[Buddha-l] the nestorian stele of chang'an

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Thu Dec 20 14:15:26 MST 2007

On Thu, 2007-12-20 at 15:51 -0500, curt at cola.iges.org wrote:

> It turns out the one thing that my father and I saw eye-to-eye on was
> our abhorrence of Unitarianism (not in the sense of preferring
> Trinitarianism or anything like that.) 

Abhorrence seems an odd reaction to something as bland as Unitarianism.
I can easily see finding Unitarianism dull and uninteresting and vapid
and insipid, but I've never seen any Unitarian do or say anything gutsy
enough to deserve being called abhorrent. 

Oddly enough, one of the groups who at one time hated the Unitarians
were the Universalists. It was a class thing. The Unitarians were mostly
educated and wealthy, and the Universalists were mostly farmers and
workers. The Universalists saw the Unitarians as snobbish elitists from
Harvard, and the Unitarians saw the Universalists as simple-minded boors
who never finished high school---a dispute in which both sides were
right. When the two congregations were joined in the 1960s there were
people on both sides who were opposed to the union, and, as always
happens in attempts at unification, some separatists broke away from the
unified organization to retain their doctrinal and liturgical purity.

One of the lists to which I subscribe is the Unitarian-Universalist
Buddhist Fellowship. Sometimes this past year there was a bit of a
hoohaw because the national Unitarian Fellowship discussed the
possibility of withdrawing support of the UUBF. Some Buddhist Unitarians
got all offended, of course, and in reaction to that, some non-Buddhist
Unitarians became defensive. But it was all so polite and civilized that
I left in a huff and came back to buddha-l, where people at least have
the wisdom and compassion to be nasty to each other. I guess I would
have preferred it if someone had done something boring, like abhoring.
If this comes up again, Curt, are you an abhorer for hire? 

Richard Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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