A fair number of my friends are posting these "unfriend me" messages. "If you don't agree with me on [insert issues here], please unfriend me now."
I respect their right to pare down their Friends lists in this way, but I will not be joining them.
We in the UU tradition are fond of quoting this quatrain by Edwin Markham:
“He drew a circle that shut me out--
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him in!"
Like it or not, here are a few things I believe, based on half a century of reading, learning, and direct experience:
1. All human beings have inherent worth and dignity, regardless of their ethnic origin, sex, gender, orientation, or belief system.
1-1/2. I did not stutter. I said "All human beings," including the damaged ones who have acted to harm others.
2. All human beings have a responsibility to love and protect each other and the natural world of which they are a part.
3. Over the centuries, we imperfect human beings have devised institutions for the purposes of abusing, misusing, and otherwise cruelly mistreating fellow human beings and the natural world; these institutions should be dismantled and replaced with institutions that nourish, sustain, and repair humanity and nature.
You may have disagreements with some of the above and still be my friend. I didn't say it would be easy for either of us.