If You See Something , Do Something

Unitarian Universalism is often portrayed as being an easy faith. Since there is no creed, some say this as permission to believe anything, or nothing. Same say that Unitarian Universalism is shallow. I find this could not be further from the truth.

Sure, some UUs seemingly come only for coffee hour socializing, but that was also true of the Presbyterian church I grew up in. What is different, to me, about Unitarian Universalism is our faith does not allow us to put the problems of the world on some divine entity separated from the universe we inhabit; our focus is not on getting out of this world in the hope that what comes after is better. While not required for fellowship, we ask you to take on the pain and the troubles of the world and make them your own; we ask you to work to heal them.

There is an ethical principle that says that once you are aware of a problem, you have partial ownership of it. If you see the trash on the ground, you own some responsibility if it remains there. Your knowledge that something is wrong should compel you to address it.

If you see the mistreatment of people by the society you live in, you assume part of the responsibility for that mistreatment; you must take part in solving that problem. If you don’t, you become one of the oppressors by your inaction.

This is one of the hard things about being a UU: we are a humanist faith that teaches human responsibility for the problems of the world. We, as a faith, know that we must do the work, whatever that entails, because there is no evidence that it will be done for us by the gods.

There is no wrong time to work on solving a known problem. While everyone is allowed to take time to grieve or to come to terms with the reality of the situation, there is no wrong time for us to say, “This situation requires a response.” Indeed, until an appropriate response is implemented, there is no time when we should not call for it.

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