November 2018 Theme:
The Democratic Process
Our 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.
From the words of Mahatma Gandhi
Prairie’s Diverse Community
An important aspect of religious community is to have real conversations on your values. There are few other forums for such important conversations, for adults or for young people.
In having such conversations, we all must be aware that we don’t think or believe alike, and so must remain as open as possible to new ideas and thoughts, ones that challenge us and help us refine our own ideas.
Being open is one of the basic definitions of what we mean when we say our church is a “Liberal Religious Light on the Prairie.” In religious terms, being liberal simply means being open: open to new ideas, open to the problems of the world today, appreciative of difference.
Learning to genuinely appreciate difference is one of our key spiritual practices. Spiritual listening is usually done through our “third eye,” as the Hindus would say … it is listening with the whole mind, soul and heart. It is listening without arguing, listening for understanding, and listening to develop empathy.
Lessons From the Masters
Jesus and Buddha both taught that we should love one another as equals and do our best to help one another when one of us is in pain or treated unjustly. This imperative leads us into the world to address the wrongs we see based upon our values. This is what Mahatma Gandhi meant when he said, “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.”
Diverse Democratic Faith Community
We are not forcing religious beliefs into the political arena, but using our faith to temper our politics and define what is most important to us. There are and always will be strong differences of opinion on these values from different religious traditions. The important question is: What do you believe? What is your highest principle? What is the voice of our Unitarian Universalist faith?
We all are part of developing that faith voice in our times. We believe in the democratic process in all parts of our society as well as within our faith community, so come, be part of the conversation. Help us develop a voice based upon our dearest principles.
In closing these words, also from Gandhi:
“The things that will destroy us are:
politics without principle;
pleasure without conscience;
wealth without work;
knowledge without character;
business without morality;
science without humanity;
and worship without sacrifice.”