Rev. Rob Keithan: The Enemy of the Good
We live in a culture that reveres perfectionism. And even when we know it shouldn’t be our goal, it can be hard to break out of ingrained patterns. How can we work to be good without trying to be perfect?
Resources from Rev. Keithan’s sermon:
In his sermon on imperfection, Rev. Keithan cited two resources related to race and racism that we want to share. First, the list of Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture that is being used at All Souls and hundreds of other UU congregations to help us build a more inclusive, justice-centered culture. As Rev. Keithan said, “It’s important to remember that they’re not listing characteristics of white people, they’re listing harmful characteristics of the dominant culture which impact everyone.” Second, he referenced that David Starr Jordan, one of the most prominent advocates of eugenics in the United States, was the number one selling author for the Unitarian Association’s Beacon Press in his day (1902-1913). According to his profile on the Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, “During that period, Beacon published 19 of Jordan’s books, more than by any other single author.” Third, the TEDx Talk “How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Discussing Race” by Jay Smooth offers a very insightful perspective on perfectionism as well as the humorous and helpful “dental hygiene model” of race discourse. Although focused on race, most of his insights and suggestions are application to other identities and oppressions as well.
Rev. Rob KeithanMinister of Social Justice