Red/Blue Retreat – How to Talk Across the Political Divide

by Jane Everham

It was quite late one, week night when I couldn’t sleep and dark thoughts crept in. I texted Gretchen to ask, “Are you sure everyone is inherently entitled to worth and dignity?  Because I think a certain politician today forfeited his right to both.”  Of course, she responded immediately. Does that woman ever sleep?

And she said, Yes, Jane, I hear you, but our faith asks a lot of us and searching for the path to hold all individuals as entitled to dignity and worth is non-negotiable. Well, those weren’t her exact words, she was much more eloquent, but you get the gist. Our faith is not easy.

I completely and heartfeltly embrace the sentiment of our first Principle – until it comes time to put it into practice. How to love someone who is racist? Someone who speaks hate? Someone who applauds misogyny and discrimination? Unleashing courageous love is the challenge of my concern. On my UU spiritual path, I may be working on this practice for a long time.

When Sean introduced the idea of a Red Blue Retreat I glared at him. I had just vowed to myself to start saying “no” to requests and offers as I was already over committed. BUT I wanted to do this so badly! I have since the early 2000s. I wanted to say yes. I had to say yes. I did say yes.

And it is meaningful and worthy time spent inviting UUs to participate. Are you surprised that the Red group began filling faster than the Blue group? I was. But the good news is – the Retreat is not yet filled. There is room for a couple of Reds, a couple of Blues and numerous Observers. The registration form is on our FB page, in the Communicator, and on the website.

Does anyone NOT think our Democracy is in trouble? Well, here is a step you can take to begin to heal our nation. It is no panacea, just a step. But remember what one of my heroes, Margaret Mead said, “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Take this first small step.

How To Talk Across the Political Divide


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