Commentary on Unitarian Universalist faith development in congregations and the wider liberal religious community
Not undeserved, either.
Out of interest, what are your opinions on the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed? Are these also 'not underserved'?
Are U*Us quite certain that the UUA and/or individual U*U "churches" have not covered up and indirectly supported the criminal assault of minors, to say nothing of adults?Just asking. . .
There's no valid analogy to Mohammed. He died a long time ago, and didn't knowingly and systematically permit the serial rape of children while he was alive and in charge.In contrast, Bernard Cardinal Law did, and not only are he and many of his victims still alive, but he is (among other high honors and functions) a member of the Curia and its Pontifical Council for the Family.UUism even on its worst day ever can't compare to that.
Well Rev. Mack Mitchell's forcible rape of Tibetan foreign exchange students that he lured to the Framingham parish is "comparable" to some degree.
Robin,I did a quick Google search for the terms "Mack Mitchell unitarian minister rape" and here is what I found on a Buddhist news site:Oprah' to retell disturbing tale of minister's raping of teenshttp://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?article=Oprah'+to+retell+disturbing+tale+of+minister's+raping+of+teens&id=10820&c=1&t=1 Or using TinyURL:http://preview.tinyurl.com/yq2ut6Here are some significant points from the news story:(1) "He was charged with raping and molesting them. He later was convicted and served prison time." -- This incident was not hidden and Rev. Mitchell was not simply moved to another parish. He was convicted and sentenced to prison.(2) "'On Nov. 18, 1992, the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee held a formal hearing on charges of conduct unbecoming a minister and voted to remove Mack Wallace Mitchell from ministerial fellowship,' said Janet Hayes, information officer of Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston" -- Our ecclesiastical structures didn't hide this incident and they ensured (as much as one can with congregational polity) that Rev. Mitchell will never be a UU minister again.Contrast that response to ministerial misconduct with the response of the Boston Archdiocese under Cardinal Law.
Why do UUs think they have a right to stereotype other elements of Christianity, yet shy away from such attacks on others?Is it because they have yet to find any identity other than "how we are not like nasty Christianity"? Is it because they are scared of criticising other faiths? Or is it because for all their boasting about drawing on all faiths, they have actually little more than surface knowledge of other faiths?Let's also see some good in the Roman Catholic church and consider how UUs compare... How many Oscar Romero or Dom Helder Camara or Brother Roger types have you had? How much aid work are you doing in the Third World? Just how liberal and welcoming of other faiths are you really?And given the amount of corruption, hidden abuse etc in other organisations (including those of other faiths), are you going to support similar criticisms / generalised attacks on them? I doubt it, only easy targets will do for UU.Get off your high horses and think for a second.
You may want to check out these blog posts that are related to the recent accounts of Roman Catholic priests and sexual abuse of minors:Molestation Covered by Ministerial Exception?http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2007/09/molestation_covered_by_ministe.phpThe Catholic Church: Pedophilia as a First Amendment Righthttp://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/09/the-catholic-ch.htmlHere's a quote from the first article:"It's the same old story. Priest molests children in his parish. Priest's boss finds out about the molestation. Rather than turning the priest over to the police so he can be prosecuted for one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, the church hierarchy instead puts the priest into their own private, intra-church counseling while merely telling his parishioners that he is taking a leave of absence.Upon completion of that counseling, they move the offending priest to another parish where the public has no idea that he has a history of molesting children and they once again put him in a position of authority over children. To no one's surprise, he molests more children. One of those children grows up and sues the diocese for negligence for their actions and the diocese goes to court and argues that the case should be dismissed because of the free exercise clause of the Constitution.Read that again. It wasn't a joke. They actually argued that if the Court rules on the issue they will "will become unconstitutionally entangled in religious doctrine, practice, or church polity" and that it will require the Court to "regulate the manner in which a Catholic bishop selects, assigns, supervises, and disciplines priests and that such regulation violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution." The word 'chutzpah' comes to mind.Thankfully, a court in Rhode Island has rejected that claim (see full ruling here) and denied the motion to dismiss the case, writing:'The Court rejects Defendants' argument that such functions should be shielded by the First Amendment because they are performed under the Church's Code of Canon law. The Hierarchy Defendants cannot avoid the instant litigation on the argument that the alleged acts or omissions constituted obeying and applying scripture, and ministering to the priest. Contrary to Hierarchy Defendant's contentions, this case can be determined based upon neutral principles of law and will not involve inquiry into church law.'
