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Radical niceness [Apr. 9th, 2005|06:12 pm]
[Current Mood |amusedamused]

I have, at last, found a religious movement I can get behind, the Unitarian Jihad.

Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States. We are Unitarian Jihad. There is only God, unless there is more than one God. The vote of our God subcommittee is 10-8 in favor of one God, with two abstentions. Brother Flaming Sword of Moderation noted the possibility of there being no God at all, and his objection was noted with love by the secretary.

Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States! Too long has your attention been waylaid by the bright baubles of extremist thought. Too long have fundamentalist yahoos of all religions (except Buddhism -- 14-5 vote, no abstentions, fundamentalism subcommittee) made your head hurt. Too long have you been buffeted by angry people who think that God talks to them. You have a right to your moderation! You have the power to be calm! We will use the IED of truth to explode the SUV of dogmatic expression!

People of the United States, why is everyone yelling at you??? Whatever happened to ... you know, everything? Why is the news dominated by nutballs saying that the Ten Commandments have to be tattooed inside the eyelids of every American, or that Allah has told them to kill Americans in order to rid the world of Satan, or that Yahweh has instructed them to go live wherever they feel like, or that Shiva thinks bombing mosques is a great idea? Sister Immaculate Dagger of Peace notes for the record that we mean no disrespect to Jews, Muslims, Christians or Hindus. Referred back to the committee of the whole for further discussion.

We are Unitarian Jihad. We are everywhere. We have not been born again, nor have we sworn a blood oath. We do not think that God cares what we read, what we eat or whom we sleep with. Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity notes for the record that he does not have a moral code but is nevertheless a good person, and Unexalted Leader Garrote of Forgiveness stipulates that Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity is a good person, and this is to be reflected in the minutes.

Beware! Unless you people shut up and begin acting like grown-ups with brains enough to understand the difference between political belief and personal faith, the Unitarian Jihad will begin a series of terrorist-like actions. We will take over television studios, kidnap so-called commentators and broadcast calm, well-reasoned discussions of the issues of the day. We will not try for "balance" by hiring fruitcakes; we will try for balance by hiring non-ideologues who have carefully thought through the issues.

We are Unitarian Jihad. We will appear in public places and require people to shake hands with each other. (Sister Hand Grenade of Love suggested that we institute a terror regime of mandatory hugging, but her motion was not formally introduced because of lack of a quorum.) We will require all lobbyists, spokesmen and campaign managers to dress like trout in public. Televangelists will be forced to take jobs as Xerox repair specialists. Demagogues of all stripes will be required to read Proust out loud in prisons.

We are Unitarian Jihad, and our motto is: "Sincerity is not enough." We have heard from enough sincere people to last a lifetime already. Just because you believe it's true doesn't make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn't mean you are not doing harm. Get a dog, or comfort someone in a nursing home, or just feed the birds in the park. Play basketball. Lighten up. The world is not out to get you, except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone.

Brother Gatling Gun of Patience notes that he's pretty sure the world is out to get him because everyone laughs when he says he is a Unitarian. There were murmurs of assent around the room, and someone suggested that we buy some Congress members and really stick it to the Baptists. But this was deemed against Revolutionary Principles, and Brother Gatling Gun of Patience was remanded to the Sunday Flowers and Banners committee.

People of the United States! We are Unitarian Jihad! We can strike without warning. Pockets of reasonableness and harmony will appear as if from nowhere! Nice people will run the government again! There will be coffee and cookies in the Gandhi Room after the revolution.

My Unitarian
Jihad Name
is: Sister Katana of Compassion.

Get yours.


[User Picture]From: miintikwa
2005-04-09 10:38 pm (UTC)

Hey, I'm with you there! :D
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[User Picture]From: jfargo
2005-04-09 11:01 pm (UTC)
I'm in.
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[User Picture]From: starwatcher307
2005-04-09 11:12 pm (UTC)

Love it!

But is it real, or tongue-in-cheek? (It's kind of hard to tell, in print.) It sure would be nice if our country was overcome by reasonableness...
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From: meopta
2005-04-09 11:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Love it!

It's kind of hard to tell with UU's at all. While my vote would be total joke, I was with the church long enough to know it could be white hot sincerity as well.

I mean, I thought they were kidding when they posted a 'this church is a nuke free zone' sign but they totally weren't. (So if you're about to drop a nuke but don't want to violate any local proclamations, I'd avoid that sight)
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[User Picture]From: callie_chan
2005-04-10 12:53 am (UTC)
Not only do they have a good message, but they have just about the coolest names EVER.

-Callisto, AKA Sister Shuriken Of Sensibility
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[User Picture]From: undertheivy99
2005-04-10 01:25 am (UTC)
Will the revolution be televised?

Sister Patricia of the Chocolate Servers
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[User Picture]From: lacey
2005-04-10 02:32 am (UTC)
I hope so... I want to see Film at 11 :D
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[User Picture]From: pendragn
2005-04-10 01:59 am (UTC)


AMEN Brother?!?!? With no disrespect to our sisters, or anyone who may find the word amen offensive.

