Tags

, , , ,

The United States Capitol Mall in Washington DC has monuments to many groups of people, but strangely none to Unitarians. There are now many museums on the national mall and near it. Some of them are dedicated to specific ethnic or religious groups. There is a Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture, under construction. There is the elegant National Museum of the American Indian., and the sober United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Even the feminine half of humanity has a special museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Now why, you might legitimately ask, should a relatively obscure religious tradition have a monument or a museum dedicated to it? What have Unitarians done that deserves any recognition whatsoever? Therein lies the problem, because the three major monuments, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial, commemorate leaders who were either Unitarians or, at a minimum, very close to that tradition in their behavior. Well, you would quibble, they have their monuments. My problem is that Unitarians are so discriminated against that even the current sitting President of the United States cannot admit that he grew up attending Unitarian services when living in Hawaii and that his family were Unitarians.

The Constitution of the United States was practically written by Unitarians, and its tenets of freedom of speech, of personal independence, and freedom of religious belief are fundamental to Unitarians, and no other religious tradition. Others may talk the talk, but Unitarians walk the walk and will even defend the right to speak of people with whom they firmly disagree.

We need a monument to proclaim the prominence of Unitarian ideals of inspection of every idea and of the people who created that willingness to search.

Advertisements