Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shall the truth set you free and bind you more?

In her sermon, "To seek the truth – or not", Rev. Diane Rollert refers to Unitarian Universalist Ministers Convocation 2009 where Thomas Moore held a workshop with 25 attendees:
"One afternoon, we ministers started to talk about what it means to be tellers of truth and the importance of being authentic.

"I don’t use the word truth," Tom said to us. "Not truth, not authenticity, or even integrity," he said.

You could see the shock waves reverberate across the room. Not talk about the truth? Isn’t that what we’re about? At the core of our Unitarian principles is the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We promise our communities that we will speak the truth in love. We strive to speak truth to power.

"No. Really," he said. "I never use the word truth. Why not cultivate the inauthentic?" he asked us. Be inauthentic? We couldn’t imagine it. Like the Greek God Hermes (Hermes the thief, Hermes the trickster), Tom was starting to have fun with us. Did we have to be so earnest? Were we too moralistic? Did this prevent us from truly – I mean really – connecting with our people?

"Truth," Tom later shared, "is too loaded with hidden assumptions. It’s too dangerous."

So, I decided to ask you what you thought. Is "truth" a wounded word? I was curious to see your reflections."
Rollert writes,
"I heard from a whole group of men – but not a word from any women. I admit, started to wonder: is this a "guy" thing?

So last week when I mentioned that I’d only heard from men and joked that perhaps women aren’t interested in truth, one of our female pillars of the community yelled from the back of the sanctuary, "That’s because women already know the truth!"

Not surprisingly, several women took up the challenge and sent me their thoughts this week."
Read the sermon for Rollert's presentation of "truthiness" and views about King and Gandhi. She offers an earlier sermon based on this workshop with Moore, mentioned in the Barque post, Moore asks UU ministers, "Are you prepared"?

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