Message from Rev. Richard ‘Bud’ Murphy, UUJF President
Just Saying 12/17/2020
I saw a sweatshirt message on the Internet. It said “I’m not arguing. I’m just explaining why I’m right!” With Pandemics and Infodemics and so many convinced that the medium is the message, that dressing for success is success, it’s important to remember there’s an objective world where actions have real consequences, a world where a tree falling in the forest has an impact with or without humans knowing about it.
Even Words are actions, and they have real consequences on people’s beliefs and their understanding of objective reality. Being clever with words, someone can convince us that is it is in our best interest to drink the cool aid, but if its laced with cyanide our beliefs will not protect us from its objective, deadly impact.
As we celebrate the start of 2021, tradition invites New Year Resolutions. Resolution is a word with several meanings and one of those meanings has to do with our ability to distinguish between objects. A stunning example is our increasing ability to capture electromagnetic energy to resolve objects so far away that the images we capture may have been created or reflected by objective sources that may no longer exist.
Closer to home, we are challenged to resolve an objective reality that is filled with potential dangers and opportunities. Here in the United States our Democratic experiment is being tested. President Lincoln grasped the fragility of this experiment in his Gettysburg Address.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth". Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863
We can resolve (Commit) to resolve (Heal) our divisions, but to do so we must resolve (Distinguish) the difference between subjective and objective reality. May we resolve and cling to objective reality and to the future probable impacts of our choices. May we resolve to choose wisely!
Happy New Year
Rev. Bud Murphy, UUJF President
Legislative Advocacy 2021
Here is a checklist for those of you who will be making your voices heard in shaping public policy and urging our newly elected members of the State Legislature to act on our behalf in the upcoming March 2 Legislative Session.
Form a legislative advocacy team or teams with members of your congregation
If —— is not your correct 9-digit Zip+4 address code please update your current street address on the UUJF website Take Action page.
For tips on conducting meetings with your legislators watch this 1 hour training video.
The following guidelines may be helpful in planning virtual meetings with legislators
Use your edited Legislative Agenda in your meetings as a script or platform to advocate for legislation you support (Suggestion – focus your presentation on legislation tailored to committees on which your Representative and Senator sit)
Share personal stories how proposed legislation affects you and and your family
Thank your legislators for their time and consideration of your views and concerns
Let them know you will be contacting them regarding specific bills when they appear on their Committee agendas or on Chamber calendars for votes.
Please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, suggestions or a progress report.