Emerson Avenger inquired in a comment as to the gory details of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham. He also wishes to know about the young adult UU movement and its problems.
The problems with the national movement deserve a post all to itself (if not a series), so I will talk about UUCB for right now.
For starters, the church was housed for forty years in Mountain Brook, the uppity old money suburb of Birmingham. The 24 karot gold stick up the ass of many long term members stems primarily from that crucial fact. Four families had been instrumental in founding the church in the mid 1950s. These upper-crust, pretentious chosen ones believed that they ran the church and that the entire life of UUCB should revolve around them and the decisions they chose to make.
They made over-theatric gestures in reference to their own supposed activism in the local community. In reality, their glory days had long since passed. Some had taken minor roles in the Civil Rights Movement and rested on their laurels, wishing to receive accolades for their roles as martyrs and messiahs. In reality, few had actively stuck their necks out but all wanted credit; they stated, in hushed tones, that they had actually walked hand in hand with Dr. King.
The problem with B activists is that their stories are often more impressive than the reality of their deeds. The problem with B activists is that, having scaled one mountain, they are utterly oblivious to the fact that there are other ranges and hilltops worthy of climbing. They were instead content to bask in the dying embers of their glorious past while running in place and thumping their chests.
Some abused the Circle of Lights, feeling that every Sunday's joys and concerns were their own personal soapbox.
They did not wish to grow the church. Instead, they wished to preserve the country club for members who they deemed worthy. They made no efforts to extend a warm hand to friends and visitors and only made overtures of friendship once satisfied they were worthy of their attention.
The latest minister they've installed has proceeded to call them out on all of these issues. I find it immensely amusing because these people decided: This time we're going to have the gay minister we've always wanted.
I guess they thought maybe the gay minister wouldn't get angry at them nor force them to confront the fallacies of their ways. I'm afraid this was not the case at all.
I feel sorry for about half of the members, who have come to expect a sort of mediocrity. They could have it so much better, but they have sold out into this second-rate, medium-sized city, self-defeating, inferiority complex attitude to such a degree that they resemble the walking dead.
I feel immensely unsorry for the other half who feel as though common courtesy is a gift only bestowed on people who masturbate their own immense egos and narcissistic attitudes.