"UUism even on its worst day ever can't compare to that."Don't be so sure of that Fausto Unitarian Universalists elected a U*U minister who was accused of clergy sexual misconduct as UUA President not so long ago and Rev. Calvin Dame, whose apparently quite egregious clergy sexual misconduct devastated at least one U*U congregation came very close to becoming UUA Moderator. It may well be that UUism's "worst day" has already come but U*Us just don"t know it (as it were). . . In any case UUism's "worst day" come still come down the road a bit.No?
Needless to say I meant to say -In any case UUism's "worst day" *may* still come down the road a bit.
Robin Edgar, try to get at least some of your facts right. Rev. Calvin Dame never ran for, and was never elected, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. He was a minister (pastor) in Augusta, Maine. After he left that congregation he was accused of having made unwanted sexual advances to some adult women. He was never president of the UUA. He was never accused of molesting children; he was never charged with any crime. But his behavior was deemed unacceptable, so the UUs took away his credentials as a minister and booted him out.
ALL of my facts ARE right Mark. What part of Rev. Calvin Dame "came very close to becoming UUA ***Moderator***" did you FAIL to understand?For the record, yet another Unitarian Universalist clergy sex offender, indeed a registered sex offender who was not only charged with a crime but convicted of it. . . also "came very close to becoming UUA Moderator". I will let you enter into a free and responsible search for the Truth and meaning of *that* accusation by Googling (in)appropriate search words. Thanks for your wonderful example of DIM Thinking.
P.S. It *might* interest both you and Steve Caldwell to know that when it comes to an organization that has covered up, and-or attempted to cover up, and indirectly supported the criminal assault of minors, *this* criticism of the UUA, indeed the current Rev. Peter Morales UUA administration courtesy of Yours Truly is NOT "less than credible". Sadly, the same cannot be said about the highly misleading, and even outright false, criminal accusations that the UUA saw fit to hire Stikeman Elliott Barristers & Solicitors litigation lawyer Maitre Marc-Andre Coulombe to bring against me in its hubristic, immoral, unethical, borderline criminal and indeed "bat shit crazy" legal bullying that you may read about here -http://emersonavenger.blogspot.ca/2012/06/uua-unitarian-universalist-association.htmlHere -http://emersonavenger.blogspot.ca/2012/07/marc-andre-coulombe-stikeman-elliott.htmlAnd here -http://emersonavenger.blogspot.ca/2013/01/stikeman-elliott-litigation-lawyer.htmlJust for starters. . .
Mark, I hereby graciously grant you three guesses as to which U*U minister who had previously been accused of clergy sexual misconduct Unitarian Universalists elected as President of the UUA not so long ago. . .Let's see how you do.
Yes, Robin, I mis-read your comment and somehow thought you had said "president," not "moderator." And then I posted hastily without re-reading, so in that respect I was wrong.But in what way do you think Calvin Dame "nearly" became moderator of the UUA? I was not aware that he was ever a candidate for that office. And he certainly never "nearly" become moderator after being accused of misconduct. So how do you define "nearly" becoming moderator?You seem to compare Mack Mitchell's criminal behavior of about 20 years ago to Mr. Dame's more recent inappropriate advances toward adult women. That's comparing apples and oranges. To my knowledge, no one ever accused Mr. Dame of anything illegal. His behavior was offensive, but not criminal (to my knowledge).Both men were disfellowshiped bu the UUA. The UUA could not have taken stronger action. What do you think they should have done that they failed to do?
On 7 May 2014, Robin Edgar wrote:-snip-For the record, yet another Unitarian Universalist clergy sex offender, indeed a registered sex offender who was not only charged with a crime but convicted of it. . . also "came very close to becoming UUA Moderator"Robin,You are correct that Rev. Calvin Dame did run for the position of Interim Moderator after UUA Moderator Diane Olson resigned in Fall 2003.I did find the results of the Interim Moderator election where the UUA Board elected Diane Olson's replacement:** Gini Courter - 18 votes** Calvin Dame - 1 vote** Patsy Sherrill Madden - 0 votes** Beth McGregor - 6 votes** Douglas Morgan Strong - 0 votesSource -- http://lists.uua.org/pipermail/uua-l/Week-of-Mon-20031013/000900.htmlIt's not reasonable to say running a distant 3rd in contested election with 5.6% of the vote qualifies as "came very close to becoming UUA Moderator."I don't know the details of Rev. Dame's sexual misconduct with congregants.Robin -- you should be very careful about what post if you don't know all of the facts.If Rev. Dame's misconduct was professional misconduct (violating ministerial boundaries but not breaking any laws with adult congregants), then he wouldn't be a registered sex offender -- just another disfellowshipped UU minister.If you know of trustworthy sources for your allegations, please feel free to post them.However, if your posts on my blog about Rev. Dame are unsubstantiated and untrue, then you should delete them and apologize. After all, that would be the decent and honorable thing to do.
