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Humanism and Unitarian Universalism

Early twentieth century Unitarians were central to the modern humanist movement.  But who would know that today, a century later?  How and why have UUs diverged from their humanist past?  Does the swelling secular movement of new atheists and humanists in the 21st century have a place in Unitarian Universalism?  Just what does it mean to be a humanist today and where can humanists find a welcoming and vibrant community?

Audrey Kingstrom, a fifteen year member of the First Unitarian Society of Mpls. and more recently a Board member and organizer for the Humanists of Minnesota, will offer her perspectives on these questions at this casual Sunday morning summer assembly at Minnesota Valley UU Fellowship.  Audrey has a Master of Divinity Degree from Union Theological Seminary (NYC) which she attended 30 years ago.  With the intention of becoming a Lutheran minister, she enrolled in seminary only to become an atheist through the process.  She left “the church” and religion behind to become an educator—and eventually made her way to contemporary humanism where she has been an active organizer in recent years.


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  • Sonita

    Rita has said it all in her commentary. I will only add that Audrey's observations deserve serious consideration, not a defensive reaction to protect god-faith blindly. Even for those who are uncommitted to atheism or humanism and find a place in UU, minds that function on reason will most likely give Audrey's historically-rooted and philosophically-nuanced comments due credit, and wonder sincerely about emerging emphases in any movement's future profile.

    August 12, 2013

    • Rita P.

      Sonia, I agree. I felt badly about the harsh initial comment. Audrey took care to own her views. I'm afraid the passion (sometimes with anger) was overly off-putting to some. Audrey is courageous enough to elucidate her views without apology. Just what is needed to initiate interaction and self-reflection. My own views differ somewhat, but I appreciated her forthrightness.

      August 16, 2013

  • Sonita

    Thought-provoking and informative

    August 12, 2013

  • Rita P.

    Audrey clearly presented her views as to where she would like to see Unitarian Universalism headed, which is to limit its focus to naturalism and not widen it to include a supernatural belief system. It was genuine, passionate, and provocative. Her personal story contributed to the depth of the message. Commentary that followed was diverse and equally passionate. Thanks Audrey.
    Rita P.

    August 11, 2013

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