Affirming and promoting truth about public health
The mission of Unitarian Universalism is to nurture the true, the good, and the beautiful in the lives of its adherents and its collaborative partners around the planet. How has UU encouraged the seeking of truth in the time of Covid-19? To what extent have congregations been a source of information and the implementation of practices to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus?
Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Has the implementation of this fourth principle had a beneficial influence on the decision making of its members and the communities within which the congregation resides? There seems to be little evidence of the impact of truth especially in red states where governmental policies and the media is filled with misinformation leading people astray. It seems strange that UU leaders have not spoken out more visibly about ways of discerning the truth in the midst of increased community polarization.
Reasonable voices are needed to lead communities to beneficial public health practices based on the scientific knowledge that is available. Could the church be a community leader who informs people and helps them develop the skills to interact with their neighbors and community institutions so that practices based on truth and reason be implemented?
Unfortunately, too many UU churches and the Association have been preoccupied with social justice issues rather than more immediate health challenges affecting the bodies of their members and the people with whom their members interact.
The opportunity to highlight the search for truth in the public health sector has by and large been missed and it is time, with the third wave of Covid infections by the Delta and Lambda variants, for UU congregations to assess, plan, and implement public health activities which impact the physical health of their members and the communities they serve.