So Much for Peace III

One Unitarian Universalist was so disgusted by the recent disruption of a Hindu Senate prayer by conservative Christian activists that she blogged about it, calling the protesters "intolerant and ridiculous." Another Unitarian Universalist was so put off by the first UUs characterization that she blogged about that, calling the first UU an "asshole."

In the interest of full disclosure let me say that the first UU is a colleague of mine. Even so, I don't think that it's purely the bias of proximity that makes me think ChaliceChick's comments were not only inappropriate but highly ironic.

She titles her post "Is this who we want to be? Seriously?" and then goes on to say how she had intended to make fun of the Washington Office's blog "but got busy and forgot." More than her issue with my colleague, that line really struck me. Is this who she wants to be?

We, as Unitarian Universalists are supposed to respect everyone for their inherent worth and dignity. We're supposed to engage each other with justice, equity, and compassion. Sometimes, when the issues are heated and the "other side" seems unreasonable - as was the case with these hecklers disrupting a Hindu prayer while they were in town to protest the hates crimes bill on the pretense that it would impede their freedom of religion - it might be hard to remember that. The protesters were clearly intolerant, but calling them ridiculous may not have been the most constructive thing to do. On the other hand, what about a UU who, when she disagrees with a fellow UU, calls her an "asshole" and for her to be fired? Is that ChaliceChick's idea of a path to a better world?

And what about the comment about intending to "make fun of" fellow UUs but forgetting? I can't get over that one.

Conflict and disagreement are inevitable, but escalation is not. If one thinks that someone has crossed a line, calling them names and insulting them is not the way to bring us back towards peace.

Is this who we want to be? Good question.

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Acknowledgments is made possible in part by generous support from the Fahs Collaborative