Every time I go for a walk in my neighborhood I see many yards that have crepe myrtles that have been severely whacked off in the fall, even though every reputable horticulturist warns to not do that. That's why it's referred to as crepe murder. One yard I passed did not have them that way, but was abutted on each side by those that did. I wonder if the latter two homeowners ever ask the other one why he doesn't whack them down. They probably just go along never questioning, accepting what they think is the proper way, especially if it's been done by a professional.
Back in the 60's, those in the counter-culture urged people to question authority. (Of course, they also said don't trust anyone over thirty. I wonder how they feel about that now.) Sometimes I think people just don't want to question anything; just accept what's presented to them. That must be why people get these e-mails that are totally fictional, yet because the "facts" presented in them support their views, they forward it on to countless others, who proceed to do the same, even though it's fairly easy to fact-check them. There's a lot of people who just don't want to question things.
Religions are essentially based on the same principal. Although some followers may have actually given extensive thought and evaluation to their decision to adhere to a certain religion, most just accept that what they've been brought up to believe is the only truth. UUs do not fit in this mold. Questioning seems to be a basic tenet. There's the old joke that says UU bigots will burn a question mark in your yard. I think whatever most UUs believe, they have probably devoted a large amount of thought about it; questioning other beliefs as well as their own. At the newcomers’ orientation meeting in late February, each was asked what brought them to Westside. Almost all said that they had questioned some of the principals of the various religious backgrounds they had come from. This is not to say that other religious beliefs are wrong, only that it would probably be a better world if people actually evaluated information that is presented to them and determined if it was reasonable and in agreement with their own ideas of truth.
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
-- Thomas Jefferson
We will have an opportunity to discuss this concept of questioning during the "Building Your Own Theology" classes that Rev. Carol will be conducting after the service for six weeks beginning in April. It will be a great time to examine your own questions about religion and basic beliefs as well as engage with others who have similar or, perhaps, very different ideas. I hope you will attend all or part of this series. It's okay if you don't, but at least ask yourself "Why not?"