Showing posts with label Social justice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social justice. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Positive social change takes long term commitment and vision - Do UUs have it?

Protests continue over the death of George Floyd in Oakland
As a person said to me last week in a wistful tone in their voice, "For the most part I find Unitarian Univeralists to be a group of smug self satisfied liberal do gooders." We both laughed and I felt a bit guilty for being disloyal to a group I have covenanted with even though my commitment to the covenant is wavering.
Then I ran across this artile in 538 by Shom Mazumder entitled "What Protests Can (And Can't) do," published on June 8, 2020.
Political science, it turns out, actually has a lot to say about protests, even though it’s really hard to pinpoint what makes one protest effective and another not. Broadly speaking, though, there are four main ways the literature tries to evaluate a protest:
  1. Did it raise awareness?
  2. Did public opinion change?
  3. Were there institutional changes as a result?
  4. Were there electoral consequences, either intended or unintended?
For more click here.

For all the social justice concerns and activities that UUs get involved in, is there any evidence collected that any of it has any impact, any measurable outcomes? I think UUs get involved on #1 but the other three outcomes take skill, patience, and persistance and long term commitment often over several years or even a couple of decades. Who in Unitiarian Univeralism has a long range view and is willing to stay the course? Do UUs have an institution capable of such a long term commitment to positive social change?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Social Justice - Colorado is 22nd state to abolish capital punishment


From The Week on 03/24/20

Colorado abolishes capital punishment
Colorado became the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty on Monday. Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed legislation banning capital punishment in the state, and commuted the death sentences of death row inmates Robert Ray, Sir Mario Owens, and Nathan Dunlap to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Capital punishment was barred nationally in the 1970s before the Supreme Court reinstated it. Since then, there have been 1,517 executions nationwide. Colorado's last execution was in 1997. State Sen. Rhonda Fields (D), whose son was murdered by Ray, said commuting the sentences "hijacks justice." But Udi Ofer, deputy national political director of the ACLU, said it was good news that Colorado "will no longer kill people as punishment." [NBC News]
Editor's note:
Pope Francis has condemned Capital punishment with changes to the Catholic Catechism on May 11, 2018.
The Unitarian Univeralist Association has condemned the death penalty since 1974.
Where does your church and state stand on this issue?

Monday, July 22, 2019

A Course In Miracles and Unitarian Universalism - What's with the social justice fixation?



It is written in A Course In Miracles:

T-29.VII.2. No one who comes here but must still have hope, some lingering illusion, or some dream that there is something outside of himself that will bring happiness and peace to him. If everything is in him this cannot be so. 

And therefore by his coming, he denies the truth about himself, and seeks for something more than everything, as if a part of it were separated off and found where all the rest of it is not. This is the purpose he bestows upon the body; that it seek for what he lacks, and give him what would make himself complete. 

And thus he wanders aimlessly about, in search of something that he cannot find, believing that he is what he is not.

A Course in Miracles . Foundation for Inner Peace. p.617

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and then wander aimlessly about searching for something to complete him and make him happy and then realizes after discouraging and fruitless effort that he has been barking up the wrong tree.

UUs wander down the road of social justice thinking that if only they can change people's minds, and change certain policies and practices, then they will be happy and other people will be happy, but as cyncial grandmothers have been said to say, "There's always something."

One injustice leads to another and sometimes the rescuer becomes the perpetrator and then the tables get turned and gets made into a victim. And the circle goes around and around from rescuer to perpetrator to victim until they get rescued again.

This social justice dance takes a lot of time and energy and distracts from the anxiety and fear that there is inherently something wrong with us. That fear is embedded in our unconscious from our socialization as we grow up experiencing life on the path of the ego. It, hopefully, finally dawns on us that wandering in the social justice wilderness, rectifiying our perceived injustices in the world, being filled with resentments, grievances, and rightousness, is not the spiritual path but another trick of the ego to keep us from recognizing our true problem which is our tendency to think that we know better than Tao.

This dawning leads to an authentic search and this search takes us within and we change our minds about the world we are living in. We realize it is but a dream and we have to wake up to the realization of God's Unconditional Love for us as our Universalist forebearers envisioned.

Forgiveness is the key to miracles. Explore this idea and see where it takes you.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Living the UU way of life took UUs and UU leaders to Charlottesville



LaShawn Warren in his article, "Race and the credibility of the church" asks where the church leaders are in the face of President Trump's racist remarks after Charlottesville? There was more of a reaction from the business community than from the religious community.

