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Take a moment and let your body and mind settle. If you are comfortable doing so, spend a few moments in peaceful meditation.

Consider this session's story, "Theodore Parker and the Fugitive Slaves: Refusing to Follow an Unjust Law." Reflect on how you would answer the questions you will pose to the children in Council Circle:

  • Do you think there are times when it is right to use violence to fight against injustice?
  • How do you think you would have reacted to the Fugitive Slave Act if you had lived in Boston in the 1850s? If you were a white? If you were a free black?

Throughout the history of the United States, questioning authority and civil disobedience have played significant roles in many reforms that we take for granted today — laws that guarantee civil rights, votes for women, and the power of labor unions, among others. How do you think we should teach children when it is right to question authority and when it is important to follow the rules?

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