Activism is an act of faith
An excerpt from this article is re-posted from the current issue of UUWorld. -Ed.
Our interconnectedness makes the powerless powerful, says a young UU activist in prison for interrupting an oil and gas lease auction.
By Tim DeChristopher
Winter 2012 11.1.12
“It is very rare to sustain a movement in recognizable form without a spiritual basis of some kind,” the peace activist and Catholic priest Daniel Berrigan told author Chris Hedges. Having seen how my fellow members of First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City and Unitarian Universalists elsewhere have embraced environmental justice as central to their religious lives, I’m sure Berrigan is right. And I’m convinced that the spiritually grounded activism of Unitarian Universalism holds the potential to not only make the progressive movement more principled, but also make it more pragmatic.
As Unitarian Universalists we believe that each of us is part of an interconnected web of life. This deep connectedness is a powerful motive for activists. Our connection to each other is both the reason why taking a principled stand against injustice is the right thing to do and the reason why it works. Activism makes no sense to those who believe that a person is an isolated individual. Without accepting the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assertion that “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere,” no one would ever take a stand until they were personally affected. Oppressors have always tried to discourage “outside agitators” precisely because they’ve known that no real activism could survive when people stood up only for themselves.
Read the full text by Tim DeChristopher on UU World.