Statement Regarding January 6, 2021

The First Parish Stoughton Board of Trustees makes the following statement regarding the events in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021:

First Parish of Stoughton, MA, a lay-led Unitarian Universalist community, is firmly against the events that happened in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. As Unitarian Universalists, we emphasize the importance of the democratic process in our communities and society at large; it is our 5th core value. Attempting to interrupt or overthrow the valid and verified democratic process of the 2020 Presidential Election is an act of insurgency which we condemn.

As Unitarian Universalists, we are also called to undertake a free and responsible search for truth; it is our 4th core value. We emphasize the importance of responsibility in assessing what is true. Claims of widespread election fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election have been rejected by all credible journalistic and legal reviews. We firmly state that these claims do not reach the threshold of truth in any responsible search.
Of equal importance is our 2nd core value which calls for justice and equity. We all, throughout the United States, need to face that we saw an incredibly different response from law enforcement to a mob that violently and destructively invaded the U.S. Capitol building while Congress was in session, versus the responses we have seen to recent anti-racism protests. We are called by our beliefs to face this stark reality and acknowledge that the race of the people protesting plays a pivotal role in how much they will be viewed as a threat, and therefore how much force will be used against them. This reality is counter to our value of justice and equity; we invite all in our community to join us in the work of dismantling racism in all its forms, including white supremacy, and moving our culture toward the justice and equity that is every person’s right.

The rift in our nation is vast, and there is much work to do in order to repair it. Now is the time for accountability, for reckoning with the damage done, and for vigilance against further harm. We at First Parish Stoughton commit ourselves to doing this hard work with the goal of healing and of coming together, anchored by a collective commitment to truth, justice, and love.