Last week I attended “Ministers’ Days” of General Assembly (GA) via Zoom; many thanks to Cara Forcino and Lynn Wentzel who were representing us at GA in person.
Particularly eye-opening for me was a talk entitled My Little Pony Was Right: Fascism Within and Without by the Rev. Cynthia Kingman. She reviewed the work of Jason Stanely on The Ten Tactics of Fascism (you can easily find it on YouTube.) Rev. Kingman called fascism “a permanent temptation of humankind” and noted that fascists always try out tactics on the most vulnerable groups of people to see what the public will allow.
A colleague, the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Stevens from the UU Church of the Palouse, gave a response to the talk. She spoke of their government having been taken over by a radical right “cult”, with draconian laws being put forth to punish women, doctors, librarians, LGBTQ+ people. For a month Rev. Stevens was followed daily from her home to her office by a white truck, and then back again at the end of the day. She said her congregation is flourishing and people in the community know who they are and what they stand for, but she also said, “Let us know we are not alone.”
Here in Massachusetts we often have no idea about what’s going on in other parts of the country. I signed right up for a two-part webinar this summer on a UU response to fascist tactics. I’m also thinking about how we might send support to UU congregations in places like Idaho, Florida, Texas- where espousing the inherent worth and dignity of every person is truly counter-cultural.
Let us know we are not alone. Isn’t that why many of us seek a religious community in the first place? How good it is that we- and the folks in Idaho- are not alone. Let’s keep reaching out to each other.
Yours in rainstorms and hope,