As you know the country of Haiti was devastated by an earthquake and after shocks in January. It seems that only a few short months ago the country was slammed by five hurricanes that caused wide spread destruction. As I listen to news reports and hear comments by people trying to make sense of the natural disasters that continue to plague Haiti, I thought about the book of Job in the First Testament in the Christian Bible and the issues that are raised in the story; such as innocent or undeserved suffering and how people behave when calamity strikes.
It is becoming a familiar refrain from some leaders in the U.S. to blame the victims of calamity for their plight. As Unitarian Universalist, what is our theology when it comes to calamity? When is it ok to blame someone or a country when a natural disaster causes wide spread death and destruction? I think one of our greatest challenges as UUs is our ability to articulate our theology in a way that communicates our beliefs. Our first Unitarian Universalist principle calls us to promote and affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Our UU theology challenges us to be inclusive, that is to embrace the people of Haiti along with the people who blame them for their plight in their hour of biblical suffering.
It is not too late to show your support for the people of Haiti. Please contact your local UU congregation to learn how you can get involved in relief efforts. You can also donate to the UUSC and UUA joint Haiti earthquake relief fund http://www.uusc.org/. Let us live our UU faith by not judging or questioning why someone is suffering. Rather, let us be mindful and attentive to the fact they are suffering and do our human best to ease their pain.
As always I would love to hear from you. You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment for me on the YaYA of Color blog, UU Living Mosaic at http://uuyayaoc.blogs.uua.org/.
Living My Faith,
Pastoral Message, February 2010