The Emerson Avenger

The Emerson Avenger is a "memory hole" free blog where censorship is scorned. This blog will "guard the right to know" about any injustices and abuses that corrupt Unitarian Universalism. Posters may speak and argue freely, according to conscience, about any injustices and abuses, or indeed hypocrisy, that they may know about so that the Avenger, in the form of justice and redress, may come surely and swiftly. . . "Slowly, slowly the Avenger comes, but comes surely." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In 1992 I underwent a profound revelatory experience of God which revealed that the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" is a "Sign in the Heavens" that symbolizes God's divine omniscience. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal contemptuously dismissed as my "psychotic experience" here: http://revelationisnotsealed.homestead.com - This revelatory religious experience inspired me to propose an inter-religious celebration of Creation that would take place whenever a total solar eclipse took place over our planet. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal falsely and maliciously labeled as a "cult" here: http://creationday.homestead.com - I am now an excommunicated Unitarian whose "alternative spiritual practice" includes publicly exposing and denouncing Unitarian*Universalist injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy. The Emerson Avenger blog will serve that purpose for me and hopefully others will share their concerns here. Dee Miller's term DIM Thinking is used frequently and appropriately on this blog. You may read more about what DIM Thinking is here - http://www.takecourage.org/defining.htm

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Rev. Kenn Hurto On Graceless And Rude Unitarian*Universalist U*Us. . .

Thankfully I can't be "defellowshipped" from the MFC for "plagiarizing" verbatim the following words of U*U minister Rev. Kenn Hurto* -

Dear Companions in Faith,

It feels inelegant, but I say often, “Our congregations get plenty of guest/visitor traffic. The problem is our flypaper doesn’t seem to have enough stickum.” I believe a reason most of our congregations do not grow has little to do with whether people find us — although we do a quite good job of hiding ourselves from our fellow seekers.

No, the problem has to do what happens after they arrive. Far too often, we are simply graceless or rude when it comes to hospitality. Guests come in the door and revolve right back out, untouched by our faith and rejected by our people.

I’ve been in many a congregation where even a perfunctory good morning from a greeter was absent. Once, I wandered around the social hall after a service for a ~ hour and not a soul said, “hello.” I left vowing never to return. I’ve been embarrassed to be asked to stand up in a service, in front of dozens of people, to introduce myself to people who failed to introduce themselves to me. Even as an expected guest speaker, I am often ignored by congregants chatting away in meeting house hallways. The message: “Go away, you’re not wanted here.”

Has this happened to you?

What must it be like for the shy, or the “I’m not sure I belong here” seeker coming the very first time? Or for a person whose appearance is other than white and middle-class? Or for the sincerely interested who return for several Sundays to be barely acknowledged? Perhaps it’s not a matter of enough “stickum.” Could it be that we’re afraid of strangers? Or: that we’ve turned our congregation into a private club for the already included?

Fall is the time when congregations gear up, so to speak. A “new” year has excitement and good intention. So, let me again urge you to try to remember how it is to be a guest at a party where you don’t know anyone, or how it felt to you to go to your first Unitarian Universalist congregation. Then ask yourself: “How do I want our guests to feel when they walk through our doors? What am I doing to open that door and my heart to this stranger? Can I, we do a better job of being hospitable?”

People who come to us are in spiritual transition, even in crisis in some way. It is an act of ministry to ensure they are lovingly received, acknowledged, and welcomed. Shame on us that we so often fail to serve.

Read the rest of Rev. Kenn Hurto's "rant" about U*U Unwelcoming Congregations here.

* aka Reverend Kenneth Hurto

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seem to devote yourself to repeating anything negative anyone, anywhere says about the UUA? What's the point? They don't claim to be perfect. That sort of claim is one of the things that makes many of us distrust more orthodox denominations. Any serious organization will recognize and work on its problems. That's a sign of strength and maturity, not of weakness.

Sunday, October 07, 2007 2:35:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:You seem to devote yourself to repeating anything negative anyone, anywhere says about the UUA?

If that was true there would be a lot more posts here oh so anonymous one. . .

:What's the point?

The point is to try to get U*Us to clean up their act.

:They don't claim to be perfect.

Perhaps not but they obstinately refuse to acknowledge some of their most serious failings aka "sins". . .

