Rev. Nancy Holden: Mountains and Dustbins
Reverend Holden will survey the progress of social protest in changing American society from before the Civil War to the present. Comparing forms of discrimination to mountains, this message describes leaders who led against anti-Semitism, racism, and sexism, “moving” the mountains, capped with the true story of a transgender woman who represents destruction of the mountain of anti-gay discrimination.
Reverend Holden once again gave a very rich sermon that touched many of us and made us thankful for the life experiences and knowledge that she was able to share with us. She led us not only through the nation’s history of social and legal struggles of people who have fought for civil rights and recognition, but also her personal history of fighting for those who were unable to find the strength to stand up for themselves.
We learned that while many of these “mountains” have been moved or broken down, they have not completely disappeared. We have made great progress in rights for women and for the advancement of rights for people of other races, but even today we see a fair number of people holding on to or perpetuating discrimination. We still see unequal pay for women across the nation, and women are still fighting for rights to control their own bodies; an issue we are very aware of right in our own community.
Perhaps the largest mountain our society faces today is the legal status and recognition for people who identify themselves as part of the LGBTQ community. This is not an unfamiliar struggle. History repeats itself and we are seeing it here and now. Here is another demographic of our wonderful melting pot society struggling to have equal rights and recognition. We really need to ask ourselves “Why are we doing this again?” Have we not learned anything? Our nation was founded by people fighting for equal rights, for representation, and for the freedom to live life the way they choose without being oppressed.
Mountains cannot be moved by a willful few but changes can be made. To truly crumble these mountains we need to come together as a loving compassionate people and see that ALL people have equal rights and recognition. I feel this is the heart of who and what we are a Unitarian Universalists. In fact our VERY FIRST Principle states we believe in “The inherent worth and dignity of every person.”
Social justice is one of the core values we are built upon, not only as an organization as a whole but right here in our own community at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fargo-Moorhead. You have a voice here. Don’t be afraid to come join us and feel free to be who you really are, and use your strength to help those who cannot find it themselves.