The Arc of the Universe Bending Toward Justice
What an exciting week. I just returned from Portland, where I was attending the annual General Assembly of Unitarian Universalist congregations. It was there that we got the news that the Supreme Court upheld the right of same-gender couples to get married. Though I was wistful, wanting to be with Live Oak members, it was also amazing to celebrate with 5000 Unitarian Universalists. Many of them, like Rev. Meg Riley and Hillary Goodridge, had been on the front line of making this day reality.
In 1853, Unitarian minister Theodore Parker said, “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”
I put faith in this, but I also believe that it happens through us bringing our weight to bear upon it. On Sunday, after hours of sometimes painful debate, the UU General Assembly voted to adopt a resolution:
We must continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement and Black-led racial justice organizations. The 2015 General Assembly calls member congregations to action, in order to become closer to a just world community . . .; urges member congregations to engage in intentional learning spaces to organize for racial justice with recognition of the interconnected nature of racism coupled with systems of oppression that impact people based on class, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and language . . .; encourages member congregations and all Unitarian Universalists to work towards police reform and prison abolition, which seeks to replace the current prison system with a system that is more just and equitable; and . . . recognizes that the fight for civil rights and equality is as real today as it was decades ago, and urges member congregations to take initiative in collaboration with local and national organizations fighting for racial justice against the harsh racist practices many black people are exposed to.
I am proud that my religious association has aligned itself with the Black Lives Matter movement. As I view, with heartbreak, the burning of black churches, my faith emboldens me. The work is ours to do, and the call is ours to answer. The arc is waiting.