This month we explore the theme of Truth. In today’s society, to stand for truth can be somewhat counter cultural, but, I believe, also patriotic. This year’s UUA Common Read, Daring Democracy by Frances Moore Lappe and Adam Eichen, includes “fake news” as one of the factors that has had a detrimental impact on our democracy. Thus, I see truth-telling as a necessary spiritual discipline at the root of our fifth principle which affirms the right of conscience and use of the democratic process in our congregations and in society at large.
Truth-telling forces us to dig beneath popular narratives, to uncover stories that have been suppressed or distorted by those with greater influence and power. This past month I served as a chaplain and worship leader at the UU-UNO Intergenerational Seminar in New York City. Our focus on the global migration crisis this year brought in the voices of refugees and displaced people from many nations who shared their stories of persecution and oppression.
These traumas were often compounded by harsh treatment through the rejectionist and criminalization policies of the United States. False, denigrating myths about immigrants abound, leading to hurtful attitudes and policies. I believe it is our duty as Unitarian Universalists to speak truth in the face of lies that are used to harm those with lesser power. I believe that peaceful action means confrontation of dishonesty. How will we use our privileged voices to speak boldly and truthfully on behalf of the marginalized?
This month we have many opportunities for truth-telling together. Join the UUA Common Read discussion of Daring Democracy on May 6th. Restore the true legacy of civil rights leader Malcolm X at the worship service on May 13th. Speak and vote your conscience at the congregational meeting on May 20th. And join us on May 27th as we remember the stories “we tend to ignore, want to forget, yet need to remember” at the Community Remembrance Ceremony on Memorial Day Eve at the New Windsor Cantonment.
May we hold firm to the spiritual practice of truth-telling. May we learn together how to speak more boldly with integrity in the world.
In truth and peace,