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Unitarians Say They’re ‘Standing on the Side of Love’

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) Members of Unitarian Universalist churches are unveiling a campaign against hate crimes at their General Assembly this week (June 24-29), calling on their congregations and those of other faiths to advocate for equality and to curb violence.
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) will include the grassroots campaign against social injustice in their schedule of votes and worship services at their Salt Lake City convention.
“Rather than hunkering down in the face of violence, (the Unitarians) have proclaimed a gospel of love and hope,” said the Rev. William Sinkford, the outgoing UUA president, in an interview.
The campaign holds particular meaning for the liberal-leaning denomination. Last summer, a gunman killed two people and wounded seven inside a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Knoxville, Tenn. The gunman, David Adkisson, later told authorities he was angered by the church’s acceptance of homosexuality and other liberal causes.
“We’re not going to change who we are because we have been attacked,” Sinkford said.
The “Standing on the Side of Love” campaign will try to rally local leaders and clergy to publicly oppose violence and mobilize their more than 1,000 congregations online. Their goal: to counter the estimated 7,500 hate crimes nationwide against individuals motivated by race, religion, political ideology or sexual orientation.
The UUA is also hoping the campaign will help shape public policy on issues that impact human dignity — particularly immigration reform and hate-crimes legislation that is currently stalled on Capitol Hill, said the campaign’s directors.
“We want to stand against violence, oppression and exclusion and stand on the side of love, which is our faith,” said Meg Riley, the UUA’s director of advocacy and the campaign’s chairwoman.
This public advocacy campaign was created in the wake of recent shootings against a late-term abortionist in Wichita, Kan., and a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“The primary purpose is to raise as broad and concerted of a religious voice as we can in support of people who are being profiled and oppressed,” Sinkford said.
By Lindsay Perna
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission



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pagansister

posted June 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm


Staying true to form…am a proud UU “convert”, having married a born UU, and raising my children in that faith. Good for the UUA…



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nnmns

posted June 22, 2009 at 7:29 pm


Yes, good for them. I hope it accomplishes some things.



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Henrietta22

posted June 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm


Perhaps it will make the Mainline Churches join with them to do necessary steps to erase hateful words and actions.



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jestrfyl

posted June 22, 2009 at 11:39 pm


We in the UCC are having our national meeting (in churchy language it is a General Synod, in scenic Grand Rapids, MI) starting Friday. I expect this campaign will come up and that we will be standing right with you. If nothing else, I’ll be there are start to spread the word.



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nnmns

posted June 23, 2009 at 6:05 am


j, take some money. Michigan needs it!
Did the UCC folks intentionally decide to meet in an especially needy area? Will a lot of you drive up in well-made but fuel-economical cars Detroit could have built but chose not to because the idiots that led them thought gas would always be cheap and what’s a cloud of greenhouse gas among friends anyway?



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nnmns

posted June 23, 2009 at 6:17 am


You know, “standing on the side of love” sounds wussy but so many churches on these issues stand on the side of hate but don’t admit it. And love is a real human emotion we all have to greater or lesser degree which has served the human race well, while what they appeal to is fantasy written by humans for time-obscured human agendas that they’ve twisted to meet their bigoted needs.



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jestrfyl

posted June 23, 2009 at 9:55 am


nnmns
Our denominational leaders try to go to locations that have great off-season hotel rates. We were supposed to go to Hawaii in ’11, but they realised no one could afford the trip. So we are having the whole UCC down here in Tampa in ’11 – June is off season here too. Grand Rapids is simply one of many communities that are struggling and trying to find ways to create new economies.
Though I am flying there will surely be a huge number of hybrids, alt-fules, electric cars. We are a very eco-friendly denomination – by public pronouncement more than 20 years ago. My own hybrid will be in the garage for the week.
“All you need is love” (cue the trumpets)
It is a good and wise thing to work not from hate and fear, but through positive human expressions of relationships and community. Anything else is simply underscores and exercises the negative aspects of humanity that undo us all to easily. So we assume God wants us to love everyone and that the folks who are afraid and hateful simply need more attention and care. Simple arithmatic tells us that adding negative to a negative yields a deeper negative – and that benefits no one. From this persepctive it is no big deal to be inclusive, affirming, and welcoming to aeveryone who comes to us. Adding negatives to positives can lead to a generally positive result (something that the Detroit car makers seemed to ave missed in class).



