Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Unitarians and Darwin

On Sunday, having been invited, I went to an Interfaith service held by the Unitarians at 11 am in their Hall in South Terrace, Hastings. The programme I was handed included the well known cartoon of a monkeyfied Darwin holding a mirror up for an ape to look into.

After an Invocation to "The Spirit of Life", came the Serenity Prayer of Reinhold Niebuhr (asking for "Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference"). There was a Litany praising the work of Darwin, with the response "We are thankful that he asked questions", and quotations from Confucius, Buddha, John Donne, Darwin and others, taken from The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, and later an Affirmation about Evolution taken from the work of Teilhard de Chardin.

These were interspersed with hymns, including one in which the verses end with the phrase "Some call it evolution, others call it God" (!) I was unable to join in the singing of these since their theology was unreconstructed, and surprisingly (seeing as it was a Unitarian service) included Jesus as well as God. While I can understand the wish to show goodwill towards all, I felt there was far too much of an "All Things Bright and Beautiful" approach to Darwin's work, lacking in comprehension of the reality that he revealed.


  1. Some Unitarians don't deal very well with reality, even when it is staring them in the face. . . OTOH Unitarianism was originally a non-Trinitarian form of Christianity so you should not be surprised by the reality that God and Jesus might get at least some token mention in a Unitarian Interfaith service.

  2. Not only Unitarians, all religious sects are incompatible with Science (thus Darwin). However, they will never accept this fact publicly because their survival is at stake.

    Awani Kumar