January 7, 2021
We write, as Unitarian Universalists, concerned by the frightful political uprising and events occurring in the US this week. Our spirits are with all who are impacted, and we share anger, frustration, and fear around these threats.
Many Canadian Unitarian Universalists have roots in, or close ties to, the US, and many Americans live among us. We appreciate how alarming this must be, to see a rogue militia storm the Capitol building while the senate meets to confirm the electoral college vote. To have these events fueled and interfered with by a sitting president is not something we recognize as democracy. And, unfortunately, we are not entirely surprised, given the unchecked rise of extremism, in the US and throughout the world.
Unitarian Universalists are committed to principles of justice and equity, believing in a freedom that comes from honesty, respect, and fair government. We recognize our interdependence and acknowledge that this kind of behaviour could occur anywhere – is occurring in many places – and will require responsible leadership and courageous responses to establish and maintain safe and fair cultures and nations going forward.
As people who are learning about, and bear witness to, the power imbalances within our own country, we recognize the privilege that allowed such an action to take place with so few casualties or arrests. Had the attackers been people of colour or Indigenous, the outcome would likely have been very different.
As people who care about democracy, who respect the hard work and dedication that brought a change in US political representation, we adamantly reject the idea that a defeated government would be held in power by an armed militia of extremists.
These shocking events, and the concerns we hold for the coming days, remind us of our vulnerabilities, and also our responsibilities. The Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, reassured people in her video on January 6, 2021 that “ … even when we are afraid, we are strong …”, and reinforced that “This is long haul work.”
As Unitarian Universalists, we are guided by our connections to purpose, find strength in the dream of beloved community for all, and are determined to be of meaningful service. It is hard to know, in this moment, how we are called to respond – but we are listening, learning, and eager to support a healthy, transformative justice.
United in love, we offer expressions of solidarity, compassion, care, and concern to all and most especially to those who have close ties to the United States. May all that nurtures and sustains you be plentiful in this time. May we be a source of support and strength, in any way possible. May the wisdom and grace of our better natures rise up to meet this occasion – and to whatever follows next. May a better, stronger democracy prevail.
We are in this together. We see you. You are not alone.
In faith and solidarity,
Rev. Anne Barker
On behalf of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada and the Canadian Unitarian Council
Posted by Candace Sage