3/22150/15155

The Emerson Avenger said...

My beef. . .

The following two-page letter was distributed to a number of Montreal Unitarians and others entering the Unitarian Church of Montreal today. It is a modified version of the letter that I distributed to UUs during the UUA GA in Quebec City in 2002.

The "annotated version" may be read here -

http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/2005/12/letter-of-discontent.html


From Robin Edgar

Sunday December 4, 2005

To whom it may concern,

Today marks the 5th anniversary of my false arrest in December 2000 on trumped up criminal charges brought against me by Montreal Unitarians. After a few of criminal court dates I was acquitted of these unwarranted criminal charges that were intended to completely censor and suppress my legitimate public protest. I am protesting against the failure and refusal of the Unitarian Universalist religious community to responsibly redress my own and other UUs' legitimate grievances about abusive clergy misconduct. I am also protesting against the antireligious prejudice and intolerance that deplorably pervades and degrades UUism. The abusive clergy misconduct that I was subjected to arose directly from the antireligious intolerance, indeed the outright bigotry and hostility, of a self-professed "Humanist" Unitarian Universalist minister. I have seen too much evidence of similar antireligious prejudice and hostility towards God believing people within contemporary UUism. Such antireligious prejudice and intolerance, even hostility and bigotry, betrays UUism's monotheistic heritage and makes some UU congregations far from "Welcoming" (and at times even less than "Safe") for God believing people in general and Christians in particular. These UU injustices and abuses make a complete mockery of the claimed principles and purposes of UUism, and other UU ideals and must be responsibly redressed by all UUs, including current UUA and CUC leadership.

My clergy misconduct complaints did not involve sexual misconduct however I am also concerned about the UUA's and MFC's past failure to responsibly redress complaints arising from sexual misconduct by UU ministers. The UUA's "official apology" to victims of clergy sexual misconduct admits that the UUA has "largely failed" the victims of clergy sexual misconduct. In May 2000 I protested the failure of both the UUA and its Ministerial Fellowship Committee to responsibly address clergy misconduct, sexual or otherwise, in front of the UUA's offices at 25 Beacon Street. I also protested at UUA and CUC AGMs. I am protesting on behalf of all the victims of abusive clergy misconduct committed by UU ministers and all other people who have suffered either insult or injury (or both) as a result of antireligious intolerance as well as other injustices and abuses committed by hypocritical UUs who willfully disregard and violate claimed UU principles and purposes. I have been protesting in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal on most Sundays since May 1998 because these remarkably hypocritical UUs have rejected or willfully ignored all of my letters of grievance and my subsequent public protests. Montreal UUs have repeatedly unjustly punished me for refusing to “accept" their unjust, inequitable and uncompassionate rejection of my grievances arising from their well documented injustices and abuses. I have been repeatedly verbally attacked by Montreal UUs and I have been threatened and physically assaulted on occasion as well. Montreal Unitarians attempted to criminalize my public protest and have repeatedly called the police even though my protest is legal. In doing so Montreal UUs have made a total mockery of their purported principles and purposes, and other claimed ideals.

During a private meeting with him, the purpose of which was to try to explain a profound revelatory experience that I had undergone in early 1992, former UCM minister Rev. Ray Drennan sarcastically mocked and ridiculed my religious beliefs by labeling them as "silliness and fantasy" amongst other derisive and insulting comments. Rev. Ray Drennan contemptuous dismissed my revelatory experience as "your psychotic experience" and angrily insisted that I was in immediate need of "professional help." As if these words were not insulting and damaging enough Rev. Drennan went on to label 'Creation Day' (an inter-religious celebration of Creation that was inspired by my revelatory experience) as "your cult." When I immediately challenged him to qualify what he meant by this damaging slur (which is the 21st century equivalent of labeling someone as a "witch" or "heretic") he replied, "I mean a manipulative and secretive religious group." Ironically, less than a month earlier, Rev. Ray Drennan and the Board of the Unitarian Church of Montreal had banned ‘Creation Day' from being celebrated in the "sanctuary" of the UCM during an "in camera" segment of the October Board meeting that was totally secretive cynical manipulation of the democratic process; even though ‘Creation Day' had been unanimously approved as an adult RE activity by the UCM's Religious Education committee. Rev. Drennan never retracted these demeaning and damaging allegations about me, nor did he ever issue an acceptable apology that clearly and unequivocally acknowledged the wrongfulness of his words and actions. Rev. Ray Drennan was never held accountable by the Unitarian Church of Montreal or the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee. I on the other hand have been repeatedly punished and attacked by UUs for refusing to “accept” these UU injustices and abuses. The Ministerial Fellowship Committee complicitly "whitewashed" Rev. Ray Drennan by asserting that his demeaning and abusive misconduct, as I described it in more detailed letters of grievance, "seemed to us to be within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership." When I wrote a letter protesting this ludicrous decision, Rev. Diane Miller responded by vaunting the "wisdom" of the MFC's decision to "close the file."

My grievances arising from the abusive clergy misconduct of Rev. Ray Drennan, and the subsequent negligent and unjustly punitive responses of the Unitarian Church of Montreal must finally be responded to by Unitarian Universalists in a manner that clearly lives up to both the letter and the spirit of UUism's Seven Principles, other UU ideals, and policies such as the Safe Congregations program. I also expect the UUA, the CUC, and the Unitarian Church of Montreal to hold all those who are most directly responsible for the negligent, incompetent, and complicit response to my serious grievances fully accountable for their reprehensible actions and indeed their clearly negligent inaction. Rev. Diane Miller and other members of the MFC's Executive who unjustly, inequitably, and uncompassionately rejected my serious grievances, who complicitly "whitewashed" Rev. Ray Drennan’s clergy misconduct, and who have "largely failed" the various victims of sexual misconduct and abuse by UU ministers must face accountability for their own deplorable failures. Justice must finally be done for me and for others and I expect it to be seen to be done by the Unitarian Universalist community as a whole.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar email – robinedgar59@yahoo.ca

Google and Google Groups searches on pertinent names and key words such as - "abusive clergy misconduct" will find pertinent posts in various inter-net forums that provide considerable additional information about these UU injustices. See also the UU Debate section of http://www.beliefnet.com. My new blog that is dedicated to exposing UU injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy is found at - http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com