In our faith tradition, we often say that “revelation is not sealed.” For Unitarian Universalists, this means that there is not one sacred text or religious figure that holds all of the truth and wisdom about life, living, and the mystery at the heart of things. In fact, we believe that religious wisdom, truth, and insight can be found in a variety of sources, including sacred scripture, nature, our own experiences, music, poetry, and more. Wisdom and insight continue to reveal themselves to us if we keep our hearts and minds open. This idea is central to who we are as a religious people.
What if we applied this notion that “revelation is not sealed” to everything we’re hearing from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman about Jamar Clark’s death, 61 seconds after officers showed up? I’m not pretending to know everything that happened that night, but if you’re white and armed, it seems that you won’t get shot in 61 seconds, no matter what you’re doing. And although DNA is critical in forensic analysis, it is no truth serum according to Patrick Sullivan, senior attorney in charge of forensic science litigation for the Hennepin County public defender’s office.
I’m not a lawyer or a forensic expert and it’s true that we may never know exactly what happened last November, but as a faith community grounded in reason and critical thinking, shouldn’t we at least question the racial narratives that are at play in the “evidence” andnarrative that Freeman presented?
Perhaps at the end of the day, this is our real spiritual work: to identify the racial narratives at play, in us and around us, in our faith community, our institutions, and our city itself. Perhaps the real work is to identify these false racial narratives, uproot them, and replace them with a narrative that is life-giving for us all.
I’ll see you church,