The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Inc., stands with colleagues, members and friends committed to building communities of humane interaction, dialogue, and deep listening, and creating a world that is safe and free of hate. We, along with so many others, express outrage and grief over the events in Charlottesville, Virginia on the weekend of August 12th, 2017.
We are not safe or free when we and our loved ones live in fear. We are compelled to speak out against hateful actions of white supremacist organizations and people, as well as the conditions and ideas steeped in the systemic white supremacy on which this nation was founded. And we remain committed to confronting systems of oppression within our communities and ourselves, alongside so many others within Unitarian Universalism, as we all work together to fulfill the promise of our faith.
First and foremost, we uphold our commitment to the Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Violent actions will never resolve what divides us. Attitudes of superiority of any kind; racial, religious, cultural, gender, ethnic, or otherwise serve to diminish not only our fellow travelers, but also ourselves and our legacies. All human life is precious and sacred.
Holding these truths, we, the Board of Trustees of CUUPS, Inc., commit ourselves, and call on members and friends to:
- Diligently call out language and acts of hate as well as expressions of white supremacy;
- Work intentionally to unlearn internalized racism through education, practice, and reflection, both alone and within accountable communities;
- Deliberately take actions to counter, interrupt and dismantle structural racism, and challenge cultural norms and values rooted in white racial dominance;
- Move peacefully if participating in protests on the streets;
- Create listening circles to deeply hear one another;
- Learn to listen more, speak less and value the beauty of those with different experiences, perspectives, and practices;
- Act as partners in creating communities of kindness, understanding and love among diverse peoples.
Additionally, we commit ourselves, and call on white members and friends to:
- Renew soul-searching to understand white privilege and to challenge or dismantle it for the benefit of those not so privileged;
- Examine critically the spiritual traditions based on adopted, ancestral, or biological lineages and the co-optation of pagan religions to support racist ideology; develop awareness of places where reliance on “ancestry” is a code to support racism; and look for ways to support and include People of Color within and outside of those lineages;
- Give deference to, elevate, and amplify the voices of People of Color;
- Build safe harbors for those in need of expressing anxiety, fear, anger and upset.
We believe that Earth and Nature-centered peoples, groups who are diety-relating and Pagan spiritual and religious traditions have much to offer. Each of us can invite people to connect their hearts to the earth, ritual, their deities, gods/desses, and the arts. Each of us can offer rituals that celebrate human differences, rituals that cast away illusions and prejudice, rituals that challenge powers of oppression, rituals that bring healing and wholeness. We can practice the deep, patient listening that bridges division and dispels hate. Each of us can find more humane ways to interact with all humankind, perform acts of kindness, and speak gratitude. We can use art, performance, writing, music and dance to express courage and freedom. We are each agents of change; holding up a mirror, embodying an alternative, illuminating a new path forward.
Commit to building a world where hate, injustice, and violence are only distant memories. Let us return to the sacred sources that feed the depths of love and remind us of the Divine in many expressions. Hold one another, move hand in hand, and wield the power of love to overcome hate. Together, we will do this hard work. We are the ones. The future without division and oppression is ours to craft.