Our theme for November is Democracy. It is election month and while this year's elections might not seem important to some, the act of participating in civic responsibility is important because our faith calls us to act in the governing processes of our towns, cities, states, and nation. Democracy does not start and end at the ballot box, so our work is not complete on that day. Instead, democracy is about participation in civic space. We proclaim that as Unitarian Universalists we support the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large as our Fifth Principle. I will be preaching on Veteran's Day Weekend to talk about ways we need to improve participation in civic space by improving how we care for our veterans. More of those who have served have died through suicide than through combat engagement. Our Vietnam veterans were treated atrociously on their return to America, and we have not improved significantly with our veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan with PTSD, moral harm, and physical injury leaving its mark on what has now been eighteen years of heightened military activity.
Our national democracy appears rife with conflict as each days a new scandal seems to break, and moral voices other than ours hold the reigns of power. We have leaders disrespecting honored veterans, especially those veterans who have asked us to maintain our bonds with our allies instead of abandoning them.
As the son of a soldier, and as one who grew up within ear shot of the artillery of a military base, and a former Lockheed Martin employee, I know first hand the goodness of people in the service as well as the all too human corruptions and failures of the armed services and those who support them. I also know that my friends who are veterans that came back from war zones are alive partially due to care I gave or am at present giving.
Participating in democracy is participating in kindness, in care, in graceful gifting of time and presence with your fellows. Doing that work literally saves lives.
Nov.10, 2019 : Recognition of Veterans Day Andrew Tripp will be sharing ways we need to improve participation in civic space by improving how we care for our veterans
Dr. Andrew Tripp, Coordinator of Ministry