Am tired of hearing ‘the language of reverence’ — it was the foreign language of my youth and is a foreign language in english translation now. While foreign languages are valuable for thinking in different ways and introducing new concepts, ‘the language of reverence’ feels so false to me, so deceitful as a thinking person who tries to say what he means and mean what he says, that i avoid it — ‘the language of reverence’ — when i can. Like knowing traffic is stopped on the freeway and taking the other very functioning city roads, i get to where i’m going without using the christomystic words that current pop UUism is pushing to the silent, listening bodies on sunday mornings, trying to be Nearer your Childhood Christianity to thee.
The pop UU lexicon starts with the word ‘church’, progresses through ‘faith’ ‘reverend’, ‘sanctuary’, and various other word leftovers. Nieuwejaar‘s 2012 “Vocabulary of Reverence” for UUs includes God, Faith, Hope, Love, Covenant, Doctrine, Sacrament, Prayer, Sanctuary, Sin, Atonement, Blessing, Grace, Mercy, Salvation, Holy & Soul. She and others who promote this Extra Light Christianity for UUs apparently miss the object of theistic affection, love the mysticism of euro-american religion, and support the classism inherent in all UU god-talk in which clergy define the terms of engagement with laity.
The problem with ‘the language of reverence’ is that it’s not a shared language among UUs. It’s promoted by the clergy class, tolerated by the laity, and rejected by humanists. This christomystic lexicon validates Christianity as the privileged language in a denomination that is currently paying lip-service to multiculturalism and cultural relativism, and losing religion’s cultural relevance war to the Nones.