:That sort of claim is one of the things that makes many of us distrust more orthodox denominations.

I hate to have to say so but there are plenty of good reasons to distrust the Uncommonly Untrustworthy Denomination. . .

:Any serious organization will recognize and work on its problems.

Then I guess that the UUA, to say nothing of the Unitarian Church of Montreal and other individual U*U congregations, is not a "serious organization" because it refuses to recognize and work on some of its most serious problems. . .

:That's a sign of strength and maturity, not of weakness.

Rev. Kenn Hurto`s "rant" is indeed a sign of strength and maturity. Too bad so few other U*U clergy have made the same "rant". . . There is no shortage of weakness and immaturity in the U*U World as should be glaringly obvious from many of my posts here and elsewhere on the internet. The latest examples of U*U weakness and immaturity can now be viewed on U*U Tube. . .

I am still waiting for UUA President Bill Sinkford, other UUA officials, and the leadership of the alleged Unitarian Church of Montreal, to show sopme strength and maturity and formally recognize and acknowledge the injustices, abuses and hypocrisy that I am protesting against and then start work on fixing those problems.

Sunday, October 07, 2007 3:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robin Edgar said...

The point is to try to get U*Us to clean up their act.

If you truly desire to see improvement within the UUA, would it not be advisable to devote a similiar level of attention to positive developments? Any organization of that size will have both positive and negative aspects. The unrelentingly negative tone of your comments would make it appear that you are more concerned with pursuing a personal grievance than with effecting positive change.

Sunday, October 07, 2007 3:55:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:If you truly desire to see improvement within the UUA, would it not be advisable to devote a similiar level of attention to positive developments?

In terms of the U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy that I am dealing with here, there have not been any positive developments to speak of. . . I give praise where praise is deserved and criticism where criticism is deserved. This is clear from my posts about "good cops" and "bad cops."

:Any organization of that size will have both positive and negative aspects.

Of course.

:The unrelentingly negative tone of your comments would make it appear that you are more concerned with pursuing a personal grievance than with effecting positive change.

It should be obvious that a good number of my posts, including this one for example. . . do not deal with "a personal grievance" and that, in any case, whatever personal grievances I may have are representative of more widespread injustices, abuses and hypocrisy in the U*U World. Simply put, I am pursuing some personal grievances and some grievances about U*U injustices, abusea and hypocrisy that do not directly affect me in the hope of effecting positive change within the U*U religious community. It is most unfortunate that U*Us are so stubbornly resistent to responsibly acknowledging my own and other people's legitimate grievances and firmly and forthrightly working to redress them in order to bring positive change to the U*U World.

For over more than a decade I have provided numerous opportunities to U*Us to recognize and work on the serious problems that I have brought to their attention but the hubris of the U*Us has caused them to never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity to effect positive change. Most regrettably, U*Us keep samin' when U*Us oughta be changin'. . . An excellent example of such behaviour is Rev. Diane Rollert's very ill-advised of not deeply misguided decision to seek a restraining order against me in response to these emails that I sent to her over a year ago now seeking dialogue with her so that Montreal Unitarians might finally get around to recognizing, and responsibly working on, their very well-documented problems. . .

Sunday, October 07, 2007 4:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robin Edgar said...

For over more than a decade I have provided numerous opportunities to U*Us to recognize and work on the serious problems that I have brought to their attention


"More than a decade.."? That's a long time, old son. I'd think most of us would conclude by that time, if not long before, that the matter is never going to be resolved to our satisfaction and move on to other, more productive activities. Sometimes a parting of the ways is best for all concerned.

Sunday, October 07, 2007 5:28:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Robin Edgar said...

For over more than a decade I have provided numerous opportunities to U*Us to recognize and work on the serious problems that I have brought to their attention

:"More than a decade.."?

Yes, more than a decade. . .

:That's a long time, old son.

It is and it isn't oh so patronizing one. . .

:I'd think most of us would conclude by that time, if not long before, that the matter is never going to be resolved to our satisfaction

Well I obviously disagree. Perhaps I am to optimistic or hold out too much hope that one day U*Us will wake up and smell the coffee and finally get around to doing the right thing.

:and move on to other, more productive activities.

This is something of a "hobby" as one newspaper editor described it some years ago. I can think of rather less productive hobbies. . . I do other more productive things as well.

