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What if liberal Christians became radically observant?

What if liberal Christians became radically observant?

What if religious liberals became radically observant in their faith practices? Unitarian minister Ana Levy-Lyons writes at Huffington Post:

What if we could restore the radical edge and dynamic energy of religious liberalism? What would the world look like if, instead of advertising religion lite, religious liberals became the most observant people around? What if those of us who consider ourselves theologically liberal began joining liberal religious communities in droves? What if we began tithing to those institutions? What if we observed a Sabbath together and radically disengaged from social and economic structures every week? What if we engaged in serious study of our spiritual texts and heritage and applied their lessons to the issues of today? What if we began lobbying on religious grounds for environmental stewardship?

The sky is the limit in reimagining how our faiths call us to practice in the modern world. Maybe those of us who have high-paying jobs will refuse to accept a salary that’s more than seven times what the lowest-paid worker makes in our organizations — and explain, “It’s because I’m really religious.” Maybe we will only eat food that’s sustainably grown, humanely raised, and for which the farm workers were paid a living wage, even if that rules out most of the food we currently eat — and explain to our outraged children, “It’s because in this family, we’re really religious.” Maybe straight couples refuse to get married until there is marriage equality for everyone — and explain to their disappointed parents, “It’s because we are really religious.” Maybe we stop to pray two, three, five times a day to keep ourselves oriented toward God and our highest ideals.

A thought-provoking essay. Read it all here and then weigh in. What would radically liberal Christianity look like to you?


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David O'Rourke

Interesting article, it has giving me much to think about.

How does this compare with the Red Letter Christians movement?

Gary Paul Gilbert

Thank you, Ann!

It depends whether one defines observance as personal piety or political action. If it is action, then the Unitarians have done great advocacy for LGBT rights and funeral consumer rights. Most of the funeral consumer groups I deal with have a high percentage of Unitarians.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Ann Fontaine

I know families who set Sunday as a no screen day– no TV, Movies, computers, phones except emergencies. They have family meetings, do family activities, play games, pray. Don’t go to church – I think it is more like “home-church”

Ann Fontaine

Most UU people I know are radically observant. In Arlington VA they were bombed for their civil rights stance. UUS are concerned about the environment with their Green Sanctuary movement that was far ahead of any other church. LGBT welcoming way back before it became trendy. Open to exploring the good in all faiths. I would say before casting any stones in their direction – we (TEC) have a long way to go.

Emma Pease

Look or act? I do know a few UUs and attended a few services so I suspect for radicals clothing would be fair trade or homemade. However UUs pride themselves on finding their own paths so things may end up like Unitarian jihad.

It would not surprise me if some took to making Sunday a day apart where one does not use the computer/phone/tv except in emergencies or under strict limitations (no job/career related stuff but concentrate on family/friends) though the only liberal religious people I know who have done this are Jewish (and for the original Sabbath day).

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