Towards a New Ministry to Truth

by Guest Contributor, Richard A. Kellaway

The UUA and the UUMA should act immediately to establish a new MINISTRY OF TRUTH. We need to be at the cutting edge of fundamental reform. There is no need to create a design. It can be found readily in George Orwell’s novel 1984. That agency’s responsibility was to delete all old history that might question the current party line. It is charged with creating new truths to enable continuing control of the masses. What is true? Whatever we say it is. Evidence? Reason is a form of unacceptable dissent. Not only should people do as they are told; they should believe what they are told.

The UU History and Heritage Society, if it has any right to continue, should commit itself to canceling almost all of our religious ancestors, since they were part of the White Patriarchy Culture. It could begin by canceling William Ellery Channing. His wife’s family fortune came substantially from the Rhode Island slave trade. All of his progressive religious ideas are irrelevant in light of this fundamental sin. Most of our other patriarchs were White supremacists. Many of them were ardent supporters of Sir Francis Galton, the father of Eugenics, whose “scientific” theories “proved” the superiority of the White “race”. Who among us has been without sin?

Is there any hope of redemption? Confession could be a beginning. In Stalin’s Soviet Union there were many show trials of dissidents. During their incarceration before trials they were “encouraged” to confess their errors. Doing it did not save most of them from death sentences or the gulags. The “truth” is what those in power say it is.

How did this happen to dissidents? Neighbors were encouraged to spy on their neighbors and to report any suspicion of dissent to the authorities. Be especially wary of your own children.

All of this is addressed in a book review, “The New Intolerance” by Simon Jenkins in the October 2 issue of the Times Literary Supplement. The book is Cynical Theories: How Universities made everything about race, gender, and identity – And why this harms everybody. Swift Press. Authors: Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay. (other reviews)

“The thesis is broadly familiar. Something called Critical Theory and latterly Social Justice Theory… has burst out of academia since the turn of the century, initially in the US. It holds that truth in all forms is subjective, a function of power exerted by the privileged over the victimized. This power envelops not just the “marginalized” but everyday language, law, science, medicine and academic research. All these intellectual realms are mere creations of ‘an entrenched patriarchal ascendancy’. Only identities and emotions may be treated as ‘reified’ or real . . . Radical theorists sought out every more esoteric and paranoid concepts, such as microaggressions, unsafe spaces, cultural appropriations and hate speech. Theorists cloaked themselves in the impenetrable ‘woke’ jargon of gender performativity, problematization, queer theory, and white fragility. They very concept of knowledge, they argued, needed to be cut loose from empiricism and objectivity to reside in ‘lived experience’.”

The Theory offers no tolerances, boundaries or courtesies, using its current undoubted power to bully and impose ruthless discipline and often cruel hostility. In this, it seems to mimic the early American fundamentalists in what the authors call ‘a new religion, a tradition of faith that is actively hostile to reason, falsification, disconfirmation and disagreement.’ Passages of the book echo Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and the Salem witches. Only an elect can be ‘saved’ by a priesthood who define them.”

Alas, many of us in the ministry are probably beyond redemption. Being the adoptive father of a racially mixed daughter and decades of work for racial justice can’t excuse me from being part of the White Patriarchy. Perhaps I can begin to make amends by giving up pizza. It’s a blatant example of cultural appropriation. So is coffee.

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Bennett Stark
Bennett Stark
9 months ago

I assume this is ”tongue in cheek.”

Bennett Stark
Bennett Stark
8 months ago

My reading of “Towards a New Ministry to Truth” is that it is a caustic satire reflecting how far the UUA has fallen.

Mike Jones
Mike Jones
4 months ago

Adolescent, snarky, sarcastic: a classic hit job worthy of a true conspiracy theorist.

Richard Palmer
Richard Palmer
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Jones

???

Tom Clowes
Tom Clowes
4 months ago

If your words are indeed anti-racist, there should be no need to hold up an adoptive daughter of color or other people in your life as props to show that you aren’t racist. Your words should speak for themselves.

Richard Palmer
Richard Palmer
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom Clowes

Says you. Thanks for defining this for all us peons. Frankly, you sound like a racist yourself.

Tom Clowes
Tom Clowes
4 months ago

Pizza and coffee as cultural appropriation? Of course that’s silly. But cultural appropriation isn’t silly. I define it broadly as taking something from a culture that’s not one’s own and using it in a way that cheapens its significance. For example, if I’m not Catholic but I use the Catholic mass as the basis for a drinking game, that’s inappropriate. There are other considerations, too, such as whether people from the culture being used are generally able to have themselves represented to the general public as they wish. So, for example, when The Princess and the Frog mis-represents the Vodou… Read more »

Robert South
Robert South
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom Clowes

Is there a central agency or department somewhere to which I can submit ideas for preapproval as free from appropriation, or does each culture have a different one? I mean, it’s such a slippery slope. Different individuals have different ideas of what offends them. How will we know what to collectively oppose? Because, I mean, justice is group punishment. Justice has always been group punishment. Really this is why UUism should be so ashamed of itself. The seven sources (once we add “lived experiences of oppressed peoples”) are essentially one big act of cultural appropriation. Or not, depending on which… Read more »

Richard Palmer
Richard Palmer
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert South

Tom Clowes seems like a bit of a proto-fascist, a common meme in any totalitarian state.

Richard Palmer
Richard Palmer
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom Clowes

Tom, who do you think you are? Are you the source where people can get their comments pre-approved or rejected? You sound like a person who is trying to give himself authority and power, but secretly feels powerless.

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