Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Round 2: New UUA Ad: Pray & Doubt

You can see the latest UUA Ad in Time Magazine by going to the site. It doesn't seem as bad as the first one, which I commented on here before--the Is God keeping you from Church? ad when I wrote how for most people it is the opposite question. At least this one conveys the image that UUs, and people, do pray, and that it is good to do so (not just when you are in crisis and in doubt, as the ad maintains, but at all times; the discipline of prayer seems to grow the soul the most in my experience when it is a discipline). Still, I don't know much what to make of the clever word play beyond that when it says "in prayer, doubt." I guess it is alluding to the needed role of doubt in the spiritual life, to test all things, as St. Paul wrote (and the text from Romans William Ellery Channing used as the text for his Unitarian Christianity sermon). I still am unsure of its relationship to prayer specifically. Are you to pray and doubt that your prayer is helpful? Pray and doubt that anyone hears it? Pray and doubt the prayer itself? Doesn't quite capture Mark's prayer that I believe, God help me in my unbelief. It is almost as if it is saying here we take religion and religious things seriously, but not too seriously, and by serious I don't mean ponderous, but instead mean it as something of ultimacy to committ one's self too.
Sometimes I think these ads capture the essence of the contemporary state of a church/association even more than they intend to....