Saturday, February 1, 2014

"Angelfish and Starlings"

On February 8th thousands of people will gather in Raleigh NC to protest voter suppression and other oppressive policies recently enacted by the NC legislature. NAACP president Rev. William Barber has called Raleigh the epicenter of a new assault on voting rights. The NAACP has called citizens to join "the largest moral rally in the South since Selma." The plea has been echoed by our UUA President Peter Morales and the UUA's "Standing on the Side of Love" campaign. Rev. Vanessa Southern, senior minister at the Summit UU congregation has helped organized a NJ contingent.

This event reminds me of UU delegations to Arizona and protests that galvanized the immigration reform movement. It also reminds me of our unmistakable presence in campaigns for the the human rights for lgbt persons during the past two decades. How is it that UUs manage to be in a place of prominence in many of the greatest liberal societal changes?

UU engagement in essential social justice struggles grows from our theology and our religious traditions. If you connect the dots between the movement to end the New Jim Crow, immigration reform and lgbt human rights, you will see us continuing Jesus' prophetic ministry, standing on the side of love and justice, advocating on behalf of the most discriminated and oppressed peoples. Our religious message is a call to build the beloved community. We proclaim the sacred within every person, and we seek to develop a consciousness of "world community."

Religion aims to shift perspective from the isolated individual toward an awareness of relationship to something much greater. The language and understanding of that "something greater" differs in each tradition or culture. One of the central ways that we promote our spirituality is through prophetic witness that calls for a world community with liberty and justice for all.

Everywhere, people cry out for justice. Our UU faith proclaims the power that is created when people unite in service of humanity. We seek to harness that power!
Speaking on the subject of numerous UULMN victories, Rev. Craig Hershberg, said: "We gives the appearance of a much larger body. Every time a call goes out (from UULMN) our members write letters, make phone calls and organize lobbying sessions." Unlike the common complaint that organizing UUs is like herding cats, our ability to rise up together for social justice seems to me more aptly compared to a school of angelfish or a flock of starlings. We move as one!

It's hard to describe what happens to UUs when they begin participating on the state, district national or global levels. I imagine it has something to do with gaining deep understanding that we are part of a beautiful and unmistakable force for liberation, spirituality and human dignity.

It will be an honor to represent LUUF n Raleigh. If you want to be part of that historic march, but plan to stay here in NJ, look on the SOSL website for ways to make your support felt.
Yours on the Sacred Journey-