Keeping Up With The Unitarians
So last Friday night I'm looking through the bottom right section of the "churches" section of The Cincinnati Enquirer and I see that the topic at the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati with the Reverend Sharon Dittmar is going to be "Judaism" for Sunday, 1-13-2008.
Well, I'm thinking this ought to be good.
You see - there is a BIZARRE flirtation of Sharon Dittmar's way of looking at life and that of a great many liberal Jews.
In fact, pretty much right from the beginning of the sermon she hit it right on the head - that, in particular after a great number of joint lectures and classes with Rabbi Robert Barr of the Congregation Beth Adam people were beginning to ask her if she was turning Jewish.
On the other hand, after giving the Christmas Eve Sermon (audio file) at First Church, one might also ask if Rabbi Barr were turning into a Unitarian Minister.
However, Rev. Dittmar went on, some had also asked her since she got divorced whether she might have any interest in posting an ad on JDate.
Wait a second ...
Did I hear her correctly?
Yep ... I checked it out ... I heard her correctly ... she got divorced mid-2007.
This is what I get for not keeping up with the Unitarians.
Now, you see, when I first found out about Rev. Dittmar, one of the first sermons I heard from her was on the subject of marriage. In fact, I was seriously thinking about asking her to perform the ceremony for Mrs. Axinar and I before my dear, sweet mother-in-law put the kibosh on the Unitarians for being "too liberal".
However, I was fairly convinced Rev. Dittmar wouldn't perform the ceremony anyway. In her 10-9-2005 sermon she goes on for quite some time about how she interrogates couples who want her to marry them. She also said she only had one bit of marriage advice - marry your best friend.
Now she's divorced herself.
For some reason I found myself thinking of the M*A*S*H episode "Fallen Idol" when Radar says to Hawkeye, "A lot of people look up to you here. They admire you and they kinda feel they want to be like you. And ... Gee, when you walk out on an operation, you make them feel like you've let them down. If they can't depend on you, well, they figure, well, maybe there's no point in depending on anything."
I'm telling this to my little teenie-tiny pocket-sized professor friend and she says, "But, Ax, she's only human."
Oh, I know she's human.
I also know in other denominations, getting divorced is an absolute career killer for a clergy member. It's, in fact, what turned Sam Kinison from a preacher to a stand-up comic.
Perhaps it's just proving a concept I learned from astronaut Al Bean - that, no matter how hard you may try - you simply can't predict exactly what's going to happen in the future.
On the other hand, no matter how unfair it might be, it's quite hard to shake the thought that if someone like Sharon Dittmar "got it wrong", what chance do the rest of us have?