I’ll keep this brief.
I don’t know what to make of the kind of political and social liberalism that Unitarian Universalists so typically dwell in. And because this includes some friends, I don’t particularly enjoy pointing this out, but not saying something isn’t at all helpful.
But I already can feel the news cycle pivot away from Ferguson and Staten Island; perhaps United States torture practice will have its turn. And the Monday night demonstration here in D.C. was smaller than the one before. Impatience and cold weather are not friends of a demonstration-based response to a network of evils.
I’m left wondering what the end game was supposed to have been? Surely, there was (and is) a hurt that needed (and needs) to be be dignified through public expression, and it’s right to gather an empathetic companionship. But then what? It’s hard to see us moving beyond that before moving on. Activity internal to Unitarian Universalism, to my mind, counts for little or nothing. What do we have to gain by (what amounts to) an exercise in collective holiness? Less, I contend, than we have to offer by participating constantly in the nitty-gritty of public policy.
And I think we avoid this opportunity because we have grown unaccustomed to political power, and perhaps find it awkward or distasteful as a religious people. And if that’s the case, we need to get over that. So many people view governance and public policy with suspicion, but in doing so surrender their power to those who are left claim it.
I have a couple of ideas about practical actions, at least one of a scale that a group as small — another hard truth — as the Unitarian Universalists can tackle.