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

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rev. Diane Miller And "Dirty Tactics" In UUA Presidential Elections

On her Ms. Kitty's Saloon and Road Show blog U*U minister Rev. Kit Ketchum has recently posted her musings about the UUA Presidential election which will decide whether Rev. Peter Morales or Rev. Laurel Hallman will become the next President of the UUA, assuming no other Presidential candidates enter the "race". I put in my two-cents worth and, somewhat surprisingly, Ms. Kitty has seen fit to post the two somewhat controversial comments that I submitted to that blog post. My second comment responds to Rev. Kit Ketchum's hope that the two U*U ministers currently running for President of the UUA will not "use dirty tactics to win the race". I was reminded of the fact that Rev. Diane Miller, the former Executive Secretary of the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee who ran against Rev. Bill Sinkford in the 2001 UUA elections, had been something of a "sore loser" and had made public allegations of "falsehoods and deceit" in the UUA election "process" following her somewhat humiliating defeat by a considerable margin. I am cross-posting my comment here as well as reposting the content of my original post about Rev. Diane Miller's allegations on the Usenet groups alt.religion.unitarian-univ and soc.religion.unitarian-univ after I discovered her sermon titled 'Disappointment and Defeat' on the web site of

"My experience with UUA election campaigns is that they are quite civil, at least on the surface, though I may not be on the inside track with the rumor mill. I doubt that two ministers would use dirty tactics to win the race; at least, I hope not."

Who needs to be on the inside track of the rumor mill when you can read former UUA Presidential candidate Rev. Diane Miller's sermon alleging dirty tactics in the last UUA Presidential election? ;-)

"The hardest part of the campaign was not that people made a choice for the other candidate, Bill Sinkford, or that they judged me and I came up short. The remaining pain for me, and I do have some, is the extent to which there were falsehoods and deceit in the process. Call me an idealist, but in a denomination dedicated to Truth, it is damaging when what is being presented is not what is the reality. For me, personally, there were falsehoods spread beneath the surface, to which I was not able to respond directly."

OK, so this U*U sermon is no longer available to be read in full on the internet any more, but I long ago preserved the most pertinent part of it for U*U posteriority.

Here is what I posted to the Usenet groups alt.religion.unitarian-univ and soc.religion.unitarian-univ on March 29, 2002 -

Hi All,

In a sermon titled 'Disappointment and Defeat' Rev. Diane Miller
complains bitterly about how badly she lost the recent UUA
Presidential elections. In this sermon which is available online she
begins by saying the following -

Nobody wants to be a sore loser. But that's how it feels to lose an election -- sore. We say the person who loses an election was "beaten." The winner "beats" the loser. Campaigning is described as a "bruising" experience.

Nobody wants to be a sore loser, as in bitter, blaming, "stuck" in that identity of defeat, like the character Dickens captured in Great Expectations -- the jilted Miss Havisham with her mouldering wedding cake, bitter and vengeful. There must be a better way to handle disappointment.

Rev. Diane Miller then goes on to complain -

Church politics might seem like a gentle sport. But church history, indeed all of religious history, is full of bitter internecine dispute. Scripture is full of struggles for leadership and power. And it isn't all League of Women Voters impartiality. In the Beatitudes we are reminded: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely . . . .
[Matthew 5:11] The hardest part of the campaign was not that people made a choice for the other candidate, Bill Sinkford, or that they judged me and I came up short. The remaining pain for me, and I do have some, is the extent to which there were falsehoods and deceit in the process. Call me an idealist, but in a denomination dedicated to Truth, it is damaging when what is being presented is not what is the reality. For me, personally, there were falsehoods spread beneath the surface, to which I was not able to respond directly. One of the disciplines of the soul for me is to accept that who I am and what has been said about who I am are now further apart from one another, and I will not be able to bring them back into alignment. I've been doing well at letting go of what I cannot and need not worry about. As an institution, we need to do better to encourage free and open discussion of issues, and move away from "identity politics" which reduced the campaign for many people to simplifying and prioritizing the issues of race and gender.

end quotes

Read it all here - http://www.uucarlisle.org/sermons/nov0401.htm (Ed. note - The sermon has been deleted)

Does anyone here have any idea what Rev. Diane Miller is referring to when she bitterly complains about damaging "falsehoods spread beneath the surface" and speaks of "deceit" in the UUA Presidential election process? It seems to me that if she is going to publicly complain about such things in her Sunday sermons to The First Religious Society Carlisle, Massachusetts that are posted on the internet for anyone to see that she should say exactly what these alleged "falsehoods" about her are and just what "deceit" may or may not have been involved in the UUA's electoral process so that her allegations can be responsibly looked into to determine whether or not they are true. It seems to me that Rev. Diane Miller is being rather free with the truth but far from responsible with it.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar


I am more than open to to people posting answers to those still unanswered questions but the main purpose of this post is simply to point out that Rev. Kit Ketchum's doubt that U*U ministers would use dirty tactics to win a UUA Presidential election may be wishful thinking.

ROTFLMU*UO! OK I had reasonably assumed that "sore loser" Rev. Diane Miller's 'Disappointment and Defeat' sermon of November 4, 2001, which alleges that certain "dirty tactics" were used against her in the 2001 UUA elections, was no longer available on the The First Religious Society Carlisle web site simply because it was quite old and had been deleted since Rev. Diane Miller is no longer the minister of that Unitarian*Universalist congregation, but a little bit of digging tells another story. . . I backspaced to -

http://www.uucarlisle.org/sermons/

and discovered the parent directory of the sermons that are preserved on the web site. Selected sermons from the period 2001 to 2003 are still hosted and available to be read here -

http://www.uucarlisle.org/sermons/20012003/

It would seem that Rev. Diane Miller's rather problematic sermon has actually been relegated to the burgeoning "memory hole" of the U*U World thanks to its controversial content alleging "falsehoods and deceit" in the UUA election process. It turns out that all of the other old sermons from 2001-2003 that were originally posted to the web site of The First Religious Society Carlisle are still available to be read with one notable exception of course. . .

Can U*Us say "whitewash"?

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure about past elections but I am a little astonished that there are only two candidates more then a year before the election.

Frankly both candidates, to paraphrase The Who, 'meet the new boss, its the same as the old boss'.

I am no politician or a minister but I feel that there needs to be a breath of fresh air in the campaign for UUA president. The UUA is full of people who have been employed in the same position for decades. A new president needs to be voted in who will clean house and bring in a modern prospective to the religious headquarters. A president who will look at Unitarian Universalism and apply its values and principles to this generation and the next. Learn from the past but do not be stuck in it. Take the lessons of our predecessors and expand on them, to bring the next generation into the UU community and not alienate them.

I know that you are an ex UU. I hope that a new UUA administration will bring you and the many ex UUs back to the church. To further the ideals that we grew up with and to teach and promote those ideals to our children.

Only then will the religion prosper into the faith we can be proud to say we belong.

Friday, June 27, 2008 10:08:00 pm  

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