There is no reason for me to delete anything that I have said here, even if it is erroneous, and it isn't. . . The people who should be apologizing are those who are trying to pretend that what I have stated here is untrue when in fact most of it is solidly backed up by plenty of evidence, some of which Steve found and presented above. To answer Mark's questions about how I define "nearly" becoming moderator, in my books just being a candidate for UUA Moderator is *nearly* becoming Moderator. I never said or suggested that Rev. Calvin Dame was a registered sex offender. I clearly stated that a different UU minister, who *is* in fact a registered sex offender, *also* "came very close to becoming UUA Moderator", as per the definition I just provided. i.e. This minister was on the list of candidates for UUA Moderator. The same list as Rev. Calvin Dame was on BTW. . . Yes, that's right, not one but two "less than perfect" UU ministers were competing for the position of interim Moderator of the UUA with three other candidates.The decent and honorable thing for Steve Caldwell & Rev. Mark Worth to do is to publicly apologize to me in this thread for trying to discredit me by *pretending* that what I have posted here is not True aka false when in fact it is True and largely supported by publicly available evidence. Mark is the worst offender in that regard, in that his dismissive comment offensively suggests that virtually nothing that I had posted in my previous comments is True when in fact it is True. It is Rev. Worth who clearly has *his* facts wrong, not me.So. . . any guesses as to which recent President of the UUA had been accused of fairly serious clergy sexual misconduct prior to running for UUA President?I take not of the fact that neither of you seem terribly interested in discussing the well-documented fact that the Peter Morales administration is accusing me of the archaic crime of blasphemous libel on the unfounded basis that I have allegedly made "unfounded and vicious allegations to the effect that ministers of the Association engage in such despicable crimes as pedophilia and rape" in Lance Armstrong style legal bullying that obviously seeks to intimidate me into "memory holing" blog posts about Rev. Mack W. Mitchell and a UU pedophile rapist who was not even a UUA minister to the best of my knowledge. Doh!
Robin Edgar wrote:-snip-"I never said or suggested that Rev. Calvin Dame was a registered sex offender"Robin -- I will apologize for misunderstanding your confusing writing that led two reasonable persons to misunderstand your words.Given your well-documented history of playing "gotcha" shenanigans on the internet, I'm not going to put too much energy into this apology.If you think that getting 0 out of 18 votes or 1 out of 18 votes is a reasonable criteria for "came very close to becoming UUA Moderator," you are mathematically delusional. Calvin Dame and Doug Strong had the same odds of being on the UUA Board as Interim Moderator that you have of serving on the UUA Board.Please take your internet bullying away from my blog and go back to your areas of the internet.
Robin Edgar wrote:-snip-"I clearly stated that a different UU minister, who *is* in fact a registered sex offender, *also* 'came very close to becoming UUA Moderator'Robin,I'm aware of this case ... the minister you're talking about was a parish minister in our district at the time it happened (about 10 years ago). But zero votes out of 18 total votes is very far away from "came very close to becoming UUA Moderator" for those who are numerically sane.The case did not involve anyone from his congregation nor were any minors involved in the case. The crime was indecent exposure.It's true that he was convicted of a crime and became a registered sex offender.The minister was driving on a freeway with his groin region exposed. This was reported by a person riding in a semi-truck cab to law enforcement.Best case explanation -- the minister was applying medication for a health problem affecting his groin and was unjustly convicted.Worst case explanation -- the minister was engaged in "cruisy" behavior (defined by Urban Dictionary as "looking for anonymous sex: usually said of public places").None of this incident happened in a congregational context.None of this incident involved any abuse of ministerial authority.None of this incident involved any vulnerable member of the minister's congregation.In many ways, this incident is tragic. Whatever caused this lapse in judgement (best case) or moment of weakness (worst case) ended the career of a minister who did a lot of good for Unitarian Universalism and the wider world.In his professional life before his legal trouble, this minister was an elected leader in Interweave (UU's for bi, gay, lesbian, and transgender concerns).His words are a part of the Welcoming Congregation program which has improved the lives of BGLT UU folks across North America. And this minister was an advocate for youth ministry in our district.So ... I can't image how shitty a person would have to be use a tragic incident like this for a cheap debating point in his crusade against Unitarian Universalism.A person who does something like that has no business replying on my blogs and is no longer welcome here.
I wrote last night:-snip-"So ... I can't image how shitty a person would have to be use a tragic incident like this for a cheap debating point in his crusade against Unitarian Universalism.A person who does something like that has no business replying on my blogs and is no longer welcome here."A person who posts on a blog after being told that he is no longer welcome here will be blocked and and the comment after the warning was given will be deleted.This isn't a free speech issue ... there are plenty of other free blogging services on the internet that this person is free to use.
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