Is UUA President Rev. Peter Morales Full Of Shinto?
In his most recent ironically titled 'Beyond Belief' blog post entitled 'From the Road: Interfaith Rituals' UUA President Rev. Peter Morales describes how he recently visited UUA "religious partners" in Japan such as the Konko Church of Izuo (which he calls "a modern Shinto movement") and the Tsubaki Grand Shrine (which he calls "one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan"). Needless to say this is somewhat more circumspect and polite than calling the Tsubaki Grand Shrine "one of the most obsolete Shinto shrines in Japan" as I expect UUA President Morales was sorely tempted to do. . .
Apparently the Shinto priests of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine were quite aware of the deep disrespect, and even outright contempt. . . that Rev. Peter Morales has expressed for "obsolete religions" and it would seem that they were *also* aware of that old saying to the effect that revenge is a dish best served cold. . . ;-) Indeed they quite evidently took that old proverb quite literally by taking steps to ensure that UUA President Peter Morales took an extremely cold shower while visiting their "obsolete" shrine. They did so by telling President Peter Morales that every other UUA president who had visited the Tsubaki Grand Shrine had participated in its Misogi purification ritual aka "Japanese Water Torture". Water Misogi (not to be confused with the "Water Communion" of the U*Us) is an ancient purification ritual that *can* involve standing in a pool of water outdoors under a waterfall. The waterfall where the Tsubaki Grand Shrine hold their Shinto Water Misogi purification ritual aka "Japanese Water Torture" is held is on a stream that comes down from the mountains. In early March it is corpse-cold Unitarian cold. . . According to President Morales' blog post, it had rained heavily two days before this ritual, so the waterfall was especially large and powerful. And the water was 8 degrees centigrade (aka 46° Fahrenheit) or, as Rev. Peter Morales described it. . . "breathtakingly, numbingly, cold."
Not *that* is what *I* call "taking a cold shower"! ;-)
Who knows? With any luck this ancient Shinto Water Misogi purification ritual actually did serve to purify UUA President Rev. Peter Morales of his Big Fat U*U Sin of "Aversion Addiction" to "obsolete religions" in general and religious ritual in particular. . .
Disclaimer: No disrespect to the "obsolete religion" known as Shinto is intended with my pun on the word Shinto in the title of this blog post. I am simply underlining the deep disrespect, even outright contempt, for "obsolete religions" that Rev. Peter Morales expressed in his now "memory-holed" 'A Religion For Our Time' sermon, which served as his "stump speech" announcing his candidacy for UUA President.