Media roundup: Progressive religious activism draws bad and good attention

Media roundup: Progressive religious activism draws bad and good attention

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

Rachel Walden


Reporter Jack Jenkins explores the largely unreported trend of progressive religious groups becoming targets of vandalism and hate speech because of their public stances. Unitarian Universalist Association President Peter Morales attributes the increase to an American president who legitimizes hate. Jenkins notes that, among the religious leaders he interviewed, none said that these acts would stop them from sharing their message of inclusion. The Rev. Paul Beedle of First Unitarian Church in New Orleans affirmed, “Our message is: this is not going to change our commitment to stand by the transgender community, or any of our neighbors who are marginalized or who are suffering under systemic oppressions.” ( ThinkProgress – 3.15.17)

As residents of Washington, D.C., engage in protests and other forms of resistance on an unprecedented scale, the process of protest is taking on a more casual style, with demonstrations becoming regular weekend plans and other creative forms of resistance popping up in between. At All Souls Unitarian Church in downtown D.C., the Rev. Rob Hardies sees the trend as deepening the connection of congregation members: “You show up at an airport [protest] and you feel like you’re with your people… You come to church and you’re with your people.” ( New York Times – 3.15.17)

More coverage:

“Interfaith Solidarity In Wake Of Swastika Attack” ( New York Jewish Week – 3.14.17)

“Matt Driscoll: Indivisible Tacoma vows to ‘raise hell’ in face of Trump administration” ( News Tribune – 3.11.17)

“President Trump might get a blizzard of postcards soon” ( Boston Globe – 3.13.17)

Acts of solidarity continue to make the news

Approximately 200 people attended a ceremony dedicating a Black Lives Matter banner at First Parish Church in Beverly, Massachusetts. The congregation’s minister, the Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson, acknowledged that this is only the first step in a larger social justice effort. ( Salem News– 3.12.17)

A crowd gathered in Wilmington, Delaware, earlier this week to urge their governor, John Carney, to declare Delaware a sanctuary state. Jeff Lott, a member of First Unitarian Church of Wilmington--known for displaying a large Black Lives Matter banner on its building--said the state has an important opportunity to lead the nation by standing up to protect immigrants. ( News Journal – 3.16.17)

“Church Hosts Conference to Raise Members' Social Consciousness” ( – 3.12.17)

“Local faith leaders march in solidarity with immigrant communities” ( WLOS – 3.16.17)

“Milford group a voice for immigrants” ( Milford Daily News – 3.9.17)