Bold underlining indicate insertion ; [brackets indicate deletion.]
31 Justice. We work to be diverse multicultural Beloved Communities where all thrive.
32 We covenant to [dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression] affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. We support the use of
33 inclusive democratic processes to make decisions.
[Reasons for this amendment]
I believe that activities potentially resulting from using the word “dismantle” could actually block us from truly becoming a diverse, multicultural community. From my observations, many people of color including immigrants, especially if they are traditionally religious, tend to have more conservative views on women and LGBTQ issues. For example, in Ann Arbor, churches who display the rainbow sign are almost always predominantly white communities. To the best of my knowledge, mosques, Hindu temples, Asian Buddhist temples, Asian Christian churches, African American churches, and Catholic churches where Latino people attend typically do not display the rainbow sign. If we “dismantled” the people who have conservative views on women and LGBTQ issues due to their upbringing, it would seem difficult for us to build a multiracial, spiritual community.
Here, I want to be clear that I’m not suggesting that we should relax our standards on the rights of women and LGBTQ people in order to become more multiracial. My purpose here is to raise the possibility that the inclusion of the word “dismantle” in Article II might contradict the existing UU 1st principle.
Back in 1848, Thomas Starr King, for whom Starr King School of the Ministry in Berkeley is named, made the comment that Universalists think that God is too good to damn us forever and that Unitarians think that we are too good to be damned forever. Neither denomination believed in original sin, hence the UU 1st principle—inherent worth and dignity of every person [regardless of how each person identifies themselves]. Let us not “dismantle” people for their views due to their upbringing, which they didn’t intentionally choose.
It seems to me that the only realistic way forward to forge a multicultural/multiracial UU community is through understanding where people of all walks of life come from both culturally and religiously, through learning their life stories as much as we can, through accepting people as they are, and through working with them **so that they become awakened—not dismantled—**about the rights of women and LGBTQ people. If we dismantled these people, the potential for their awakening is nil.