Idle Thoughts About Barack Obama & Unitarian Universalism


The other day I stumbled upon a screed that notes how Barack Obama is really a Unitarian Universalist, which means he is really a communist.

But of course…

I suspect first for a politician, and second for one who had been working out his own faith journey which eventually took him to the African American church, that UU connection was probably something he’d just as soon ignore. And he certainly has…

I don’t hold it against him. Just as a practical political issue the fact of that screed is perhaps enough to understand his not discussing any connection to our liberal faith. That and the fact he is not a UU, he is a congregational Christian, currently unchurched. I suspect his family will make sure there is a new church in their lives in Washington. It’ll be interesting to see where they end up.

Governor Adlai Stevenson seems to be the last serious contender (I think we can stipulate that Governor Mike Gravel’s play for the presidency wasn’t serious to too many people) to publicly own a Unitarian faith.

In fact the nutjob set have enough to play with ballyhooing the constitutional crisis in allow someone who had a non-citizen parent become president. Of course they have to ignore the other five presidents, including Andrew Jackson who actually had two immigrant parents to run with this. But if you actually find this a startling and dangerous challenge to the republic, frankly actual facts don’t need to enter the picture. Which leads to those who think Obama wasn’t actually born in Hawaii rather than to those ruminating on the UU connection.

Which perhaps explains with such lovely challenges to the republic and all it stands for in his genealogy, there hasn’t been a lot of ranting about Obama’s UU connection.

But at least there really is a UU connection.

It was the religion of his maternal grandparents and presumably the faith within which his mother was raised and the church he attended at least on occasion during his childhood.

And this means things. It does seem many of his values came to him through his maternal grandmother. And her faith was Unitarian Universalism.

What, however, this actually might mean, and how it plays out, well, only time will tell.

But somehow I find it heartening…

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14302958901026684328 Steven Rowe

    But wouldn’t he be a good fit for one of our Christian UU congregations? Like Washington’s Universalist National Memorial? – ok, as a politician, I would guess 8 years from now…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08858053354116695746 fausto

    In my observation of others as well as my personal experience, as a lapsed cradle UU who reaffiliated in adulthood myself, UU membership is transient but UU values (if instilled early) are more permanent.

  • http://serenityhome.wordpress.com/ serenityhome

    “Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life” so states the play Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. “Give us a child for eight years and it will be a Bolshevik for life.” allegedly said Lenin. Both of these quotes are based on the Jesuit Maxim, “Give us the child, and we will give you the man.” Since fundementalism is now among the largest religious group in America, I certainly hope Fausto’s comment and the above quotes are not entirely true. I’d like to believe that our values can be learned and integrated at any point of our lives. Maybe I should be praying for the rapture… Maranatha!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11919272830662296954 Naethan Jorgensen

    The comment stating that UU means communism has no merit. It is plain absurd.

    • http://RandyVSDekker Will

      I’m a Unitarian Universalist, and I not only agree with Naethan Jorgensen but know what he’s saying to be a fact.

      Unitarian Universalism has NOTHING TO DO WITH COMMUNISM!


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