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Mailbox, Fall 2006

What our readers tell us.
By Jane Greer
Fall 2006 8.15.06

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The somnambulence of summer must have set in because we received only 35 letters, compared with the average of 47 over the previous three issues. The article provoking the most reactions was Kendyl Gibbons’s piece on the language of reverence called “Human Reverence,” with a total of seven letters.

Gibbons, a UU minister and humanist, described a need within Unitarian Universalism for a shared vocabulary that would help UUs express and communicate experiences of awe. The subject of a language of reverence has been hotly debated among UUs, with proponents advocating the need for such a language as a means of spiritual expression, and opponents fearing that such a language would exclude those who could not accept its terms.

Writes Joel Welty of Blanchard, Michigan, “I need a language that expresses the radical, new ideas of mutuality, cooperation, community, and collegiality. I need a language that expresses my sense of belonging in the universe.” David F. Baker of Collins, New York, writes, “As a humanist I expound in reverence on integrity, knowledge, science, and discovery. These are the things I hold in awe.”

Two writers gave Neil Chethik’s forum piece “How Husbands Say ‘I Love You’” a thumbs down. Writes L. Carter Anderson of Montrose, Pennsylvania, “It seems that the author is promoting the stereotype of the insensitive male who expresses his love for his wife by taking the recycling out to the curb.” Anderson suggests that a better approach is for a husband to give his wife “a big hug and whisper ‘I love you,’ every day before breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

Among other letters received were four about the Spring issue’s cover story “Welcome to the Ecozoic Era”; four responding to ads appearing in the magazine, including two about the two-page ad placed by Unitarian Universalists for Ethical Treatment of Animals; and a plug to see An Inconvenient Truth, describing Al Gore’s campaign against global warming.

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