:Sometimes a parting of the ways is best for all concerned.

Well I am sure that it would be "best" for outrageously hypocritical U*Us if there were a parting of ways but what we are dealing with here is egregious institutional stonewalling and denial, and I made it very clear to U*Us in the early stages of this conflict that institutional stonewalling would get them nowhere. The UUA, and the alleged Unitarian Church of Montreal, would have done well to pay heed to my warning that willfully delaying justice, in order to deny justice, would not work in this matter.

Beyond that, it should be abundantly obvious that Rev. Ray Drennan, and like-minded intolerant and abusive fundamentalist atheist "Humanist" U*Us wanted to force a "parting of ways" as it were by labeling me as "psychotic" and Creation Day as a "cult". I do not knowingly give bullies and abusers what they want.

Ever. . .

It's a matter of principle.

Sunday, October 07, 2007 5:53:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were dealing with a church that had real power, in the way that say the Roman Catholic Church once did in Quebec, I would understand your determination and perhaps even admire it. Even the Catholic Church no longer has any real power over anyone who does not choose to be a communicant. The Unitarian-Universalists are one of the smallest denominations in North America, and an almost insignificant one in the religious life of la belle province. It all seems an enormous tempest in a rather tiny teapot.

Sunday, October 07, 2007 6:03:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

You apparently can't see the forest for the tree. . .

For starters my own personal grievances, and those other related or non-related U*U injustices and abuses that I am protesting against, are by no means limited to one single U*U "church". My "personal grievances" are as much with the UUA, and the greater U*U religious community, as they are with the Unitarian Church of Montreal. Anti-religious intolerance and bigotry is a widespread problem within the Unitarian*Universalist "religion". God believing people in general, and Christian oriented people in particular, find themselves to be rather less than genuinely welocome in many Unitarian*Universalist "churches". The UUA, and it's very aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee, are guilty of failing to provide genuine justice, equity and compassion to many other victims of U*U clergy misconduct, including victims of various kinds of clergy sexual misconduct as uugrrl's 'Speaking Truth To Power' blog makes quite clear. In fact, as is very clear from my own case, the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee will do virtually nothing to responsibly redress clergy misconduct unless it is sexual misconduct. If a U*U minister slanders or defames you or is otherwise verbally or psychologically abusive the UUA pretends that their unbecoming conduct is "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership" and/or uses Orwellian rationalizations of various kinds to justify doing nothing to hold U*U clergy accountable for their unbecoming conduct.

Censorship and suppression of criticism and dissent is another serious problem within the Unitarian*Universalist "religion" as illustrated by how Montreal Unitarians and the UUA have gone to highly questionable lengths to censor and suppress my grievances and protest.

But here is the real "forest" of my protest activities, especially my decade long and ongoing peaceful public protest in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. People do not necessarily know what denomination the Unitarian Church of Montreal belongs to. A fact that this recent U*U Tube video makes clear. Passers-by see a man protesting against the injustices, abuses and hypocrisy of a church that could be any church from any number of different denominations. Yes, some of my signs and chalk slogans do make it clear that I am dealing with a so-called Unitarian Church and self-described U*Us but many are quite general and could be applied to other churches from other denominations. So in a very real sense I am protesting against the injustices, abuses and hypocrisy of churches more generally. People see my protest and appreciate its broader significance. In fact just a week or two ago a pedestrian acknowledged that my protest could apply to other churches and even went on to say "even my church". . . That is exactly what I want to hear from a non-U*U passerby who sees my protest against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy and I am confident that other people have had similar thoughts even if they have not expressed then to me.

As I tell people when this issue comes up, I can only protest in front of one church at a time and I generally choose to protest in front of the one church that I do have legitimate personal grievances against. It might interest you to know that I have protested in front of a Montreal Catholic church on one occasion along with thousands of other people and I have helped a Roman Catholic deacon to protest against problems with Catholic Community Services in Montreal. If and when the occasion presents itself I may well protest in front of a church of other denominations. In fact, I am now holding that option in reserve on the off chance that Rev. Diane Rollert is somehow successful in obtaining the restraining order that she is seeking against me on very dubious grounds. So hopefully you can see at least a section of the forest now.

Sunday, October 07, 2007 8:51:00 pm  

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