The Congregational Consulting Group blog has a new post by David Brubaker titled “Social Movements and Congregational Responses”:
“Congregations [in the U.S.] often experience conflict in response to social movements in the world around them. Since World War II, movements regarding civil rights, the war in Vietnam, the ordination of women, and human sexuality—each vitally important in its own right—also have raised challenges inside congregations, forcing leaders to address internal questions of power and culture.”
Brubaker gives a brief overview of four external social movements that had a big effect on U.S. congregations: the Civil Rights Movement; the movement against the Vietnam War; the movement to ordain women; and the LGBTQ+ rights movement. I’d like to take a look at Unitarian Universalist (UU) response to each of these movements.
We Unitarian Universalists like to think that we were on the “right side” (i.e., the progressive side) of each of these movements, but that’s not true. We don’t often tell this part of our history, but if you talk with older Unitarian Universalist (UUs) — or if you’re old enough to remember these movements yourself — you know that we had a very mixed record for all these movements.
Civil Rights Movement
We like to tell ourselves the story that we were early and unified and vigorous supporters of the Civil Rights Movement. There is little evidence that was true.Continue reading ““Social Movements and Congregational Responses””