Unitarian Universalists Denounce Complicity with Extremists, Call for Courageous Action by National Leaders

The following is a press release by the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The Unitarian Universalist Association joins leaders across this country in calling for the immediate removal of Donald Trump as U.S. President. We call on the Vice President and every Cabinet member to invoke the 25th Amendment and that Congress pursue articles of impeachment for the protection, safety and stability of our country. President Trump has violated his oath to defend the Constitution, engaged in illegal and seditious acts, undermined a peaceful transition of power—and put the country, its leaders and people in danger.

As a religious institution, we live faithfully our role as a part of the critical fabric of our country’s moral conscience. And as Unitarian Universalists, we hold democracy as a central principle for our faith. We are compelled by the events of this week to call these actions what they were—attempts by insurrection to overthrow our duly elected government. This is a time for true accountability and courageous action in pursuit of a more just, equitable, multiracial and pluralistic democracy.

President Trump and other national leaders, including members of Congress, must be held accountable for inciting insurrectionist violence by spreading lies and false claims of election fraud and attempting to usurp the will of the American people. We condemn these treasonous attempts to subvert our democracy and prevent certification of the Electoral College vote. The inevitable result was the unlawful storming of the U.S. Capitol, the endangerment of Congressional leaders, staff, law enforcement, and multiple deaths.

We call on every member of Congress to act on their sworn Constitutional allegiance and tell the American people the truth—that the presidential election represented a free and fair election. Despite Donald Trump’s attempts to dress up false claims of fraud in a spurious legal cloak, the 2020 election was the largest and most transparent election in history. The outcome of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States represents the will of the American people.

The events witnessed at the Capitol are the predictable outcome of the racism and white supremacy that has been emboldened and given license by the President throughout his term, and without consequence. We call on our government to take this attack on our democracy seriously. White supremacist violence is the greatest threat to public safety and our democracy. From the daily news, to the warnings of federal intelligence experts, we know that the greatest ongoing domestic threats are from these extremists.

The President and his enablers sought to undermine the 2020 election and focused their efforts to delegitimize and throw out votes of Black, Indigenous and Latinx people across the country, especially in contested states. These efforts were a targeted attack, rooted in our country’s long practice of voter suppression and denying citizenship rights to people of color. An attack on voting rights and citizenship rights for any citizen is an attack on the rights of every citizen.

Black movement leaders have been warning us for years that this is the frightening impact of white supremacy culture, which was evident in our founding documents and throughout our country’s history. It was on clear display in the stark contrast of law enforcement’s minimal response to the white supremacist insurrectionists that breached the Capitol. Protests by the Movement for Black Lives, by comparison, were met with tanks, tear gas and bullets. From Charlottesville to Kenosha, Minneapolis to Michigan, we have seen this pattern repeated.

The disparity of police treatment is yet another example of the fundamental need to divest from a punitive and racist system of policing—and the need to invest instead in the health and well-being of our communities and civic life. The response to this attempted coup should not be more policing. The failure is not in a lack of policing but the pattern of complicity with these dangerous extremists. We must uphold our democratic values and lawful civic engagement even at the most difficult of times; it is the measure of our national character.

We must use this moment as an opportunity for profound reflection and awakening, not just in a momentary outcry, but as a basis for significant and lasting change.

Our Unitarian Universalist tradition is rooted in the values of human dignity, justice, compassion and democratic principles. We will remain vigilant in our commitment to protecting our democracy and the integrity of its principles and the rights of all its people.