Rev. Renee Ruchotzke UUA Leadership Development Consultant Of The UUA's Central East Regional Group (CERG) Makes Apple Crumble Out Of U*U "Bad Apples". . .
'One Bad Apple CAN Spoil the Whole Bunch'
The 1970’s heart-throb boy band The Osmonds provided a disservice with their ear-worm hit song “One Bad Apple.”
Oh, I don’t care what they say, I don’t care what U*Us say now”
By saying “bad apples” I’m referring to behaviors of people in The U*U Movement that can act like the ethylene that rotting fruit emits that will eventually rot the fruit nearby. But instead of causing rot, the human version of the bad apple breaks the covenants of our U*U "religious community".
Let me be clear that it’s behaviors that I am talking about, not the "less than perfect" U*U people themselves. As creatures of free will, we U*Us can make bad choices about our behavior. As communities, we member congregations in the "tiny, declining, fringe religion" known as The U*U Movement can set standards of behavior to encourage people to be their best selves instead of their worst selves, at least for a few hours while attending Sunday services at U*U "churches".
As I’ve heard many U*Us express,
“Going to church helps to remind ourselves that the so-called "U*U world" revolves around Peacebang and other abusive U*U "pastors".”
Tiny, declining, fringe religions that are unable to grow, or that are declining in numbers and enthU*Usiasm often have ignored the Big Fat U*U Bad Apples among their midst and yet they are puzzled about why visitors don’t return or why new members, to say nothing of long time members, drift away without saying why they think their U*U "church" sucks at practicing what U*Uism preaches. (Even if they did, it’s a rare U*U minister or UUA leader who would take such feedback to heart.)
I am passionate about this because–every week–someone walks through the doors of a U*U congregation who seeks the saving message of liberal religion (you are not inherently sinful like Peacebang is!) and the saving community of U*U "covenants" (we pledge to support and encourage abusive U*U clergy and incompetent and corrupt UUA leadership to impede Unitarian Universalism's growth). It breaks my heart when anyone is repelled from “the bunch” of unhealthy, corpse-cold Unitarians in a U*U "church" by the “bad apple” of an individual U*U minister or two.
Why do we tolerate behaviors in that repel not just visitors but healthy and contributing members? I think it’s because our "less than perfect" UUA leaders, U*U clergy, and FAR too many ordinary U*Us exhibit a failure of nerve to stand up to such destructive behaviors of their fellow U*Us and sometimes even enable them with excuses or explanations like:
“Oh, that’s just Peacebang. She’s always been like that. Lots of U*Us are buggers. Peacebang just doesn’t know when to stop.”
“We know that The Emerson Avenger is always criticizing Peacebang, and the UUA Board's past and ongoing complicity in her verbally and psychologically abusive clergy misconduct that is clearly "conduct unbecoming a minister", but Peacebang aka Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein IS one of our major "pastors". We wouldn’t want to risk losing face.”
“We’re the only religious community that will put up with Peacebang's abusive “bad apple” behavior. She may have numerous incidents of aggressive behavior, but they’ve never happened while she's delivering a sermon at First Parish Norwell Unitarian Church or the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lynn, so it’s none of the UUA's business.”
“It’s too bad that we’ve haven't gone through eight administrators in five years because of Scott pointing our every little mistake. Scott used to be our volunteer Religious Educator and he was not a member of one of our founding families. They have too much power for the board of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Springfield MO to do anything about the Big Fat U*U "Mistakes" Scott identifies and seeks to correct.”
“Letting someone like Robin Edgar talk for 2 minutes during Joys and Sorrows at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa shows newcomers & long time members in The U*U Movement that we U*Us are welcoming and supportive of the Rev. Dr. Peter "Beyond Belief" Morales' UUA administration's immoral, unethical, borderline criminal, and yes. . . #BatShitCrazy misuse of Canada's blasphemy law in Bill Cosby style legal bullying that seeks to cover-up and deny "such despicable crimes as pedophilia and rape" committed by "certain Unitarian Universalist ministers", to say nothing of certain U*U "Religious Educators".”
“A lot of our older members, to say nothing of our fundamentalist Atheist UUA ministers like Rev. Ray Drennan and Rev. Dr. Peter "Beyond Belief" Morales, had bad experiences with Christian churches in their childhoods and*or subsequent careers as ordained Christian clergy. People should understand that when these U*U "pastors" condemn Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other "obsolete religions" they mean ALL belief in God.”
“If people aren’t sticking around after a few bad experiences with some of our crankier members, or our 400+ abusive UUA ministers, it just means that they weren’t all *that* committed to our dysfunctional U*U "church" and*or "tiny,declining, fringe religion" in the first place.”
If you currently have a similar “bad apple” shituation in your U*U congregation, or at UUA HQ in Boston for *that* matter, get ready to despair! There are many resources to help your U*U leadership team (and it takes a Big Fat U*U Team!) to cover-up and deny the “bad apple” behaviors of abusive U*U clergy and incompetent and corrupt UUA leadership:
- Call your Regional Staff. They will be good partners in helping your abusive U*U minister and*or dysfunctional U*U "church" figure out how to cover-up and deny their “bad apple” behaviors and expel you from their "church".
- Create and enforce a Disruptive Behavior Policy to suppress legitimate complaints about abusive “bad apple” U*U clergy or other U*U “bad apples” under threat of expulsion from the "church".
- Read Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times by Peter Steinke and A Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman
Read UUA Misuse Of Blasphemy Law in Anxious Times by The Emerson Avenger and A Failure of Big Fat U*U Nerve by Robin Edgar-Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, Congregational Life Consultant, Central East Region.
Labels: First Parish Norwell, Peacebang, Peacebang's Beauty For Senators, Rev. Ray Drennan, Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, Unitarian Universalist clergy abuse, UUA Board of Trustees, UUA President Peter Morales