The pushback from some of my friends and colleagues has been to question whether Unitarian Universalists are really capable of solidarity. Are we locked instead into our privileges?
Let's look at the situation.
UU's are mostly Democrats these days. By what percentage do you believe Obama carried UU congregations in 2008 and 2012? The kinds of demands that are on the agenda right now for the working poor are on the national party platform of Democratic Party. Raising the minimum wage is a mainstream issue. US Senators are talking about increasing social security benefits. The Senate has passed comprehensive immigration reform. Elizabeth Warren is proposing student loan relief. Medicaid expansion in the red states is going to be a major issue in the elections this year.
Why would Unitarian Universalists believe that somehow they were incapable of participating in political coalitions operating in the interests of low wage workers, pensioners, the unemployed and others of our fellow citizens in economic hardship?
Especially when "they" are "us", past, present and future.
Support for these demands is just good coalition work.
So why would we doubt that we could do it authentically and sincerely and effectively?
Pay attention, now. I have said this before, but it is hard for us to hear.
Our cynicism about ourselves, about liberals like ourselves, comes from believing what our political opponents have told us about ourselves.
Do you remember that scene in Good Will Hunting, where Robin Williams, playing a psychologist,
For forty years, the triumphant and dominant conservative movement in the United States has insistently condemned liberals as self-serving, hypocritical, elitist, and dictatorial. Every criticism of the status quo that liberals made was turned back against them.
Now, I'm not saying that liberals are not implicated in the injustices that are this nation's past and present. I doubt that Matt Damon was a perfect child, as well.
But I am saying that forty years being caricatured and vilified by a dominant conservative movement has affected us, and made us cynical about ourselves.
We are caught up in our heads, second-guessing ourselves, doubting our capacity to take even the simplest of actions. The way forward is to act, and then reflect, and then act again, and then reflect, and learn from our mistakes and the feedback we are getting from those around us, and then act again.