Why Do the Baptists Show Up and Liberal Religionists Don’t?…or…This Is Not About Polity (#FergusonOctober)

Elz Curtiss asks me if part of my agitation is polity related. Her point to me was:

It would be helpful to know what you are looking for when you bemoan the anti-racism silence of UU officialdom. The feeling I get is that our lack of a pope or bishops — someone who can stand up and deliver a strong position without fear of push-back — has been mistaken for silence and lack of concern.

And whenever Elz asks me to think about something, I sit with it.

The reason I said that this (timidness on the subject of race) is a thing in liberal religion’s DNA is because this crosses polity lines. The Episcopalians and the Quakers (who are as presbyterian as presbyterian can be) and the Anabaptists-Pietists have the exact same issue. This is not just a congregationalist issue. If this were a congregationalist issue, then the Baptists would have the same issue, or the Disciples; they don’t (at least not as overtly).

However, I do wonder why the President of the UUA can’t stand up on issues of race the same why that he (and eventually, she, ghe/gher) stands up for other things that are self evident like climate change or same-gender loving.

Is saying that there is something about how this country polices black and brown men that dehumanizes them that is controversial? If so, why? How many more black and brown boys/men have to die at the hands of agents of the state before that statement is not controversial?

Or am I asking for too much as a black woman who has a number of black and brown men in her life?

I still believe that there is something in liberal religion’s DNA that makes race something to be avoided.

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