Sanctuary and Government Surveillance
1985 General Resolution
WHEREAS, the 1984 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association commended the Sanctuary Movement to the churches and fellowships in our Association; and
WHEREAS, the federal government of the United States has sent government agents and paid informers with tape recorders and wireless equipment to spy on church services where refugees have been in attendance and been ministered to, and has used the information thus gained to testify against those attending and the leaders of those church services, and has arrested and brought indictments against sixteen church workers including two priests, four nuns, a Protestant minister and several lay church workers, including Wendy LeWin, a Unitarian Universalist; and
WHEREAS, this calculated invasion of the sanctity of the church has caused a serious disruption of the church life of the congregants and ministers in the churches so invaded; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Eugene Pickett, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, acting on its behalf, has joined religious leaders representing other denominations in bringing suit against the federal government seeking a prohibition of such invasion of the churches by federal agents;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1985 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association commends Dr. Pickett for this timely leadership and commends the more than thirty Unitarian Universalist congregations and the many individual Unitarian Universalists involved in the Sanctuary Movement, including our sister, Wendy LeWin; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That this Assembly reaches across the denominational lines that separate us to join with the inductees and to commend them for the special ministry to the refugees from Central America; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That this Assembly urges the delegates here assembled to contribute generously to the legal defense of the indictees and Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships to set aside September 15, 1985, the Sunday preceding the projected opening of the trial against those indicted (or another Sunday in September), as Sanctuary Sunday and as an occasion to bring to the members of each congregation the facts of the Sanctuary Movement, to celebrate the oneness of Unitarian Universalists with and support of the indictees, and to take up a special collection on that Sunday to be sent to Arizona Sanctuary Defense Fund, c/o UUA Social Responsibility Section, to help defray the legal expenses of those indicted.
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