Dec. 4, 2017.
By Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller.
While my first degree is in political science, I am no tax expert. And granted, there are smarter people in this world analyzing today’s political situations. But here is what I am observing about the tax bill passed by the Senate early Saturday morning: This is a battle of rampant individualism versus communitarianism. The tax plan is in part a method of stripping away the economic support of collectivism and further eroding the belief that government can help lift up all of us. It will be used in the future to sanctify program cuts that have tried to address systemic inequality throughout our nation’s history.
And here is the connection that is almost entirely rooted in historic systems of white supremacy: Rampant individualism is code for privileging those who often benefit from an unfair system. It is top-down, corporate-driven and systemically unfair. It also masks economic inequality that keeps people voting against their own interest because of the fear of those who are different. Fear, divisiveness and anger are used as motivation versus love of neighbor, collective welfare and the need for compassion in order for a diverse society to thrive for as many as possible.
This is what the current version of conservative politics is based on. I believe it is destructive for the soul of this country and our ability to build any true version of Beloved Community. That is why I speak out, preach out and act out. If we wish to see a future based in the values and religious grounding we profess, we are called to act often, boldly and stay grounded in humility, reflection and, as much as possible, love.
To me this is deeply spiritual work. It calls on me to practice what I preach. It calls on all of us to know our Unitarian Universalist principles and try to live them as part of our spiritual practice. A central calling of our faith tradition has always been to help “create heaven on earth.” We must always find time to ground ourselves, reflect and recharge. For when our values and principles are in such a place of opposition to the prevailing practice, our historical call for active participation in healing the world leads to our need to rise up to meet this moment in history.