My Story

I am deeply interested in religion, politics, current events, history, musical theater and books! I left the LDS church a couple years ago and have spent a lot of time since then thinking and considering various religious influences in my life and in the lives of those around me. For more information on why I left the LDS church, look here. I also love to sing, act, dance (tap preferably) and perform on stage whenever possible.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Peace, Love & Understanding

So as promised, here is my update on my experience at the Unitarian Universalist church that I attended yesterday.

From what I could gather from the songs, ceremonies, etc. it seems that this church really is all about peace, love and understanding. You can believe in nothing or in everything. Everyone is welcome and loved and it seems the church really just provides a gathering place for like minded individuals. A place where everyone is accepted. It was nice. I think this church may be about as close as I am ready to get to religion right now. They had a "Religous Transition" group that sounded interesting and meets after the services on Sunday. I may check that out on another day.

From what I could gather, the church service is a little different in the summer months since the pastor takes a sabbatical of sorts during this time. Instead of a message by the pastor the church invites guest speakers to come in and give the sermons/message.

Sunday, the guest speaker was Takashi Hiraoka who had been a mayor of Hiroshima, Japan after the United States dropped the nuclear bomb on the city on August 6th, 1995. On that day everything within a 4-5 mile radius was quite literally disintegrated. The article from the link says that "official Japanese figures at the time put the death toll at 118,661 civilians. But later estimates suggest the final toll was about 140,000, of Hiroshima's 350,000 population, including military personnel and those who died later from radiation."

Here is a small section from the Mayor's message:
A reflection on world peace poses the following question: Is world security derived from nuclear weapons or from the abolition of nuclear weapons? Many world leaders hold that the existence of nuclear weapons deters their use and therefore justifies the possession of such weapons. This nuclear deterrence policy, however, fuels nuclear proliferation and, I believe, makes the world less secure. The elimination of nuclear weapons is the only measure that will absolutely prevent their use.
Following the presentation we were able to look at many posters that gave more information and showed pictures of the total devastation of the city after the bomb was dropped. As I contemplated the horror that these people experienced on that dark day in history I couldn't help but get teary eyed. Hopefully the remembering will help us to make sure this never happens again. Mr. Hiraoka encouraged us and all nations to put humanity above money, politics and personal gain as we strive for a more peaceful, more loving and more understanding world.

Note: If you would like to participate in a commemoration of this event, a formal program followed by a candlelight vigil will be held at the Salt Lake City library in the Main Auditorium on Wednesday, August 6th, from 7:30 - 9:00 pm.


Oliver family said...

I was honored to visit the sight of the bombing when we visited Japan about 7 years ago. They now have a "peace park" set up there with an amazing statue to represent learning from the past and looking to peace in the future. It was an amazing experience. If you ever hear of that guy, or someone similar to him coming again, let me know. Sounds like a very moving and peace-promoting speech. I'll have to share with you more about visiting Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and other Japanese historical and post-bombing sights. It was definately awe-inspiring.

Melissa said...

This church sounds great! Maybe I will check it out!!