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Henrietta22

posted June 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm


Have a great trip and meeting jestrfyl, if you can, take time to enjoy the lakes in MI.



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pagansister

posted June 23, 2009 at 12:59 pm


To “ditto” Henrietta, hope you trip is a good one, planes on time and all that stuff…as well as a successful meeting.



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nnmns

posted June 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm


Yes, be safe and get some ideas for next year.



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George W

posted June 23, 2009 at 3:26 pm


“Hate” is in the eye of the beholder. For example, I notice that there are some outrageous hate-mongers who are homosexuals, like Perez Hilton, yet people seem to flock to his demagoguery.
One thing for sure, it is a false dichotomy to say something like: “We want to stand against violence, oppression and exclusion and stand on the side of love, which is our faith…” I bet they’ll still want to exclude terrorist and child molesters at this point. The Unitarians may have drawn a line, but it is a very self-serving one.



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nnmns

posted June 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm


I don’t think anyone has said homosexuals are all good people.
And yes, that statement would be hard to govern by.



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jestrfyl

posted June 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm


George W
If hate is in your eye, you need a better glasses prescription. If it is in your heart, you need an antiacid. But if it burrows into your spirit, you need love from the folks around you who love you enough to battle fear on your behalf.
I hope you do not judge all homosexuals, tv/internet commentators, men, peroxide blondes, or 20 year olds by Perez Hilton. I am sure he does not set the standard by which most people want to be judged. I do not accept him as a standard for my life, though I meet only one of thse 5 catagories.
Funny thing that you mention child molesters — I know of some churches (though I am not certain of their denomination r affiliation) that are trying to come to terms with welcoming reformed pederasts in their congregation. This is not easy. But if we accept forgiveness and grace, we must find a way to allow for people to change. Of course, there are some folks who simply believe that all pederasts should be sent to a gulag or ghetto, denied all rights or opportunities, or simply killed.



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Mordred08

posted June 23, 2009 at 7:46 pm


George W: “For example, I notice that there are some outrageous hate-mongers who are homosexuals, like Perez Hilton, yet people seem to flock to his demagoguery.”
1. I have yet to come across anyone, in real life or online, who’s a Perez fan. Meanwhile, the woman he made fun of has received a resolution from my (admittedly backwards) state supporting her for making nonsensical claims. There are still 45 states where same-sex couples can NOT choose to be married, regardless of what she says. So, when he said she was dumb, I’ve got to say that the shoe fit pretty well. No offense.
2. Conservative Christians who turn a blind eye to the abuse and murder of LGBTs in America really ought to be thankful if the worst treatment they face is name-calling.



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cknuck

posted June 24, 2009 at 11:37 am


It never ceases to amaze me what people will use to get publicity. This isolated event the actions of a mentally disturbed “individual” is still being milked by a supposely sane “group” to promote their “gospel”. What a poliltical fish head soup.



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cknuck

posted June 24, 2009 at 8:14 pm


Mordred its not that anyone turns a blind eye to any murders that is just silly. There were six murders this week in a neighborhood I minister to and none of them homosexuals. So what do we do drop everything and dwell on the rare homosexual murder from a year ago?



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pagansister

posted June 26, 2009 at 4:52 pm


The investigation of ANY murder is worth all due time, no matter whether the person was homosexual or not, cknuck. No one would suggest dropping any investigation, IMO. How rare is homosexual murder, IYO? One is too many, not the frequency of such. Just like those 6 in your working neighborhood is 6 too many.



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