Friday, December 27, 2013

Unitarian Universalism in 2014


My hope for 2014 is that Unitarian Universalist congregations move from service to solidarity

Service and charity fundraising is great, but it reinforces some problematic mental habits of the kinds of folks UU's tend to be.   They feed the illusions of power, wealth and privilege, being used with wisdom and judgment to help people who are far away, economically and socially.  

What this country needs right now is a movement of middle class people committed to standing with the working poor.  Unitarian Universalists should be in the forefront of that movement in 2014.  I hope for more ministers, with or without their collars, showing up to support fast food workers when they strike.  Some "Standing on the Side of Love" banners encouraging Walmart workers.  More congregational statements calling for Medicaid expansion in the states that are resisting it.  More ministers who read Rev. Morales' statement calling for minimum wage increase to their congregation.  We should be loud and clear about evils of cutting off unemployment benefits and slashing food stamps.  

The idolatry of wealth and the ideology of individualism and the demonic forces of racism and xenophobia all work to create distance between the dwindling middle class and the working poor.  The middle class is urged to "kiss up" and "kick down."  Everyone is told, again and again, that it their own fault that they are where they are.

Solidarity is a prophetic message in today's America.

Solidarity is voluntary, an act of will.  It is an attitude that can be chosen, a habit that can be cultivated, a trait of character that can be developed. 

Solidarity does not come easily to people who pride themselves on their education, or their cultural sophistication, or their refined patterns of consumption.   

Solidarity is humble.  It says to the fast food worker; I may be a locavore vegan, but I will stand with you for a living wage for selling hamburgers, because you have determined that is what you need.

My hope for Unitarian Universalism in 2014 is that we are filled with the spirit of Pope Francis and moved to stand up again and again for and with the people who are being made victims of the present order, and especially those who are speaking up and fighting back.  


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you!

Ann Rustici said...

I'm proud to say that our UU congregation puts your ideas into action. Thanks for the article.

Philip said...

What a world it would be if there were true social justice, thus no need for charity. Is it a pipe dream?