In January of 2016, the congregation voted (5th principle) to hang a banner showing our support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and here’s why.
First, it is not representing any organization, but a movement. This movement promotes the idea that all lives SHOULD matter equally, whether black, blue, brown, white, asian, or any other race. However, they do not. The lives of people of color, and black people especially, are constantly valued less than a white person's life, through constant economical, educational, and judicial inequities, which violates our 2nd principle.
Second, neither the organization, nor the movement, advocates any form of violence. Just the opposite, the goal is the end of violence (6th principle). Those that have committed heinous acts of violence in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement, like the horrific murdering of Police Officers, are no more speaking for the movement than Eric Rudolph was speaking for all Christians when he set off a bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta to protest this country's prochoice stance, or Timothy McVeigh was speaking for all American citizens when he blew up the Oklahoma Federal Building to protest the actions of the US Government.
Third, we are a faith-based organization that welcomes all beliefs (3rd principle) from a variety of sources, with a few caveats. The most important caveat is that the beliefs must affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, as stated in our 1st principle. We do not welcome beliefs which promote the oppression, exclusion, or dehumanization of anyone based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, or ethnicity. Currently, the way people of color are treated in this country by various legal, educational, and economic institutions does not respect their inherent worth and dignity. Therefore, we are speaking out to raise awareness of the injustice, because this oppression damages our entire society (7th principle).
Finally, the banner serves as an invitation to discuss the issue (4th principle). Please contact us if you would like to talk about this in more detail. You can either leave a comment on our Facebook page or send us a message through Facebook Messenger.
- UUA/Black Lives Matter resources
- The Standing On the Side of Love's Racial Justice page
- FPC's Social Justice Facebook Group
- Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM)
- Additional Anti-Racism Resources (Books, Websites, Facebook pages, and Video/DVDs)
- Unitarian Universalist Principles
- Audio Recording of "Black Lives Matter" sermon delivered by FPC's Rev. Thomas Rosiello
- "A Homicide, Or Was It A Murder?" sermon delivered by the Rev. John E. Gibbons of the First Parish of Bedford, MA