By Rev. Kathleen Hepler
If you have driven by the First Parish at night, you have seen that it is awash in a purple glow. This is in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The theme for this year is “No Survivor Justice Without Racial Justice.” This statement recognizes that there is no hierarchy of oppressions. It is based on something called Collective Liberation and acknowledges that all peoples’ struggles are connected.
Systems such as racism, sexism, poverty, ableism, heterosexism, and ageism are all based on the assumption that there is a “natural” order to things that allows, invites, expects that some will have power over others. And these systems are partially fueled and sustained by physical violence toward others.
When we do not stand against this consciousness, we harm the liberation of all beings. So, we bathe the building in purple light to say that we Unitarian Universalist believe that each person is sacred and that violence toward any (emotional, financial, educational, economic, physical…) is a violation of the basic truth that we are equals in our humanity. And the light is the signal that we must be about living toward that truth, however elusive it seems sometimes.