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UU Fellowship of San Dieguito Responds to Vandalism

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Dec 20, 2011

Last week, sometime in the early morning hours on Friday, December 9th, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito in Solana Beach was vandalized with spray paint and what was apparently intended to be hateful words. It is unclear whether the person or persons who did this meant these words to be specifically against Unitarian Universalism or perhaps just a rant against some sort of religious institution. No matter how they were intended, it is clear that when these acts occur the fabric of civil society tears a little more.


Unitarian Universalists celebrate diversity of theological beliefs and are guided by seven principles. Our congregations are places where we gather to nurture our spirits and live our faith through acts of peace, love and social justice in our communities and the wider world. Our seventh principles states, “we respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”; therefore, we lift up the concept that what happens to one truly does happen to all. When this kind of vandalism happens it can challenge the trust and hope that we have for the world.

Whenever events like this occur in a community there is public speculation about what it meant. Questions naturally arise as to the motivation of the offender. The answer clearly has to be that we have no idea. We will all view these events (as we do all events) through our own lens, our own hopes, our own fears, and in general our view on life. We have no idea what was in the mind of those who did this unless they want to come tell us, which we would welcome. These acts remind us that we are always in control of our own thoughts and feelings, the way we respond, and the actions we take after the incident occurs.


The sign at the front of our congregation says we “stand on the side of love.” These are not hollow words. Standing on the side of love happens in both good and challenging times. We are sorry for the pain in the person or people who performed this act, and we have felt pain here in our community, but we are confident that we will continue to stand for love.

We are filled with deep gratitude for the beauty of our campus, and although we love the natural beauty of the surroundings, what truly matters are the people who have needed to be a part of this community now and in the past, and those who will come to be a part of this community in the future. People of all loving communities of faith should be free to speak their hearts without fear or intimidation.

Although deeply unfortunate, this is not the first example of intolerance of religious diversity in this community nor in this country and it may not be the last, but we will move through whatever comes, together, firmly standing arm and arm, hand and hand and always on the side of love.

Rev. David A. Miller and the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito
Cell – 619-876-7456
A Unitarian Universalist congregation in Solana Beach

13 Responses to “UU Fellowship of San Dieguito Responds to Vandalism”

  1. Melanie says:

    I am an American UU living in Canada. I send love your way and compassion for the invasion of your space. I hope you continue standing on the side of love.

  2. Beth Cardall Leehy says:

    David, I am again impressed with your actions. I’m glad to know you.

    Blessings for a peaceful balance of the year (double entendre intended :-) ),


  3. Tom Hutchinson says:

    I know how this feels. I go to Neighborhood UU Church in Pasadena CA. We had our marriage equality banner shreded 3 or 4 times. We stood our ground each time, just as you are. No one said it would be easy, but it will definitely be worth it!

  4. julie mckane says:

    A beautiful statement of our principals and walking the walk.

  5. Alan truelove says:

    Diversity of views? Erm,no. The uu Facebook page kicks off anyone who just supplies a link to responsible natl bodies — uRban LEague etc– who specifically criticize uu for it’s avowed amnesty open borders 8 mill non-ag jobs for illegals policy (a majority view of Uu members). That ‘s vandalism Imho

  6. Paul Langston-Daley says:

    To Rev. David and the Members of San Dieguito
    I thank you for your continued courage. I appreciate the love and caring you share with one another and with the wider community. Your response to this act shows your commitment to standing on the side love…may you continue to do so always. Blessings to you all in this Holiday Season.

  7. Bill Graham says:

    Just a few minutes reflection on Buddhist, Christian, and Hebrew beliefs regarding forgiveness radiated a message of good sense as well as benevolence in standing on the side of love. I certainly am strengthened by knowing that your community feels this way after such an act. Until recently I was a close member of a UU community in Chicago, but am now in a remote area of the west with none. Your message sends light even here for which I am grateful. Thank you.

  8. Sharle Kinnear says:

    Having visited your beautiful campus, I was saddened by a seemingly mindless act of vandalism. And as a member of the Palomar UU Fellowship in nearby Vista, CA, I am also saddened by the hate that sometimes spills out in our mostly peaceful, always lovely North San Diego County. Blessings and love to you as you work to erase the damage. Your thoughtful message was perfect!

  9. Nathan King says:

    David, I’m sorry to hear about this and thanks for your leadership in love.

  10. Jonathan Phinney says:

    Thank you David for the lessons in civility and compassion. Maybe it can percolate up to Congress some day.

  11. Jonathan Phinney says:

    Thank you David for the lessons in civility and compassion. Maybe it can percolate up to Congress some day.

  12. Rev. David-I am very sorry that this happened to your fellowship, recently. The UU Fellowship of San Dieguito has had a long tradition of leadership in the social action area. You have accentuated the positive nature of that fine tradition since you have become their Settled Minister. Please do not allow these misguided souls to deflect you from your peace and social justice purposes. I am very proud of your fellowships stands on the side of love for all of your constituencies. It will take a tremendous and continuing effort over time to help raise the consciousness of all of those around us, and I admire the UUFSD for the fine work you do in this regard.

  13. [...] same article was posted on the Standing On the Side of Love blog and commented on by the Reverend Peter Morales, President of the UUA, on his facebook page on [...]

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