The Evangelical Universalist Forum

List of those of who reject traditional hellism


Hey guys, I found someone else we might be able to add to the list. :slight_smile:

Recently I checked out a couple Mister Rogers videos on YouTube, out of curiosity, and was surprised by how much depth the guy had.

I watched his show a couple times when I was a kid, but I always thought of him as just being a nice guy that a lot of people parodied, including Family Guy :unamused:

But after listening to and reading some of his stuff, I’ve gained a lot more respect for him. He was actually a pretty great guy, who really lived out his simple faith authentically, and it turns out he was an ordained Presbyterian minister, of a more progressive part of the denomination, and, it appears, he was probably a Universalist. :slight_smile:

A friend of mine on Facebook, Erin McCarty, who says Fred Rogers is one of her ‘favorite sages’, shared this quote with me from one of Roger’s books:

Sounds like UR to me. :wink:

Anyways, thought I’d share this.

It would be nice to add America’s most beloved children’s show host to the ranks, as it’s a good neighborhood to be in. :wink:

And here’s a couple articles to give a little more pertinent info on him if anyone wants to write up a mini-bio: … 62976.html

Blessings to you guys :slight_smile:



Hi sobornost (or do you prefer Dick - I get confused with net handles):

I’m not sure I either like or dislike Yeats - I’ve read so little of him. He is wonderfully quotable, though: ‘Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold’ and ‘I am worn out with dreams’. I have a vague one floating in my head about ‘coming wide eyed and silent to the tomb’ and ‘all women love a lazy man’ - but I think I’m getting muddled up with those :slight_smile:

Yes, I’d come across that stuff about GG on the web, but I’d also come across stuff where a family friend said the family were staunch JW’s and a photocopy of a letter by GG talking about why he didn’t celebrate Christmas. He wasn’t clear about his religious views at all. I think I may put him in with disputed anni - what do people think?

Matt: Mr Rogers? Interesting. I don’t know enough to comment, but it sounds plausible. From that quote I think hopeful - but can anyone dig around some more on him to find out more?


Well, gathering from his general attitude of and teaching of love and tolerance towards everyone, both in his show and more importantly in his real life, and the strength of that quote, I think it’s a safe bet that he was at least a hopeful Universalist, and it appears that he was an open-minded and progressive Presbyterian along the lines of someone like Frederick Buechner, who is already on this list. :slight_smile:

I’m planning on ordering a couple of Roger’s books, and may try to read up more on him. If I find anything else, I’ll let you know. :slight_smile:

But here’s a couple of videos so you can get a feel for him:


lol, you’re only as old as you feel, which makes me 97.


Cool Matt: I can place a bio under hopeful (strong) for him, and depending upon what you find in the books I can move/alter him accordingly. I post a write-up for GG and Mr Rodgers ASAP for seconding before adding to the list.

Disputed Annihilationist:
Gygax, Ernest Gary (1938-2008), American co-creator (with Dave Arneson) of the pioneering fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. He was reticent to talk about his faith, especially in light of the conservative Christian moral panic concerning role-playing games during the 1980s. According to Wikipedia, ‘Gygax described himself as a Christian, but for much of his life had been reluctant to discuss his beliefs, citing fears that he would hurt the reputation of Christianity because of his connection to the moral panic that some people associated with D&D as a reason for not having been more vocal about his faith.’ He was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, but it is disputed as to whether and to what degree he remained a Witness throughout his life. In an online forum at Troll Lord Games he self identified as an Arian Unitarian Christian:
“I decided only recently to make it known that I am a Christian, albeit one that is of the Arian (Unitarian) persuasion" (Interview at trollordgames website).

Does this seem fair?

I’ll post a Mr Rodgers one up when I can.


K, sounds good :slight_smile:


Looks like you’re on to a hit here Pog - let it roll. You can call me ‘Dick’ - that’s my real name. Yes Yates is quotable and he wrote three very lovely poems in my view - Sally Gardens - the one with the long title about the Cloths of paradise/I being poor have only my dreams - and also I quite like ‘Old and grey…’ although it is rather egotistical. But that’s too high faluting - and so back to Dungeons and Dragons :laughing: (You are a common lot of techies :laughing: )


Hopeful (strong or weak or disputed - don’t know - the quote sounds hopeful, but is also compatible with only a wide or open view of the atonement - so maybe wide hoper.):

Rogers, Fred McFeely, ‘Mr Rogers’ (1928-2003), American educator, Presbyterian minister, songwriter, author, and television host. Rogers was most famous for creating and hosting Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, some forty honorary degrees, and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, was recognized by two Congressional resolutions, and was ranked No. 35 among TV Guide’s Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a “Treasure of American History”:
““I believe that at the center of the universe there dwells a loving spirit who longs for all that’s best in all of creation, a spirit who knows the great potential of each planet as well as each person, and little by little will love us into being more than we ever dreamed possible. That loving spirit would rather die than give up on any one of us.” (Life Journeys According To Mister Rogers).

