A message from Rev. Suzelle Lynch
The upcoming mid-term elections on November 6 are the source of a great deal of anticipation and angst in our lives right now! There’s been a tremendous upswing in political activity across our nation, state and cities this past year — the electorate, including you and me, is all fired up!
The coming weeks will see tens of millions of dollars spent on negative advertising. Hard to believe there could be more, right? But because Republicans control the White House, the House, and Senate, and Democrats are eager to shift that balance of power, we know that the frenzy of political messaging will increase.
Here at UUCW, it can be tempting to do some political messaging of our own. But our Board of Trustees has asked me to remind you that partisan political announcements are not permitted on our member-to-member e-mail listserv, nor do we put partisan candidates’ literature on our bulletin boards or information tables.
Truthfully, many of us are liberal or progressive in our political stances. And some of us are liberal on social issues, but more conservative when it comes to fiscal policy. Others of us are radically left on everything. And some of us consider ourselves politically moderate.
Our political diversity is a good thing! The fifth principle of the Unitarian Universalist Association is that we covenant to affirm and promote “the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” It’s part of our religious DNA to get involved in the public sphere — to encourage others to vote, to speak our conscience on issues, and to campaign for the candidates we believe will govern us well! But we do the partisan parts of that work as individuals — not as a congregation.
What does that mean? It means being gentle in your political conversations with one another. It means not approaching UUCW people — in person or via other methods — with the assumption that we’re all on the same page when it comes to candidates. It means as I said earlier, not using church media to promote partisanship. It means being gentle with one another in our fiercely important work to promote the democratic process.
As part of our commitment to democracy, we are hosting a Candidates’ Forum for Wisconsin Senate District 5 and Assembly Districts 13 & 14 on Wednesday, October 10 at 6:00 – 7:30 pm at UUCW. Both Republican AND Democratic candidates have been invited, of course, and it will be a great opportunity to learn their positions on criminal justice reform, transit, health care, education, immigration, the environment and ending childhood poverty. This Forum is sponsored by WISDOM, the parent organization of MICAH (Milwaukee Interfaith Congregations Allied for Hope) of which UUCW is a member. I hope you’ll attend and get your questions answered.
In the meantime, THANK YOU for the work you do in affirming and promoting the democratic process! Our involvement truly does help build a better world.
Blessings to you,
The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister