To the Editor, Midland Daily News:
Dear friends, I am deeply troubled. The doors of the first Unitarian church in Midland had barely opened in 1885 before letters to the editor slammed them for heresy. And now, more than 125 years later, recent letters again condemn people in our community with different religious beliefs (see third letter and here).
Every prophet throughout history has taught one lesson in common…Love. Love of mother and father. Love of our children. Love of our enemies. Love of all our neighbors, be they rich or poor, White or Black, man or woman, gay or straight, believer or nonbeliever. Why do you preach hate and intolerance when your own scriptures teach gentleness, kindness, and hospitality?
You have neighbors who love you. Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Agnostic – and yes even Atheist – neighbors who love you. And I love you.
We ask nothing but to be allowed to live our lives freely, with respect and dignity. We do not ask you to change your beliefs, merely to permit us to have our own. People of faiths different from yours are not evil. Atheists are not evil. Evil is the void in a heart where Love should reside.
If you share this Love, I invite you to visit http://www.standingonthesideoflove.org/. Standing on the Side of Love is a public advocacy campaign that seeks to harness Love’s power to stop oppression. It is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and people of all faiths and beliefs are welcomed to join.
Rev. Jeff Liebmann