Why I am a Unitarian Universalist

As a good Pentecostal kid, I read the Bible. I read of a God who condemned the oppression of the poor. I read of a Messiah executed for threatening power structures. This is not what I heard from the pulpit. I could not reconcile this dissonance in my mind. I felt alone.

At college I found a small group of humanists who called themselves Unitarian Universalists. They were joyful people whose values of commitment and compassion I admired. I was not alone.

I became a poet. I began to think that all scriptures are part of a vast and beautiful human project to capture compassion and awe. I began to believe that scripture is creative writing. I began to believe that the writers of sacred texts were poets. And, like me, all were bound in understanding by barriers such as time, geography, and language.

I am a Unitarian Universalist because I believe religions are very human attempts to find meaning and purpose. The texts and practices that have accumulated over time are at once sad and glorious, brutal and loving.

We humans, all through time, have been whistling in a graveyard. And writing poetry.

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About David Breeden

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden is Senior Minister at First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He became a minister after a career as a university professor, teaching creative writing and literature. He has written several books on theological topics and translates the writings of philosophers of classical antiquity. More information is available at www.wayofoneness.com.