Accidential clericalism

There’s a curious Unitarian Universalist practice where a good number of ministers use the writings of other Unitarian Universalist ministers “as a reading” for the pulpit, elevating to the defacto level of scripture. Much of what follows also applies to the endless references to popular writers and poets I heard used in Unitarian Universalist sermons.

I know the intent is to bring fresh ideas to the pulpit. I can appreciate that, if not adopt the practice. It seems to drastically compress the process by which ideas are tested as being normative for a group. Next, it allows preachers to cherry-pick agreeable ideas, leading to insularity. Last — and perhaps most pressing — it establishes the insider’s view and rewards prestige and power.

A funny conundrum, that. I’ll stick to the Bible.