This I Believe: Bob Buresh (1990)

Being part Scandinavian ancestry, I grew up in a family with a strong Lutheran background. As a loyal church attender and believer as a youth, in adolescence I was impressed with the startling differences between what religions and believers profess and how they behave in accordance with those beliefs. By my sophomore year at the university, my slate of orthodox Christian beliefs had been wiped clean. I continued to maintain an intellectual interest in religious history and thought over the years.

For the next 20 years organized religion was not a part of my life until I discovered that there was a Unitarian Church near the Bloomington neighborhood we lived in 1983-84. Having continued reading on religions over the years, and feeling the need for providing my daughters with some religious education, I attended, was pleasantly surprised by the intellectual tone and fellowship of the church, and have been a Unitarian/Universalist ever since.

I believe strongly in the Unitarian/Universalism traditions of inquiry and the never-ending search for truth. I believe in democracy, but think that our current practice of it too often puts the self or private interest and greed before the public interest or common good. I believe in equality and justice, but deplore the use of those and other terms for promoting causes

instead of thoroughly thinking through issues and problems. I believe that we have the greatest window of opportunity to enlarge the base for a world community in this century, and we should do everything we can to take advantage of it before the window narrows or closes. Preserving and improving our environment is a primary means to bring nations, peoples, and cultures together. I believe that humans are a great force for the preservation or destruction of the delicate balance of nature, and must be a healthy part of its interdependence.

I am opposed to isms in all forms as they too often substitute slogans and cliches for thinking. It has occurred to me recently that what strongly motivates me is a perceived misuse and/or abuse of power and influence by people in all areas of life (family, job, public sector). It has often driven me to seek redress and justice for those affected, and while sharpening my thinking skills, has not always made others perceive me as a loyal “team” player.

I believe in God as it means to me the miracle of the origin of life, the beauty of nature, and its continuation in all its forms. I believe in the need for a strong fellowship of believers (in this case independent thinkers), committed to a core of basic beliefs such as the Unitarian/Universalist Church professes as principles.I believe that the United States, despite all its strengths and goodness, suffers from a fundamentally self-corrupting political system on a national level. Our legislative and executive branches too often appear paralyzed when it comes to critical domestic issues. Sophisticated media techniques are far out ahead of the average citizen’s ability to separate facts from informed opinions. In its policy decisions, or lack thereof, this country also divides itself and suffers from extremes of wealth and poverty on a scale that is obvious to foreign observers, but which politicians and self-interested individuals and groups go to no lengths in denying and justifying as good economics. As a Unitarian/Universalist, I will work to improve both citizen’s ability to judge governance of public affairs, and the system excesses that need eradication. Lastly, I believe that we must strive to define issues and solutions in terms of the common good versus what is good for (me) (you) (general motors), is good for the country. I am proud to be associated with Unitarian/Universalists and what they believe in, how they treat people and relate to each other, and the principles we profess.