We Unitarians understand that our shared covenant is not just an internal dialog but also a conversation with the world. The spark to right action is inclusion, expressed in our covenant. This leads to community, then to the safe and culturally prosperous city, then to a safe and more culturally prosperous society. No matter what is said in Washington to fracture America, we are masters of our covenant. And we choose inclusion.
The America that we know best is a society that practices the arithmetic of addition. In truth, our inclusion of people from other countries is part of our inclusion of all others here. That is, our approach to immigration should be in part informed by our advocacy of civil rights over the past 70 years. The immigration act of 1965 was in some respect an extension of the civil rights movement. Civil rights are expressed in the courts, but are expressed more fundamentally in recognizing the other, and in championing the value of lifting all boats in all aspects of life.
Any democracy is founded on the principle of self-determination. Our Unitarian covenant is an expression of this principal. We need, as Unitarians, to say to other Americans that inclusion of others from other countries works.
Including is how we strive to act. It strengthens our self-determination. To say this is not a wistful remembrance of past waves of immigration. We are speaking about today’s world. We as Unitarians not just here but nationwide, are called upon to speak truth for inclusion for our country.
From my reflection at the North Chapel, Woodstock, Vermont, July 8, 2018