Saturday, September 5, 2009

Freedom From Religion

Lest anyone miss it, the editor of the UU World has responded thoughtfully to the hubbub about the Freedom From Religion Foundation's advertisement in the UU World here. To see some of the other opinions, follow the links from the "Interdependent Web" to various blogs and their comments. I think UU World Business Manager Scott Ulrich's words strike just the right balance. Bravo!

2 comments:

Robin Edgar said...

I can make a few quibbles about what Scott Ulrich said, and may do so later, but on the whole I am very favorably impressed with his prompt handling of this controversy which serves to largely defuse it and prevent further escalation of "hostilities" as it were. Would that more UUA staff and UUA leaders displayed the level of integrity that Scott Ulrich displayed in taking personal responsibility for the error of accepting the offensive anti-religious advertisement from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. I am particularly impressed by these two sentences of his letter -

I have come to the conclusion that it was a mistake to run this particular ad. While the stated mission of the Freedom From Religion Foundation is entirely consistent with UU values, this ad seems hostile to all religion.

Mr. Ulrich clearly and unequivocally acknowledges that tit was a *mistake* to run that particular FFRF ad in the UU World magazine and equally clearly and unequivocally acknowledges that that particular ad "seems hostile to all religion." Those words needed to be said and he had the personal integrity and courage to say them and say them in a very timely manner.

Bravo Scott Ulrich! You are very much in The Emerson Avenger's good books on this particular issue even if I can quibble with aka question some of your other words. You may even be awarded a U*U Hero Award if I ever get around to creating my U*U Heroes and Zeroes Awards. ;-) In fact your exemplary conduct, which allows me to hand out at least one U*U Hero Award this year, gives me the push to go ahead and award some U*U Heroes and Zeroes Awards.

That being said I would like to encourage all the good U*Us who have shared their concerns about this questionable ad being published in the UU World magazine to go the extra mile and contact the Freedom From Religion Foundation directly to politely let them know how and why you found the ads themselves to be offensive to try to persuade them not to display the more offensive ads in bus advertisements as doing so will only exacerbate relations between God believing Americans and atheists, most of whom would prefer to get along with each other if I am not mistaken. I had no serious problems with the wording of the earlier Atheist Bus Campaigns and said so very publicly in this letter to the editor published in the Montreal Mirror alternative weekly this spring when the French version of the Atheist Bus Campaign came to Montreal.

Caroline said...

Bravo to Scott Ulrich. Great suggestion, Robin. I believe that you are correct that "doing so (FRFF continuing this ad campaign) will only exacerbate relations between God believing Americans and atheists, most of whom would prefer to get along with each other if I am not mistaken." Letting FFRF know that these ads should not be used in a "bus campaign" is the right thing to do.

Caroline, Detroit