Love Will Guide Us: A statement from the Canadian Unitarian Council’s National Voice Team

To UU congregations and communities:

Our hearts are heavy by recent expressions of racist intolerance and hatred and related violence in the United States, Spain, North Korea and other parts of the world. As Canadian Unitarian Universalists we choose the guiding light of love, not hate. We choose radical inclusion and welcome over exclusion and isolationism. We choose the way of respectful negotiation over angry rhetoric.

Our first Principle of our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Our second Principle calls us to be just, equitable and compassionate. We have seen very little of either of these Principles at play in the language or the actions of those who choose the path of anger. The world is more fearful, more fractured and a more dangerous place as a result. The challenge to find hope has grown harder in recent months and so we are called to speak out on behalf of higher values, loving values, fair values.

We are proud that Unitarian ministers, including UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, continued our tradition of social activism by joining other counter-protesters against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017. Frederick-Gray said later that while it was important to confront this instance of “violent, racialized hate”, it was also critical to understand all the ways racism has manifested and continue “advocating for systemic changes that will bring liberation for all people.” We are aware that Canadians are not immune to violent racism and that we must also continue to undertake the activism the UUA has pledged.

Canadian Unitarian Universalists work in solidarity with all those who denounce expressions of hatred, and in opposition to those whose inaction, silence, and ambiguity encourages it. We call on both the President and the Vice-President of the USA, as leaders of a major western democracy founded on principles of inclusion and the rule of law, to speak out clearly and unambiguously against neo-Nazi and white supremacist perpetrators of hatred and violence. We also call upon the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada to remain resolute in their stated goal to cherish the values of inclusion and peace-building in the face of pressures to do otherwise.

As Martin Luther KIng Jr. observed, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The world needs its leaders and its people to oppose hatred. The world needs its citizens to encourage their leaders to choose to be guided by love through these hard nights.

The CUC National Voice Team consists of the President of the CUC Board, the President of the UU Ministers of Canada, and the CUC Executive Director.