Media roundup: Trump’s son-in-law is not a Unitarian Universalist

Media roundup: Trump’s son-in-law is not a Unitarian Universalist

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

Rachel Walden


In a new tell-all book by Michael Wolff about the Trump Administration, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is quoted offering to marry two television news hosts because he was an “internet Unitarian minister.” The UUA was contacted for comment and clarified that Kushner is not a Unitarian Universalist minister and that there is not a way for people to become internet ministers in Unitarian Universalism. Kushner was likely referring to being ordained through the Universal Life Church. ( Religion News Service – 1.4.17)

More coverage:

“Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President” ( New York Magazine – 1.3.18)

“Sorry, Jared Kushner, but there is no such thing as an ‘internet Unitarian minister’” ( ThinkProgress – 1.4.18)

Indiana Unitarian Universalists respond to new detention center in their community

Just before the Christmas holiday, members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Elkhart, Indiana, joined about 200 people outside the Elkhart County Courthouse to make their opposition known to a proposal to build an immigration detention center in Elkhart. The Rev. Amy DeBeck, minister of the congregation, joined interfaith clergy to urge attendees to keep up the good fight. (Goshen News – 12.25.17)

In the new year, the Unitarian Universalist Church in Elkhart went public with their offer to make a building on their church grounds available to house someone under threat of deportation. Describing the sacrifice required of those who seek sanctuary in a church, the Rev. Amy DeBeck said, "They're giving up a lot. They're letting themselves be known as someone who is being held by their community." (  – 1.3.18)

In Texas, Alirio Gamez is still living in sanctuary in First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. Gamez fled his native country of El Salvador after receiving death threats, and he fears for his life should he be forced to return. Despite having been in sanctuary for more than four months, he and the congregation remain hopeful for a good outcome. The church is part of the strong Austin Sanctuary Network, and they helped another undocumented person, Sulma Franco, obtain a stay of deportation after taking sanctuary in the church in 2009. (Al Jazeera  – 12.27.17)