Unitarian Universalist Ministers Speak Out Against Georgia’s HB 87
The passage of HB 87 in Georgia has galvanized faith communities to action. Last week, the L.A. Times had a beautiful story about St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Cobb County truly putting the “holy” in Holy Week:
And with that, they filed out of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church on Thursday morning to march quietly past the ranch houses and quickie marts and strip malls of suburban Georgia, toward the old town square in Marietta, about eight miles off. There, in imitation of Jesus, who washed his apostles’ feet the day before his execution, the American-born among them would wash the feet of a dozen immigrants.
Unitarian Universalist clergy, as well, are displaying leadership in speaking out against HB 87. Rev. Anthony David, Senior Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, has co-signed a public letter with ten UU Ministers in Metro Atlanta, representing six area congregation. The letter is appearing in a variety of publications and social media outlets, including the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. A version is scheduled for publication in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The ministers are working to translate the letter into Spanish and disseminate it to Hispanic media outlets.
Statement on HB87 by Metro Atlanta Unitarian Universalist Ministers
What’s good for Georgia is that we base our social policies on traditional spiritual values of compassion and hospitality. But House Bill 87, a punitive immigration measure recently passed by the Georgia Assembly and sent to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk, telegraphs the scarcity message that there’s not enough love and not enough resources to go around. If a bill like this become law, we are diminished as a state.
I just don’t believe that there’s not enough to go around. Jesus taught us that when people are in need, you make room for them at the table, and there will always be enough of what is most important. You don’t buy into a scarcity mentality. All people have inherent worth and dignity. We need to make room for people coming to America with hopes of creating a better life for themselves, and if we can find ways of supporting them, the result can only add to our prosperity as a nation. It made America great in our past, and it can make us great again.
There are a tremendous number of problems with House Bill 87. It is racist. It is neither workable nor fair. It is bad for business. It reflects Georgia politicians acting far beyond the bounds of their proper jurisdiction. Its twin bill in Arizona has cost that state millions of dollars in litigation, and its unconstitutionality has recently been upheld. But even more problematic than all these is the fundamental spiritual blight that House Bill 87 reflects. It is hate-filled and fear-filled. I urge Governor Deal not to sign this bill into law. We need to make room at the table. There’s always enough of what’s truly important to go around if we’re resolved to make it so. What would Jesus do?
Rev. Anthony David, Senior Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
Rev. Marti Keller, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
Rev. Jeff Jones, Minister, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Marietta, Georgia
Rev. Dr. Morris Hudgins, Minister, Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Sandy Springs, Georgia
Rev. Paul D. Daniel, Minister, The Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North Congregation, Roswell, Georgia
Rev. Roy Reynolds, Minister, The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Rev. Alison Wilbur Eskildsen, Parish Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, Athens, Georgia
Rev. Don Randall, Affiliated Community Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, Athens, Georgia
Rev. Terry Davis, Atlanta, GA
Rev. Joan Armstrong Davis, Atlanta, GA
Norm Horofker, Ministerial Intern, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia