UUA presidential candidates Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman and Rev. Peter Morales have co-authored and article speak out against hate crime in The Salt Lake Tribune. The article titled 'Changing the climate that's feeding hate crime' is well worth reading. Here are some pertinent snippets that I have duly taken note of and added some quite (im)pertinent hyperlinks to. . .
"Regardless of who is elected, our community recommits itself to promoting the inherent worth and dignity of all people -- including those with whom we disagree strongly. We will confront violence, oppression and exclusion based on identity."
"We know speech aimed at provoking violence and oppression is pervasive. Words have consequences."
"We cannot allow this cancer to go unchallenged. To remain silent is to be complicit in the destruction of our society. We cannot ignore hate crimes against anyone based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability."
"We must also respond by standing up for each other by challenging the agents of intolerance."
"We must be vigilant about intolerance in the media. We must be equally aware of its intrusion in workplaces, neighborhoods and in conversations with relatives and friends."
"We must learn to air our disagreements with respect, humility and reason. The alternative is more pain and heartbreak, and the sorrowful recognition that we have left our children a world even more intolerant than the one we inherited. We cannot allow that to be our legacy."
Here is the first comment that I posted in response to that article -
Some Unitarian*Universalists, including some intolerant and even outright bigoted U*U clergy, are themselves guilty of targeting people with oppression and exclusion based on identity. No shortage of God believing people and/or political conservatives find themselves to be considerably less than welcome in some U*U "Welcoming Congregations". Indeed, while serious physical violence may be rare amongst U*Us, psychologically abusive verbal violence, some of which can be justifiably described as hate speech, is tolerated and even condoned by U*Us, including top level UUA administrators. I look forward to the day when the UUA finally gets around to responsibly confronting the violence, oppression and exclusion that I and other people have been subjected to by Unitarian*Universalists including U*U clergy.
For the record I have been physically assaulted by U*Us and had threats uttered against me by U*Us for daring to confront U*U oppression and exclusion, and other U*U injustices and abuses, with peaceful public protest. For more than a decade the UUA has obstinately refused to respond to my serious grievances about the anti-religious intolerance and bigotry of Rev. Ray Drennan and other U*Us with anything even remotely resembling justice, equity and compassion in human relations. To its shame the UUA has allowed the cancer of anti-religious intolerance and bigotry and other oppression and exclusion within the so-called U*U World to go unchallenged for decades. Top level UUA officials, including UUA President Bill Sinkford, have obstinately maintained complicit silence in response to my own and other people's serious grievances about U*U oppression and exclusion, indeed some of them have actively participated in oppression and exclusion and/or expressly condoned it. . . The UUA has not only ignored oppressive hate speech spouted by U*U clergy but has even pretended that intolerant and abusive hate speech is "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership."
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