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Over at First Things, David Mills has a good column today on “The Advent Search”. A sampling:

“Derek? Who’s Derek?” begins a flyer I have in my files. “He isn’t a prophet or a god, just a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Community at Pitt. You see, we draw upon many sources in our search for truth. Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism. And most importantly You [sic]. After all, you determine your own faith.”

The flyer then explains that you don’t have to believe anything to be a member of this community, and concludes: “It’s a religious community for people who question. People who look for life’s meaning. People who think. People just like you and Derek.”

But maybe not a good community for people like you and Derek. The trouble with this kind of religion is that no one in the Unitarian-Universalist community expects you to join in order to move on to a committed Christianity or Judaism or Islam. The community isn’t really about searching at all, because real searching leads to finding. I don’t think I’m being unfair to the Unitarian-Universalists by saying that they are not really big on finding.

Read the rest, which includes a quote from Chesterton’s Heretics that I read myself within the past week or two.  I’d say that a great deal of what Mr. Mills says also applies to the liberal wings of the mainline Christian denominations.  (Regular port-swillers are perfectly well familiar with my belief that the Episcopal Church, at least, has slid into Uni-land.)

Owing to a looming trial date, it turns out that I am not going to be able to accompany Mrs. Robbo and the gels to Flahrduh to visit her parents for Christmas as planned.

Drat.  I had hoped to get around this.

Oh, well.  In the making lemonade department, we will instead have a Port Swiller Family Christmas Dinner the Sunday before.  We’ll also decorate a tree, which we weren’t going to bother doing if no one was going to be home.

And another small consolation is that I’ll be able to slip off to Midnight Mass in my home parish without having to worry about waking anybody up.


Last evening saw the opening salvo of the Port Swiller Crash and Burn Pick-Up Ensemble, the three young ladies of the household all howling at the tops of their voices and self banging away at the keyboard as we picked our way through a variety of seasonal songs and carols.  (We had attended the annual Christmas pageant at RFEC in the late afternoon and the spirit, or at least the sugar rush, still seemed to be on them.)

I cannot speak for the voice quality of our concert except that about midway through I became aware that the middle gel was showing off with grace notes and high endings, that the youngest had started improvising lyrics and that the eldest was not so much singing as laughing in key.  As for my own tickling of the ivories, what with all that caterwauling I really couldn’t even hear what I was doing.

However, what we lacked in quality we more than made up in enthusiasm.  A good time was had by all.


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December 2010