"In that light, perhaps more disturbing than the president’s racially insensitive remarks has been the response from key leaders within the faith community. In a complete rejection of Christian teachings, several members of the president’s evangelical advisory board—comprised of faith leaders charged with providing a moral and spiritual compass for the world—rushed to the president’s defense, an act tantamount to theological negligence. A few condemned the rally, but many faith leaders remained silent and simply watched from the sidelines as the national tragedy unfolded. None of the board members criticized Trump for his divisive comments, and all but one chose to remain on the board. This stands in sharp contrast to the White House business council members who, in a strong rebuke of the president’s response to Charlottesville, resigned in rapid succession."

It is inspiring to read that UUs are in the forefront of protesting Trump's support for White Nationalism and racist bigotry.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Why UUs do social justice work

by Meghan McCarthy

Today, Thursday, 02/05/15, there was a discussion between two friends about what it means to be a Unitarian Univeralist in the world. Bob said that to do social justice for social justice's sake is not the work of Unitarian Universalism. There are many secular agencies better equipped to do the job. However to do social justice as an expression of Unitarian Universalist values is to do holy work.

Holy work is not defined solely by the activity being done, but by the motivating sentiment and intention of the actor. Some social justice work can be done for mercenary intentions, to make money. Some social justice work can be done for power to dominate a subordinate so that the superior can have control. Some social justice work can be done for self glory and status enhancement.

Holy work is done by Unitarian Universalists because we covenant together to promote and affirm seven principles. We do this social justice work because of our faith and not to obtain some sort of success or desired result. The results are in God's hands or the hands of the universe. Holy social justice work is done to be faithful not to be successful.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Transforming the world into heaven on earth: The Soundtrack For Social Change

This morning, Sunday, 03/13/11, we celebrated Second Sunday which is adult education with a different theme every month.

I think of the Mission Statement of the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship as being based on the 7 UU principles, to meet human needs, empower individuals and groups, and transform the world into heaven on earth. This morning we focused on the third part of our mission "to transform the world into heaven on earth" by having one of our members, James Foote, lead us in 10 folks songs which have addressed social change from the 30s and 40s with union songs, through the 50s and 60s with civil rights songs, to the 60s and 70s antiwar songs.

It was a delightful morning which stirred up a lot of memories and emotions especially for the older people present. The first song that Jim did was Union Burying Ground by Woody Guthrie.



Monday, December 20, 2010

Was Saddam Hussein any worse than the U.S. occupation for Iraqi Christians?

I don't like it when I hear people say with misgivings about the rationales about the Iraq war, "At least Sadam Hussein is gone."

Saddam Hussein seems to have been better for the Iraqi people overall that the United States "liberators". Now the Christians are fleeing in droves.

From Washington Post on 12/19/10:

IRBIL, Iraq -- They saw their brethren murdered during Mass and then were bombed in their homes as they mourned. Al-Qaida vowed to hunt them down. Now the Christian community of Iraq, almost as old as the religion itself, is sensing a clear message: It is time to leave.

Since the Oct. 31 bloodbath in their Baghdad church, Iraqi Christians have been fleeing Sunni Muslim extremists who view them as nonbelievers and agents of the West. At a time when Christians in various parts of the Muslim world are feeling pressured, Iraqi Christians are approaching their grimmest Christmas since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 and wondering if they have any future in their native land.


They have suffered repeated violence and harassment since 2003, when the interreligious peace rigidly enforced by Saddam Hussein fell apart. But the attack on Our Lady of Salvation in which 68 people died appears to have been a tipping point that has driven many to flee northward to the Kurdish enclave while seeking asylum in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Greater Good Project at First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY

The Greater Good Project at First Unitarian Church in Rochester, NY. Maybe next year the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will develop a Greater Good Project.

You can get a Greater Good Starter kit by clicking here.


Church Friday from Annette Lein on Vimeo.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Today, November 26, Sojourner Truth died in 1883

Sojourner Truth dies today, November 26, in 1883. You can read more about her by clicking here.

"What we give to the poor, we lend to the Lord."
Sojourner Truth

Friday, April 2, 2010

Do UUs care about slavery?

In this moving yet pragmatic talk, Kevin Bales explains the business of modern slavery, a multibillion-dollar economy that underpins some of the worst industries on earth. He shares stats and personal stories from his on-the-ground research -- and names the price of freeing every slave on earth right now.

This talk lasts about 20 minutes and is well worth watching and listening to.



This issue of modern day slavery seems to be something that UUs would be very interested in since it flies in the face of moast of our principles. This issue is tied very closely in the United States to immigration rights. Undocumented workers are doing slave labor in the U.S. currently.