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05/04/2012

Dissenting Dissenter

I've been following Timothy J. Moore's blog and twitter over the past two days, as he covers the UK Unitarian Annual Meetings. I have always remained on the fringes of British Unitarianism (I realise there is maybe a psychological reason for this as well as theological! Something about the eternal stranger...), and only knew this event was happening when it was announced at my local Unitarian church on Sunday - and then only really paid it full attention when the announcement said there was a motion on euthanasia to be put forward.

It fixed my attention because it unsettled me, because as with abortion, I don't take what is probably the standard liberal position on either these issues, In fact, I don't really take a set stance because they're the greyest of issues. I respect people's freedom to choose, but I am also pro-life, and I also see that I am not walking in the shoes of people facing such hard choices. Maybe this sort of fudging is in fact the standard liberal position?

I've also been following this with interest with the question in mind as to whether Unitarians can, or should, express a collective 'yes' or 'no' view on anything? Because if we take the modern Unitarian ideal of individualism to the nth degree, a ban on proclaiming anything officially is surely the result?

Away from these controversial issues, I was also intrigued, and pleased, to see that the a keynote speech tomorrow will be from a Quaker - speaking as someone who attends a Quaker meeting and Unitarian church, I can see that there are many crossover points as well as distinctions, and look forward to hearing / reading the content of the address.

1 comment:

Yewtree said...

Hello Matt.

You asked on Andrew brown's blog if there was a site where people could post pictures of Unitarian chapels.

There is a Flickr group for UK Unitarians.

A propos of your views on abortion, may I recommend reading Richard Holloway's "Godless morality"? He used to be on the panel of the human embryology ethics committee, and has some valuable and helpful things to say on the ethics around this issue.

Personally, I am pro-choice; but I also think we need to address the way in which women are frequently pressured into having unprotected sex which leads to unwanted pregnancies. I know several women who have had abortions, and none of them made the decision to do so lightly, but with much inward wrestling with what must be a very difficult decision.