I think we need more clarification here …


My hunch is that is a strong hopeful statement - especially with the cosmic scope of ‘planets’ suggesting a bigger view of God than a limited life span. And the idea of God bringing out the best in us, the potential for good in us - that’s certainly strongly hopeful because it’s not rooted in a strong view of original sin. And this loving spirit never gives up - I rest my case :laughing: :slight_smile:

Excellent entries Pog - and excellent quotation Matt :smiley: It’s like a breath of fresh air to clean the cobwebs of fuddy duddy ness :laughing:


that panic, Dick, was what i was referring to. a bunch of joyless busybodies freaking out because something had magic and fantasy…CS Lewis ran into some of this, and likely Tolkein as well (though both their systems of magic were subtle, and potentially analogous to the imagined spiritual world some evangelicals seem to want).
this could spawn another thread if i could be bothered (i really can’t), but what the bible condemns as witchcraft is a far cry from what fantasy books/games/films talk about, even when superficially they use the same words)…rather it condemns going to any source other than God …but more than that, it condemns stuff we now know (if we’ve studied our Darren Brown) to be pure trickery and deception, like our modern “psychics”. God condemns people fooling others into putting their faith into harmful lies…as usual. so a game where it’s not a lie, but an ability in that universe, is worlds apart from this world, where it IS a lie.

they also thought that people got so into their characters, that if their character died…they might kill themselves. i have played enough and seen enough to know that you would have to be a pretty messed up individual for that to occur. so messed up you’d be looking for a reason to kill yourself already, or at risk from any trigger at all…like your local shop running out of precious bacon.

anyway…Fred Rogers…personal hero of mine. grew up with Mr Rogers’ Neighbourhood, and remember him teaching the difference between imagination and reality so well, i never had a problem knowing the difference between them (though clearly he only confirmed what i was taught at home anyway lol). if he was a universalist…that is nothing short of amazing. and what a quote. thanks Matt!

btw, excellent write-ups of both him and Gary, Pog.


Yeah, that was a nice write up, Pog, and I’ll try to get more clarification if I can whenever I read those books :slight_smile:

Well said, Prof :slight_smile:

Indeed :smiley:

Yeah, that would be amazing. :slight_smile: And it is a great quote, sounds like Mr. Rogers was something of a poet. :wink:
I wish I’d watched his show a little more when I was a kid, instead of all of those whacky cartoons… with a steady diet of Looney Tunes and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, no wonder I’m such a basketcase :laughing: And you’re welcome, James :slight_smile:


hey, i watched all those things too!

oh wait, i’m a basket case too…nevermind :laughing:


OK - Gygax and Rogers have been added in :slight_smile: Let me know if I need to alter the entries if people come across new evidence.




Hi Matt - what about your pastor ? Could we have an entry for him?


Sure, I can ask him about it, see if he could write up a short bio about himself, and offer a quote. And maybe we could include my friend Charles Slagle too, as he is an author and was a traveling evangelist with his wife for years. :slight_smile:


Yes Matt - I think all twenty first century entries are especially welcome - and Pog obviously does too. Go for it :slight_smile: Did you get my email about Steve?


Yeah, I passed on your email address to Steve :slight_smile: He’s kind of busy, but I’ll try to remind him to check in with you.


Yes, those entries would be great if someone could write them up for me :slight_smile:

Here’s another interesting one from the list, I think he belongs under Pluralist universalist or disputed pluralist unviersalit, I cannot find a decent quote online anywhere :frowning: Can anyone give me some editing pointers (if he needs any) and, if anyone has one, a quote?

Abbot, Francis Ellingwood (1836-1903), controversial American philosopher, theologian and free thinker who attempted to construct a variety of independent, creedless, individualistic scientific religion, or ‘noumenism’. His most important books were Scientific Theism (1885) and *The Way Out of Agnosticism *(1890). Although raised a transcendentalist, after graduating Abbot served as a Unitarian minister, but his ministry proved controversial, and in 1868 New Hampshire’s highest court ruled that the *Dover, New Hampshire, First Unitarian Society of Christians’ *chosen minister was insufficiently “Christian” to serve his congregation and Abbot resigned. After leaving Unitarianism, Abbot organised the Free Religious Association (1867) which held that religion should be free from all creeds. In 1870, Abbot became the editor of The Index, a weekly publication dedicated to the advancement of Free Religion and secularism. In his writings Abbot attacked Christianity and promoted secular society. In 1881 he earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University, and in 1887 obtained a teaching position there, but was quickly embroiled in controversy over The Way Out of Agnosticism. He left in 1892. He committed suicide in 1903 at the graveside of his wife who had died ten years earlier:
‘xxxx’ (xxxx, p.x).

#280 … abbot.html

This is a good source Pog - and there are quotations. :slight_smile: