Non-Discrimination Affirmation

Cooperation by Rafael Lopez

One Song by Rumi


Every war and every conflict
between human beings has happened
because of some disagreement about names.
It is such an unnecessary foolishness,
because just beyond the arguing
there is a long table of companionship
set and waiting for us to sit down.
What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,
many jugs being poured into a huge basin.
All religions, all this singing, one song.
The differences are just illusion and vanity.
Sunlight looks a little different
on this wall than it does on that wall
and a lot different on this other one,
but it is still one light.
We have borrowed these clothes,
these time-and-space personalities,
from a light, and when we praise,
we are pouring them back in.

At Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, we cherish and affirm the diversity among humans, which includes differences in sex, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, mental and physical health, range of abilities, sexual and affectional orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, financial means, education, and political perspective. It is our purposeful intention and practice to honor congregational diversity and promote widening circles of mutual respect. Our embrace of diversity and its benefits applies to all aspects of congregational life; they inform our decisions, including employment decisions, and the calling, installation, and retention of our minister.

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The Wisdom of Nondiscrimination


One time a young person asked me, "Why do we give different names to different things, since they're really together, they're really one?" This is a very good question. I replied that names are at the root of so many problems. We give places different names, like North America, Iran, Iraq. But in fact they all belong to the Earth. Israel and Palestine are two hands of the same body. You have to work for the survival of the other side if you want to survive yourself. Survival means the survival of humankind as a whole, not just a part of it. Only when we can touch the wisdom of nondiscrimination can we all survive.

 thich nhat hanh