By: Rev. Kelli Clement
Assistant Minister, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis
In my family we celebrate the big three winter holidays: winter solstice, Hanukkah, and Christmas. It’s not hard to find the work of reproductive justice present in each of these celebrations. The winter solstice reminds us that in a time of cold and dark, warmth and light are on the way. In these days when access to abortion is ever more restricted, when reproductive health and freedom are precarious at best, the work of UnRestrict Minnesota shines as a beacon of positive action. It sure does feel good and right to be working for something, rather than always being on the defensive.
The celebration of Hanukkah is all about religious freedom. The Maccabees stood up to the oppressive state army under which they lived. They took back the Temple, which had been desecrated. The First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, which I serve as Social Justice Minister, is engaged in the fight for religious freedom. The strong religious freedom protections in the Minnesota constitution mean that the state has no right, using a narrow and false reading of scripture, to influence people seeking abortions. Humanists, atheists, agnostics, pagans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Unitarian Universalists, and all other people of faith and no faith in Minnesota must be free to make the decision to have or not have an abortion without the state exerting undue influence.
In the Christmas story of Mary and her baby, Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel, who tells her she will become pregnant with a holy child, the Son of God. After her questions are answered, Mary responds, “Let it be with me as you have said.” Mary decides, she chooses to welcome this news, to welcome this pregnancy. All people should be able to choose their path, whether that includes parenthood or not.
Bright blessings of the season to you and your beloveds. May 2020 bring more peace, more justice, more love to us all.