To the editor:
As members of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist congregation, we feel compelled to raise our voices in sorrow and indignation over the death by police of George Floyd and so many other people of color. Our UU principles include “The inherent worth and dignity of every person,” and “Justice, equity and compassion in human relation.”
Martin Luther King Jr. warned that, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” We cannot be silent when the president of the United States uses the Bible and a church building not to pray for justice or to comfort a suffering nation, but for a photo opportunity. Nor can we be silent when authorities violently disrupt a peaceful demonstration in a public park to make room for the president to walk.
These are indeed times that try our souls. Our mettle is being tested. We’re learning that we’re in all of this together -- not just in the pandemic, but also in the struggle for racial justice and the fight against climate change.
We are proud of the peaceful demonstrations in Gloucester, of our city’s public health measures during the pandemic and of our community’s attention to civil rights and climate action. We want our historic Middle Street church to stand not only as a symbol of religious freedom but also of the worth of every person and the necessity of justice and compassion for all. We side with love, against oppression everywhere it occurs.
Holly Tanguay, Patricia Johnson, Isabel Sloane, Simon and Beth Paddock, Carol Bousquet, Roger Garberg, Mern Sibley, Sarah Sawyer, Anne Straccia, Charlotte Andrews, Diana Peck, Robert A. Hughes, MD, Shep Abbott, Evelyn Bauer, Kelly Knox, Deb Hardy, Peter Berkrot, Karen Lundh, Alison Rowell, Lucy Meyers, Sigrid Lambert, Willie Alexander, Karl Frank, Dianne Stephan, Gordon Baird, Kate Ruzecki, Susan Nicholson, Peggy Kimball, George Smith, Linda Kidder, Lucille LePage, Kerry Mullen, Charles Nazarian, Dick and Doris Prouty, Marylou Bassani, Sally Waite and Reverend Janet Parsons.