We love a lot of things about operating the Universal Life Church on your behalf, but our favorite part is running the blog and sermon sections of our website, as these allow us to launch and engage-in important, direct conversations with our ministers around the world. While the vast majority of the wonderful comments we see on these posts (and we read every single one of them!) are helpful contributions to the ongoing discussion, every now and then we see comments from people essentially arguing that we should just "keep our mouths shut".
Just recently, we published a piece that attempts to reconcile our lives with the Islamic faith, a sermon that touches on gun control policy, and a blog that tackles marriage equality. These are all incredibly important conversations to have, and we're proud that with all of you we've been able to build a platform on which these conversations can take place. We will almost certainly receive comments or emails on these posts alleging that we aren't talking about the things that we are talking about, or that we have no right to launch the conversations we are trying to launch. Some people, offended by those attempts, will even go so far (rarely) as to challenge our existence as an organization.
Religion in the World
Let us be clear: the ULC frequently posts pieces related to important topics of the day, and will continue to do so. Religion cannot exist in a vacuum, and it is crucial that we translate whatever faith or beliefs we may have into real action in the "real world". One of the core tenets of the ULC is "to do that which is right"; we do not solely interpret this tenet as a preventative message warning us away from doing things that are wrong... but also as a calling to proactively do good in the universe. Every Sunday, in more "traditional" churches around the country, ministers launch into sermons derived from the challenges faced in the world. Indeed, even the teachings of Jesus Christ frequently touched on issues that would have been relevant challenges of the day.
Our ministers are some of the most intelligent people we've ever been exposed to and we love to hear how they apply their own truths to the world around them. As a church committed to doing good in the universe and seeing a society centered around freedom and equality, we consider it our responsibility to start important conversations that would lead us closer to this ideal, as well as utilizing our platform to provide a voice for those who may not be able to speak out on their own behalf. We don't publish pieces about the Syrian refugee crisis because we have a hidden agenda to bring nefarious operators into the U.S., but because we see photos like the one of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi drowned on the beach and can't help but voice that our hearts are breaking. There is a reason the logo of the ULC is a shield - it is our duty to defend the equality of all.
Searching for Solutions
With these pieces it is not our intent to be political, but (quite necessarily) the "faith world" and the "real world" must sometimes intersect. We won't tell you which candidate you should support or which ballot measure you should vote for, because we trust you are capable of making those decisions on your own... but we will never, never stop talking about things that matter or highlighting items of concern and we will never, never stop being interested in hearing what you have to say on these things. We don't pretend that we have all of the solutions - we just hope to start a dialogue about our problems to get us closer and closer to finding what they are.
We love our ULC family, and we're so excited to see all the good we'll continue to accomplish together. Thanks for joining the conversation!