Religion at Its Best

Against a purple-dusk sky, a light bulb hangs suspended; the background are hundreds of other light bulbs, each hanging in mid-air

Religion is as much about faith in humanity as it is about faith in deity. And many of us will find that, over and over, our faith in humanity gets tested. We are immersed in a culture that's deeply corrupted by selfishness, greed, and oppression-borne privilege and fear. It's all too easy for us to justify the dehumanization, ostracization, suffering, and death of others. It's all too easy for us to devalue some humans' lives, and feel, somehow, like we're still good upstanding moral people.

Religion at its best asks us to do better than this: to rise above the selfishness and status-seeking, the othering and xenophobia that come so easily to us. Religion at its best — and our Unitarian Universalist faith — calls us to honor that which is sacred in each person, even those we might hate, even those who we find disgusting. It impels us to accept, on faith, that there is a sacred spark, a worthy spark, in every person. This can sound mundane but it's very radical — revolutionary even. Each person, sacred. Each person, worthy.

Accepting this, on faith, changes how we live. In this time when so many of us live in fear of a dehumanizing political regime, let us renew our pledge to live out those sacred and humane teachings that draw us toward compassion, love, and justice in ever-widening circles of care.