Something happened this past Sunday (27 March 2016). It has been growing for the past few weeks, and it started getting worse to the point where I started complaining about it.
I go the the Unitarian-Universalist “church”. Which is generally referred as the UU church. Personally, I call it “The church without a god”, since most people in the church are Atheists. Really! And I have been involved with the UUs for the past twenty years in several different congregations. So, while I have never been an official member of that church, since I generally do not join anything, I do know the seven principles of the UU church.
However, these seven principles can be interpreted in different manners, and my interpretation of the seven principles are probably very different from most of the other people in my church. That is because I approach the church from a rational position, and I am a libertarian (notice the small ‘l’ in libertarian). Some will call me a conservative, some will call me a liberal, some will call be bat-shit crazy, but the truth of the matter is that I am a libertarian.
So, anyway. I had this idea about six weeks ago. I noticed that only members of the church had permanent name tags. I thought that was wrong. Nevertheless, the person in charge of membership in the church had made a decision that only members get permanent name tags. Now, I have a permanent name tag, because I took my permanent name tag from Pennsylvania into the Fargo-Moorhead UU church. Other non-members didn’t have the option, until I finally took action.
I bought a BUNCH of badge-holders and clips on Amazon.com. And brought them into church. Originally, I had left them at the front desk for those who wanted them. However, the membership person took them away from the desk, and put them in the office.
That caused a problem for me. Yes, I realize that I may have been stepping on the toes of the membership person. But, I didn’t care. I bought these things myself to give to other people. The battle had started.
I took back my name tags from the membership person, and had started to hand them out to people individually. The membership person had talked to me on three successive weeks. The membership person was telling me that permanent name tags are for people who are members. I disagreed. Membership person tried to explain it to me, but I didn’t care, I disagreed, and the membership person pretty well ignored my disagreements and had tried to shut my arguments down, I guess.
Wash, rinse, and repeat for three weeks until 27 March 2016. I became angry. Now, my mannerism has always been to start smiling when I am merely angry (when I get enraged, that is another story). So, at the part of the service for “Joys and Concerns”, I stood up, walked to the candles, lit a candle and started to talk:
Now, I do not recall exactly what I said, but here is the gist of what I said:
I am angry, I had a stroke in 2011, and among other things, my inhibitions are broken. I bought some holders and clips for permanent name tags for non-members. I paid money for these things. And I have been giving them to non-members, because I want to. I am getting a push-back. I understand what the push-back person is saying, but I don’t care. I am doing this because I want to, and I will not be stopped. Check the principles of the UU church, especially the first and the second principles. If you ask me to get out of this church, I will. (I turned to the person that was running the service and said: “That’d be a first, wouldn’t it?”). I then left the front of the sanctuary and sat down again.
Now, you do realize I had dared anyone to ask me to leave. But, within the UU church, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been asked to leave. So, in particular, I pushed back on the push-back person and dared the person to do anything about it.
After the service I left the church, because I had an “appointment” with the most beautiful and nicest women I have ever met, and ate and talk for about two hours as I lost myself within her wonderful eyes.
So… I may or may not have been difficult. In my defense, this is the sort of thing that the UUs will do. The only thing that the UUs agree on is that the UUs disagree on everything. They rarely get agreement on anything, they constantly bicker on the most trivial of things. So, by me doing what I did, I was actually the embodiment of the UU philosophy.
Now, nowhere in this article have I named any names, and neither have I identified the sex of the push-back person. Thus, in my attempt to be neutral, I have added a little confusion into my narrative. Well, I don’t care.
So, in your opinion, was I being difficult? Or was I in the right? Tell me what you think, please.
As I have said previously, I am an Atheist. I have been an Atheist since, approximately, 1990.
The reason I say “approximately” is because it was not an instant decision. I had looked into several religions, including, but not limited to:
- Buddhism, specifically Theravada Buddhism.
and several other belief systems, and I found them all lacking in any real explanation.
Now, in my opinion, and in my experience, there are generally three broad categories of Atheism.
The first category is probably the most common, I call it “Atheistic Humanism“. This is essentially a form of humanism that does not believe in the existence of a deity. The Atheistic Humanists generally agree with some version of “The Humanist Manifesto“, from either 1933, 1973, or 2003.
Now, I am not, nor ever was, an atheistic humanist. I could never agree with all of the points on the Humanist manifesto. And if I do not subscribe to all the points on an issue, I want nothing to do with it.
Now, the least common category of Atheism is “Atheistic Satanism“. OK, I will ask you to consider what I have said. I need you to think about it. If there is no deity, then there can be no “Devil”. Really. REALLY! However, although I am not an Atheistic Satanist, I do respect their position.
These are the guys, and gals, that will cause a shitstorm when the Christians want their “Ten Commandments” obelisk on the city hall, and the Satanists will come in and demand equal time for a satanic statue of Baphomet right next to the ten commandments. And, by using the first amendment to the constitution to insist that they have the right to be represented equally, the Christians generally go apoplectic.
That is why I respect the Satanists. They get things done.
Now, the third type of Atheism I will call the “Rational Atheist“. This group of Atheism was promoted by Ayn Rand. Yes, Ayn Rand, the woman that was hated my many. However, when I decided that I was an Atheist, I had gravitated to the rational arguments. Thus, I am a Rational Atheist.
Now, in my current situation, due to my stroke in 2011, I am somewhat conflicted.
First off, I am probably less rational than I was pre-stroke. And my loss of rationality has caused me some concern. While I keep trying to act in a rational manner, since the partial loss of my executive functions, it is difficult for me to act rationally all the time.
But I try.
But, nevertheless, I am an atheist, and I think I will always be an atheist. That single fact is certain for me. And I know that I am not a Humanist Atheist, and I am not a Satanic Atheist.
Additionally, since my stroke, I have become somewhat dependent on some social services. And for that, I am not sure that I can live entirely rationally. Because a rational person can stand on his own.
I cannot stand on my own, currently.