Saturday, April 16, 2005

Frank D.

My name is Frank Downey. I am a liberal democrat and I am not hostile to faith.

What I am hostile to is attempts to give only certain expressions of
faith primacy in our system of laws.

I am a Unitarian-Universalist. Our church was formed in 1961 by the
merger of the Unitarian and Universalist churches in America, but both
of our 'father' churches have a long and illustrious history in the
USA.

A number of distinguished Americans from the years of our Nation's
birth were either Unitarians or Universalists. These include John
Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere, and Daniel
Webster. Unitarians and Universalists are present throughout our
history.

UUism is a minority faith, and one which has been considered
'heretical' by many more 'mainstream'' churches for centuries.
Nowadays, my church honors the right of all people to form a life
relationship with whomever they choose, and we affirm the right for
women of reproductive freedom. Since I live in MA, my minister has
performed, and very happily, same-sex marriages. UU ministers in the
other 49 states are not allowed to do that. That is a restriction of
*our* faith.

UUism has a long history of social justice. We donate money, time, to
the poor and hurting everywhere. We are a safe haven for those who
have been persecuted for their sexuality, their transgenderism, their
race, their gender. We open our doors to the poor and afflicted. UUs
always have.

I am proud to be a UU. It is not for everyone. Since it is a
non-dogmatic faith, it takes an incredible amount of involvement and
self-reflection. It takes a willingness to work through a lot of
messages. It's not a faith for those who sit idly by, or for those who
need a road map.

But it's a legitimate faith, one with deep roots in our country. UUs
had a hand in writing our constitution, including the Bill of Rights.
That was no accident. Jefferson knew he was a member of a minority
religion.

The First Amendment of this country was written to honor all
faiths--and no faiths. I revere the Bill of Rights and feel that what
we are as a country stems, in a great way, from them.

The attempt to encode a particular expression of a particular faith,
Christianity, into the laws and judiciary of this country is what
makes me hostile. That is an infringement on *my* faith. That is
particularly contrary to what Jefferson and his cohorts had in mind.

That's what I'm hostile to--the attempt to subvert the Constitution.
There should be no religious test for members of our government or
Judiciary. That's un-American. And I value my country even more than I
value my faith.

--Frank Downey
Peabody, MA

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