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Unity Church Scrapbook
2015 03 10 This post talks about Unitarian Pastor Andy Conyer. It’s in a section that illustrates inadequacies of actual pastors in actual churches: it’s a collection pk’s negative church/pastor experiences: you need a church, you get an inquisition.
Today I portray the Unity Church in general, its history.
Unitarianism follows the teaching and the example of Joseph Priestley. Priestley was a friend of Ben Franklin. Both men were respected thinkers, speakers, writers in their own day. Both men continue to be regarded as great scientists. Priestley “discovered” oxygen. Priestley “invented” carbonation: Coke should give him a commission: as should the whole modern world.
We subject school children, helpless serfs, to blather about freedom of religion. That’s rhetoric, there’s no such thing, never has been. Intellectual freedom and society are incompatible: that’s my teaching. Study Thomas Jefferson’s youth: there was no freedom of inquiry, no freedom of conscience. Colonists were raised in the firm grip of the Church of England. The Church of England had wretched control from the Roman Catholic Church. blah blah … skip to Priestley: Priestley was born into an age that science was getting born into. Science requires that theology, philosophy, etc. be tested against the actual universe of experience. Some individuals were not only smart, they were lucky enough (we were lucky enough) to be relatively free in their imaginations. (we were lucky enough) that they were relatively free). Priestley was for updating religion, testing reality.
So what happened? His fellow English burned his house to the ground! one of those huge English houses: Downton Abbey-, Pemberly-type houses. Franklin told him colonials weren’t burning free thinkers houses that year (almost every other year, yes; that year, no.)
My wife and I married in a Unity Church, NYC, Park Avenue. It wasn’t that I liked that church; it was that all the others were clear rejects: Unitarian was the only remaining option!
I charge Andy Conyer with betrayal of both Jesus’ and Priestley’s example.
Modern physics got modern playing around with ideas of matter as volatile. The world was once believed to be stable, permanent: except for floods, walls of Jericho … Einstein’s world was backwards: light was finite, everything else was transient …
What we need is an active idea that institutions have a very short half-life. Franklin was free enough to write smart stuff, so was Priestley; good. It didn’t last long. It was over before I got to kindergarten.
2015 03 09 I really butchered the first draft yesterday, I’ll try again, better.
I start today with the last thing Andy Conyet said to me, 2008, sitting in his office at the church he’d built:
I’d been explaining to him how my six domains had bee censored after I’d been jailed by the fed. I asked him a pair of favors, he promised, he hasn’t. That was in the wake of his having once recognized who and what I am, have been; but he said nothing! passed nothing on, declinded to share with his congregation. The temple murders Jesus, then pretends it still represents God … good … Intelligence, honesty, truth can’t develop with churches in the way.\
Anyway: here’s the context: I’d never been listened to, now I’d also been arrested, jailed, and now censored! 4,000 online essays evaporated.
I still believe that in the United States anyone can still say anything they want.
People are morons, deliberately. Churches believe lies, deliberately.
We may as well have been talking about moons around Jupiter. Andy stoutly aligned with the false.
My first couple of experience with Andy Conyer were good, very good. Experiences thereafter have been bad: bad, but typical. Andy Conyer is just an ordinary Christian hypocrite after all.
It started in relation my founding a Macintosh Users Group here in Sebring, HMUG, Highlands MUG, early 1990s. My phone rang. Andy Conyer introduced himself, explaining that he’d jut started a Mac Users Group on his own: a dozen people with Macs, meeting in his Church, the Sebring Unity Church. His first ad was just du to appear: mine had just appeared. Andy suggested, quite rightly, that we should team up, do the most good with the least wheel spinning. Right. We did. He brought a dozen, my group was initially maybe a half-dozen. I was first but Andy wanted to speak first at our first joint meeting: he said he wanted to say a few introductory words, then he’d introduce me, step back.
That wasn’t right: or not entirely right: the first founder should speak first. Maybe. Or maybe the guy offering the meeting place, the guy with the roof, should speak first. Or maybe it’s a democracy and it doesn’t matter who speaks first, as long as everyone gets to speak if they have something to say. (Or maybe these are all mortal vanities and people are incapable of sensible order: that’s come to be my view.)
Anyway: Andy spoke, then I spoke: and I realized, for the zillionth time, these people are not on my wave length, they’re braced against conviviality: we’re in a “church” but they won’t understand the first thing about Illichian Christianity: they’re Americans, they’ve already schooled.
In his first words Andy said that he had no inerest ini being a club officer; he just wanted to attend. I said the same thing. Right away, a couple of attendees started loosening their ambitions. Within a month of meetings one sentiment was clear: the majority wanted to meet not in Andy’s church but in the school on Sebring’s Highlands Avenue: it was a Mac school, each classroom had Macs.
That was a strong attraction. But my involvement had been part and parcel of my sentiments in founding the Free Learning Exchange in 1970: deSchooling. I wanted information to be allowed to organize itself apart from both sacred and secular authority: no church; no state either: grassroots, no congress. No damn experts. I wanted humble organization, no damn coercive kleptocrats. Schools were based in force; I wanted no part of them.
Did I say all that? No. They saw where I would go if allowed to speak freely, hostility, inattention made sure my tongue got tied.
(After the first meeting in Andy church a woman stood alone in the parking lot, staring in my direction as I finished saying a thing or two to Andy. She clearly wanted to say something, but didn’t. Andy turned away, I half glanced in her direction, she trembled, she too turned away. The first million years of Judgment may be spent by God establishing the infinity of things he’s aware of that we have no awareness of.) (I had subsequent occasions on which this woman and I could have spoken: we never spoke. I’m an idiot too.) I can surmise part: she I later learned lived with a couple where the guy was a military-defectived-vet, ‘Nam, I think: she seemed to be their Christian friend, booster.)
Anyway, building up to: Andy discovering in his office that I am a disciple of Ivan Illich, that I founded FLEX, that I was for mechanisms for self-formation of order and against imposition of order: absolutely against vertical impositions of order. Andy’s jaw dropped, his face lit, then went out: shock caused a meltdown.
What Andy should have done thereafter was to introduce me to his congregation: never mind MUG: invite me to speak to his church! He didn’t.
He did however send me one of his widow-volunteers. Andy ordered this woman around like a slave. She did everything he demanded! She wanted to do everything for me too! But I can’t work that way.
I want things that people don’t seem to be able to give, to do, to see. That was true before I founded FLEX in 1970. That’s been true since I first began having my biggest ideas, 1964 or so. I thought of my Shakespeare thesis about 1964: I don’t think more than two people understood more than half of what I was saying. By 1965 there weren’t two. And since 1966 there have been zero. The higher they are in the university, the more deaf they’ll prove.
My girl loves me, but finds it hard to put up with my aggressive “truthfulness”. Confronting liars head on (when my head is all sore and battered) may return me to being a bachelor yet.
Andy, post-pk in jail coming up