December 7, 2016
Peace in Wartime
In the coming years, we know that the fight for environmental justice, and the struggle to unwind American racism, and even the work to end homelessness, will be more difficult and complicated. How do we appoah these struggles peaceully?
Recently I was given the privilege of talking with Brian Hovis on Panorama TV about how to deal with divisiveness after the recent national elections. I hope you get a chance to see it and talk to others about my ideas of peacemaking. However, to underscore a part of my thought I want to share what a great Texas writer and sharp wit, Molly Ivins, once wrote:
“It is not the symphony of voices in sweet concert I enjoy, but the cacophony of democracy, the brouhahas, and the donny-brooks, the full-throated roar of a free people busy using their right to freedom of speech. Democracy requires rather a large tolerance for confusion and a secret relish for dissent. This is not a good country for those who are fond of unanimity and uniformity.”
This is also true of our UU religious communities which value democratic processes highly. For example, though a minority, there are many UUs who are very conservative on some issues and who back politically conservative candidates. Sometimes they feel they must hide their thoughts in UU congregations for fear of alienating others, or of being ostracized. Part of “opening minds, filling hearts and transforming lives,” is seeking mutual understanding. We must have a willingness to not only disagree on some things but to be open and honest about understanding why we sometimes disagree.
Further complicating the situation is the fact that it is against US law for any religious organization to support a particular candidate for election, or to affiliate with any particular political party. However, we religious communities are supposed to take moral stands, even on politically charged issues, legislation, and laws. Thus, despite minority opinions to the contrary in UU congregations, we fought for marriage equality and celebrated the US Supreme Court’s decision as a moral victory for us as well as for all people.
In the coming years, we know that the fight for environmental justice, and the struggle to unwind American racism, and even the work to end homelessness, will be more difficult and complicated. Let us open our minds and hearts to one another, and may we hear within the cacophony of democracy the deeper harmonies of Peace.
With Wishes for Wellness,