BTW... I'm totally in.
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[User Picture]From: kalieris
2005-04-10 03:16 am (UTC)

Re: CAN I GET A...

I think "AMEN Sibling" is perhaps a good gender-inclusive option. *offers a cookie*
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[User Picture]From: cieo
2005-04-10 02:19 am (UTC)
Oh, boy. I really needed that to boost my spirits. "There is only God unless there is more than one god." LOVE it. I have also added you. Hope that's alright with you :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-04-10 04:00 am (UTC)
No problem! Hi!
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[User Picture]From: kalieris
2005-04-10 03:19 am (UTC)
There is also a unitarian_jihad community now. 70 members and counting. Of course, ad-hoc working groups are being formed to analyze the pros and cons of forming committees, so it's still in the organizing stages. But there's tea and cookies! (And at least several members who seem quite serious about creating pockets moderation and reasonableness in their actual daily lives. So very, very cool.)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-04-10 04:11 am (UTC)
I've joined. I would love to see it genuinely take off.
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[User Picture]From: libco
2005-04-10 04:26 am (UTC)

Sister Atom Bomb of Warm Humanitarianism

I just realized that not only are you theferrett's Ginni but you are a member of 100pluswl. Mind if I freind you?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-04-10 02:45 pm (UTC)

Re: Sister Atom Bomb of Warm Humanitarianism

Not at all. Do you want to be on my fitness filter?
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[User Picture]From: moderate_excess
2005-04-10 05:23 pm (UTC)

A Word from Sister Hand Grenade of Courteous Debate

OK, some attributions here: the manifesto was written by Jon Carroll, and appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. ( http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/04/08/DDG27BCFLG1.DTL ) The Jihad Name Generator is by Bill Humphries (aka Whump), an old friend of mine and uber geek (but in a good way).

This has been a message from the Committee for Intellectual Property Rights.

Oh, and I was born and raised Unitarian, so I was all over the floor laughing at this one. It's spot on.

Joke: The local Unitarians tried to drive me out of town... they burned a question mark on my lawn last night.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-04-10 06:22 pm (UTC)

Re: A Word from Sister Hand Grenade of Courteous Debate

That is why I included the links, but thank you for making it more clear.
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[User Picture]From: girliewhirl
2005-04-10 05:31 pm (UTC)
Hilarious!!! Thanks for sharing that one - I needed that (and it will leave me sorting in suppressed laughter during the meeting of my UU church's board of trustees meeting next week)

I wondered what the deal was with the "nuclear free zone" that was part of our church sign until recently. I guess it's a UU "thing".

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From: (Anonymous)
2005-04-11 07:51 pm (UTC)
And for the first time, I am persuaded that the media is right to seek out the nutballs when doing 'news coverage'.

Because although it may be slightly tongue in cheek, this line of thinking begs for censorship of public dialogue, and discounts the notion that personal faith could or should affect political ideas.

I struggle with what to call this, but it looks like 'radical moderatism'. Everything unacceptable to the 'reasonable' majority must be silenced. In its own little way, this is quite the same as other radical philosophies.

The voice of moderation may just yet be the worst form of mind control after all.

Whether it's half-joking, half-serious, or meant completely as a satire of those who beg for a more reasonable dialogue--really no matter what it is or how I try to take it, I just can't find it funny. Because I know there are people out there who actually agree with it. People who actually try to foist their own own 'reasonableness' onto others.

Because sometimes, many times, being reasonable, coming to a consensus, or even peacefully agreeing to disagree, is really just not good enough. It thwarts the very idea of holding a separate belief at all--the very point of which belief may well be to influence, or in some cases even to destroy, other points of view.

When it comes right down to the wire, no belief or philosopohy can be held in moderation, or to only a reasonable degree, and yet remain true to itself. Beliefs only mean something when they in fact are taken to their logical extreme.

Yes, well, anyway, thank you. For giving me a little more inspiration to think dangerously, and to appreciate the nut jobs with their crazy ideas. And even to appreciate the popular media a bit more, for giving the them air time regardless of the distortions it may produce, or what the 'reasonable majority' of any group thinks. And for giving me a new view of moderation and reasonableness, as merely yet another contending view in the power struggle for hearts and minds, and a deceptively dangerous view at that.

No, let's not be reasonable. Let's be anything but.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-04-12 08:40 am (UTC)
I think you are missing the point. The point is not to censor anyone, the point is to make it clear that the fringes are just that, fringe, and that there is an entire middle ground filled with people who have no desire to be represented by either fringe.

The lack of reasoned dialogue is a serious issue in this country. When you look at the reaction to the Terri Schiavo situation - people calling for the impeachment (and in some cases, death) of judges who would not interfere - and the growing intolerance that accompanies the Dominionist movement, that's disturbing. I will defend those people's right to express their opinions, but I have no confidence that they will be willing to defend my right to my beliefs. I have almost as little use for the Brittle Left, that finds insult and oppression beind every word.

But it's sometimes hard to believe that you aren't the only person out there who can see both sides of the issue and find accceptable solutions. And it's nice to be reminded that this isn't the case.
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