November 9th, 2016
Holly Near included these words in her song “Singing For Our Lives” “…We are a justice-seeking people and we are singing, singing for our lives . We are young and old together and we are singing, singing for our lives. We are a land of many colors and we are singing, singing for our lives. We are gay and straight together and we are singing, singing for our lives…”

Yesterday I thought I knew what the people in this country were hungry for, I was wrong. This morning I pondered the hell many have lived through in the last 6 months of this most horrible campaign. As a 49 year old man, in my opinion, it was one of the ugliest that I have ever witnessed.
Many of us seem to be “the others” in the eyes of the newly elected president: women, the LGBTQ community, and people of color. I was asked this morning “What are you thinking, I am afraid to be gay.” Another text said “I think I know how others felt when Hitler came for them.” Yes, this news is stunning, eye opening, and scary as hell for many people who call this country home. How will “our” home change? Will the LGBTQ community be subjected to conversion therapy? Will those who identify as Islamic face certain restrictions? Will the glass ceiling for women be lowered even more? How will treat people of color in general?
As many of us walk around numb for few months waiting to hear the beginning of what is to be, we MUST remember…

Donald Trump is our president. The majority of Americans that voted, felt that he was a better choice. This is the time for each of us to recommit to what our own personal values and beliefs are on important topics: people of color, LGBTQ rights, freedom of religion, and freedom FROM religion.

If the current state of affairs of our country is terrifying to you, I urge each of you to PLEASE reach out to the people you consider “the others” demonstrate our resolve with kindness, peace, understanding, and compassion.

The balance of power in the Federal Government is tilted to one party right now. If the GOP is a good steward with that power, they may retain it. And if they are not, there is always mid-term elections. I feel that so many voters forget that it is those we elect in our own states that we send to Washington that too often don’t get it right, and we continue to allow them to serve without term limits!

I continue to have faith in how America works. I hold out faith for our judicial system, they normally get it right. Our executive system can work, some say it is time for an over hall. I struggle with our legislative system. I do hope that part of “Make America Great Again” includes eliminating gridlock, corruption, and the fleecing of America by it’s elected leaders.

My Unitarian Universalist beliefs, has given me words (the 7 UU Principles) that are comforting to me: The inherent worth and dignity of every person. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. And respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. I cling to those principles today, perhaps more than I did yesterday.
And these words that I share that we are not alone: no matter who we are, where we are from, who we love, or what we believe. We are beautiful, we are loved, and we are worthy. Let us all take a deep breath in. Let us get through each day at a time together.
My final words; “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” -Winston Churchill May peace, love, and compassion be with us, and most importantly-from us-as we each continue singing for our own lives! Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with each us and how WE treat “the other.”

These are my words.  My beliefs. My truth.  And my understanding.  Thank you for allowing me to share them openly.  The work of the Inclusive Life Center is important, perhaps now, more than ever!

Rev. Royal D. Carleton, Chaplain