Keep the Resilience

I write this four days after the March for Science, and three days after Yameen Rasheed, a human rights focused secular blogger in the Maldives, was murdered.

What to make of all this.

I happily participated in the March for Science with my local Sunday Assembly community, and was heartened to see several, well worn, yellow "Standing on the Side of Love" t-shirts throughout the crowd. The East Bay Atheists, the Kol Hadash Humanistic Jewish Community, the Center for Inquiry, and the Bay Area Humanists were also proud and present, as was a big contingent from San Francisco's Grace Cathedral - with big "Grace for All" signs.

While "listening" to speakers before the March (Can you ever really hear them?), one of our Sunday Assembly members recounted a story from the novel Catch 22- a bit macabre - involving the mix up of a catheter and an IV. "It's crazy!" he recounted, "and when I see what's going on, I just want to shout "This is crazy!"

I enjoyed the look of passer-by on the street, almost overwhelmingly either a smile and thumbs up support, or blissful avoidance.

One in our group remarked, "I always don't feel like going to these things the morning of, but when I make myself go, I'm always so glad I did."

I want to carry that resilience with me in the days ahead. That can-do-ism, even when we don't always want to in the short term, can create bigger, more positive results for all us. Our small and mighty humanist communities here in the US are potential life lines and allies to these secular justice seekers and advocates for rational policy, not just here in the US, but overseas.

Initiatives like Secular Rescue assist humanists in exile from violent circumstances in their home countries, and could easily be a recipient of revenue from a potluck fundraiser or "Share the Plate" collection. There may be initiatives through the UUA or UUSC to support atheists and humanists in danger overseas, though I'm not sure what they are.

As Unitarian Universalists and Humanists, we showed up for the March for Science, and will continue to show up for evidence-based policies. Let's show up and support our humanist sisters and brothers overseas - some face death for simply raising questions.

Daniel Lawlor
San Francisco, CA



Daniel Braga-Lawlor is a proud Rhode Island ex-pat, and is in love with Northern California. Past President of Bell Street Chapel, a small and mighty Unitarian Universalist congregation in the West End of Providence, RI, Daniel is active with Sunday Assembly East Bay (Berkeley-Oakland area). Collaborative, engaged communities energize and inspire Daniel.