Thursday, July 31, 2008

I am a Unitarian Universalist

I am not much into forwarding the various things that pass through my inbox. But today I got a copy of a blog entry, which is one that expresses one of the ways I feel about the world right now. This is my way of forwarding it; it is also my way of changing the world. You see, I am a Unitarian Universalist and last Sunday a gunman entered a UU church in TN and shot several congregation members. It was a children's service and the kids were performing Annie. Linda Kraeger and Greg McKendry died and 5 others were injured. The reason for the shooting? UUs are a liberal denomination.

I wish I could say this is the first time UUs have been targeted for their liberal faith. It is not. One of the things a minister once asked my congregation is if UUs were ever targeted again, would anyone know we were UUs. It is a question that has remained with me for years, particularly as I have listened to the ultra-conservatives talk.

Pastor Martin Niemöller wrote a poem which goes (depending on which translation you read):

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up,
because I was a Protestant.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

I first read that poem in college. It has remained a reminder to me that we have an obligation to stand up for others if we want them to stand up for us. That society is really a collection of voices, and if ours are not heard, then society can go terribly wrong.

And so today I want you to know that I am indeed a Unitarian Universalist. And I am speaking up. I may not have known the individuals involved, but I feel a lot of pain, not just for the children who witnessed this horror, not just for the families and friends of the dead and injured, but also because someone so hates what I believe in, that he was willing to take a shotgun into a UU church and open fire on people he did not know. I am horrified that there has been so little news interest in this event. And like the writer, I am struggling to forgive the hate mongers who encourage this kind of behavior.

Please take a moment to read this wonderful entry on Unitarian forgiveness!

1 comment:

The Short Stack Librarian said...

I couldn't have said it better! Therefore I posted it at my blog with props to you!