Bartik_TimI assume that many of you, like me, have been trying to think about their stance towards Syria. From the perspective of ethics, combined with practical politics, what is the best stance, for the U.S. to intervene or not? What details matter to a sound position on this issue?

The Syria issue has also been alive in the UU blogosphere. In the spirit of encouraging discussion, I point you to two sermons.

Sermon 1, by the Rev. James Ishamel Ford, the UU minister at the First Unitarian Church in Providence, Rhode Island, and a prominent UU Zen Buddhist, is here.  Rev. Ford somewhat reluctantly comes down on the side of a brief military intervention in Syria, followed by pulling back into negotiation to deal with more fundamental problems in the Middle East.

Sermon 2, by the Rev. Sam Trumbore at the First UU Society of Albany (NY), is here. Rev. Trumbore somewhat reluctantly comes down on the side of non-violent action, and for the U.S. only to take military action if part of a broader international effort.

Living in right relations is not a spectator sport. There is no sacred text that tells us exactly what to do. We have to exercise the human facility of judgment to determine what is the best course of action. And then, as Rev. Ford says, we should understand that we must “live with the consequences”.  In either case, we must explore different ideas, because one guiding principle is that dialogue ultimately points us closer to the truth.

3 Responses to Syria debate within UUism

  1. Megen Renolds says:

    Thank you, Tim.

  2. Anna Shade says:

    Peter Morales, President of the UUA, issued this statement today.

    An excerpt, “Our General Assembly resolutions over the years all call for nonviolent methods to be the initial response to conflict around the world, but they also recognize that military force is sometimes required to counter aggression. I urge our elected leaders to use diplomacy to deescalate the violence in Syria, and to one day create peace in our world where political conflict is solved with negotiations not bombs, there are no more senseless deaths, civilians will not live in fear, and refugees find their way to a safe home.”

  3. Anna Shade says:

    Here is a poem written by two UU ministers – Eric Cherry and Kathleen McTigue. Another perspective on this issue:

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