Thank you for helping raise up the voices of people our society and our economy have not valued as worthy of life. It’s tragic and ironic that Father Eric Freed, who advocated for loving-kindness for all people, was brutally slain by a person whose life and needs had not been honored. But Martin Luther King Jr. was right: “We are all held in an inescapable network of mutuality. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” even in the parish house of St. Bernard’s.
I don’t think we need any more evidence that not properly caring for one another is a danger to us all. I don’t think we could have a better example of a person taking serious responsibility with the resources he had than Father Freed.
Tragically, many of us with many more resources do not yet truly understand that we all are truly inter-related. Our society and our economy in so many ways still pit us against one another and engender’s disdain and hatred for one another rather than the mutual awe, reverence and creative support we deserve.
Betty Chinn’s efforts and your own newspaper are examples of what can happen when individuals open their hearts and minds to the humanity of everyone. Imagine what could happen if more of us opened our hearts and if more of us collectively worked to shape our society and our economy away from the winner take all mentality that leaves mentally ill people in agony on the streets and beloved priests dead in their bedrooms.
The prophet Isaiah really has it right: “Woe unto us when we join house to house and field to field until everywhere belongs to us and the orphan and the widow have no place to lay their head.”
Individually and collectively, I know we can all do better.
The Rev. Bryan D. Jessup, Minister
The Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship