Mr. Crankypants, my evil alter ego, tells me he is “sick of hearing about @#$!!% birds.” He also wants to know “Who really cares about your sister anyway? It’s time for Mr. Crankypants to write something again.” So before he pushes me bodily away from the computer, let me introduce Mr. Crankypants (ouch! quit pushing, I’m going already)….

Mr. Crankypants is going to resist the temptation of commenting on the crowning of Pope Ratzinger of the Inquisition. What’s that you say? It’s not a crowning? Dear dear, it sure looks like remnants of Holy Roman Empire ritual to Mr. Crankypants. And what’s that — he has a different name now? Well, it doesn’t matter anyway because that’s not the subject of this post.

No, let’s skip the Pope and talk about the Unitarian Universalist succession of leadership. That’s right, at General Assembly this year, Rev. Bill Sinkford is running for re-election as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Since he is running unopposed, we all pretty much know who’s going to win the election. And surprisingly Mr. Crankypants can’t even find all that many bad things to say about Bill Sinkford. But there’s still no reason not to ask some uncomfortable questions. (Mr. Crankypants just loves uncomfortable questions.)

Looking back on the first term of Bill Sinkford’s presidency of our tiny little association of religious liberals, what really stands out is the lack of money. Sinkford has spent most of his time trying to deal with massive budget cuts — it’s amazing he’s gotten anything else done. Now Mr. Crankypants has heard people explain away this lack of money by saying, Oh the UUA’s investment income dropped precipitously during the stock market crash of the early 00’s. Not true, replies Mr. Crankypants. What really happened was that we became addicted to easy money from from the UUA’s investment portfolio. That gave everybody (this means you) an excuse to give less money to the UUA — as if Unitarian Universalists needed another excuse, because with the exception of Caroline Veatch, Unitarian Universalists are just about the biggest cheapskates Mr. Crankpants has ever seen, who never give much money to support liberal religion in the best of times.

Mr. Crankypants could tolerate the fact that Unitarian Universalists are such big cheapskates except for one thing — they also love to whine and complain about the UUA. Ordinarily Mr. Crankypants does not object to whining and complaining. Cynically, however, Mr. Crankypants thinks that Unitarian Universalists deliberately starve the UUA for money just so they can then complain about how ineffectual the UUA is. That’s just not sporting.

Back to the hard questions to ask during our own leadership transition. Hard question number one: How do you plan to participate in the democratic process of Bill Sinkford’s re-election? What’s that you say? You don’t even know how that election works? Oh dear — you better check this Web site — — and get back to Mr. Crankypants for further harrangue, or rather further discussion, after you’ve read it.