I am a parish minister currently serving the Eliot Church of Natick MA. Eliot Church is a Community Church affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Any statements made and postions held in "Unity," however, are solely mine(of course, they may be used with appropriate atribution). Therefore if you disagree, please do not blame the church!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Welcome to Taft

Yes, William Howard Taft Divinity School (variously referred to as "Taft" or "TDS") is my nominee for the name of our new seminary. Sure, PeaceBang's suggestion of Escalade Seminary conributes a certain romance (as well as a lovely image of our clergy surging through the suburbs with reckless abandon). Of course, Enforcer, the Liberal Theological Institute has a certain 19th Century-sounding class which would be hard to get anywhere else. However, please consider the noble contributions of jurist, president and actual active (very active, actually) Unitarian, William Howard Taft.

"What?" you ask. "Has the parson gone insane?" No, I am quite sane most of the time. Taft was a national figure. He was a leader in two branches of our federal government. He was a layman (those are people we ministers are supposed to serve). He was president of the General Conference of Unitarians. That is, he was and actual member of and participant in our movement! This is something that is harder to claim for others when we start our magical list of famous people. So what if he got into fights with John Haynes Holmes? I bet lots of people did!Still, I feel your pain. I know what you are thinking and that is this: Taft...was...a Republican!

Yep, he was. Now, I am not, nor have I ever been a member of any party but that of the Donkey. I truly believe that I will die as I have lived...forever a Democrat. But now I am talking about the good of the Unitarian Universalist movement. Do you want to make a splash? Would you like to make a statement that cannot be ignored by the great mass of our fellow Americans? I know I do. Most of what we do as a movement is, frankly, predictable. Good? Yes. Worthy?Sure. Surprising? really.

I think that it is pretty to safe to say that naming our only seminary after President (or, as he preferred, Justice) Taft would come as a shock in many quarters and not just our own. So lets give it a try!

Think you have a better idea? Maybe you do! Feel free to let us know what you would like to name UUTS. Want to vote for Escalade? Go right ahead...