Saturday, October 15, 2011

Adrian Worsfold

Hello and Happy Saturday!

Thank you so much to Louise Rogers for her wonderful interview last week.
Thanks so much for sharing your faith journey with us Louise!

Today we have a new interview so please welcome Adrian Worsfold. Adrian is a Unitarian and I know you'll enjoy his interview as well!

Here Is Adrian Worsfold's Introduction:

I was confirmed an Anglican in 1984 during my early years doing a PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology and have slipped in and out of Unitarianism since and have had contact with Bahai's, Methodists and Buddhists. I considered Anglican ministry for a time and Unitarian ministry, but neither happened. At present I attend a Unitarian church and help with its music and take some services. Among some Anglican punk bloggers (liberal inclined people who say controversial things at some disadvantage to themselves) I am a terror blogger, helping to point out the implications of what they are saying. Unitarians have often been a pain in the backside of people who are in the 'orthodox' communities but cross their fingers behind their backs, like I did but with my arms out.

1) What religion do you practice?

2) Are you a convert/revert or were you raised within this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
I am a deconvert. People are deconverted to Unitarianism. I was a liberal Anglican for a time, and I remain sympathetic to Western Buddhism.

3)Within your religion are there degrees of observance (ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal)? What are the defining differences between the degrees of observance?
There are Liberal Christians, Religious Humanists, Easterns and Neo-Pagans; there is a span from rationalism to romanticism, and from denominationalism to ecumenical/ interfaith.

4)Within your religion what degree of observance are you ((ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal) ? Why did you choose this degree of observance?
I am a religious humanist with a small portion of liberal Christianity and Western Buddhism and the tiniest touch of the Pagan.

5)What is the Afterlife within your religion? For example: what happens when a person dies? Are there places for reward/punishment? (such as a Heaven/Hell concept)
We rot, but some might believe in spiritual existence. I don't. When you are dead it's as if you were never alive. However, consciousness is a mystery, how the me of me becomes experienced me.

6) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?
No one does: it doesn't exist.

7) What makes your religion a good fit for you?
Because it is a means of reflection and contemplation, the question about where next (either forced on you or with some freedom of action). It is where I encounter that everything is transient.

8) What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
I find Christmas a chore. Easter is a lot of well worn arguments but it is a symbol of saying yes to life. I will refer to 'It's spring again' but it seems a bit obvious. Let's live while we have life.

9) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
Yes, I got on with Buddhists and Bahai's, and of course Anglicans.

10) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?
I'm happy to join in with anyone's other celebration. It's all about reflection on the passing calendar.

11) What are your thoughts on the burka, and Shariah Law?
It is repression. Some people need repression for a sense of liberty, but humans should grow up. People should wear, or not wear, what they want; it's for people who might respond to behave themselves.

12) Are women allowed to hold religious office (priest, minister, rabbi, iman etc) in your religion and how do you feel about it?
Unitarians were the first to have full professional religious ministers - the first in 1904. There is no discrimination based on sexuality.

13) Does your place of worship segregate? If yes, how does this make you feel?
There are plenty of seats for individuals to be separated from other individuals.

14) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?
The religion changes according to our views. When new people come into the congregation, the church changes. I dislike abortion but would have it legal as now, and I favour gay marriage and heterosexual civil partnership (added to present arrangements)

15) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
No children but in general they do. I don't know what physical distortions might come about if Unitarians limited themselves to the Unitarian gene pool.

16) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?
They could well be going to hell if they are of my faith. I don't believe in heaven or hell. It's nonsense.

17) Who do you think is not a practicing ----- in your religion and why? ie who in the public domain claims to speak for your religion? Do you agree with them or not?
No Unitarian ever agrees with another Unitarian. We don't represent the denomination. All Unitarianism amounts to is a tradition of evolved religion that settled upon the individual as the seat of authority.

18) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.
People hate me in the blogsphere. I am a terror blogger among Anglican punk bloggers.

19) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?
No. It tends to affirm the human being. It doesn't stop us misbehaving to one another.

20) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
Should it?

21) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
No. The only possibility is another meness of me in a conscious being, but I still think it is biologically dependent and it is likely as not to be on planet zog as on earth. Our universe and our reflectivity as beings of a short time stretch on a 10 billion year planet is fascinating enough. The purpose of religion is to come to terms with the fact that this existence ends and that's it, goodbye.

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