Pro Roe Rally

Sunday evening, June 9, I had the privilege of being one of the speakers (pictured below, courtesy Indivisible Westford) at the Pro Roe Rally at the Westford TownPro Roe Speakers Common. My remarks stressed that the majority of people of faith in this country are pro-choice, and being pro-choice is a faith-filled stance. We must do all we can to protect Roe v. Wade! There was a great turnout at the rally, including many FCU parishioners.

I said in my remarks, I am here tonight on behalf of all people of faith in the United States who are pro-choice. Tonight, I am the symbolic reminder that there are people of faith who strongly support reproductive choice. The religious right in this country has put forward the notion that being godly or religious or having faith means that you are what they call ‘pro-life’, or what I would call ‘anti-choice’. But it’s simply not true. In fact, most Americans who are part of the faith community are pro-choice. Did you know that? It’s true! Who here tonight is a person of faith, in any religious or faith tradition, and is also pro-choice, in favor of upholding the Roe decision? See that? You are not alone! And there’s a reason for that. In short, the reason is that reproductive choice is a moral stance. It’s a faith-filled stance.”

“We people of faith who support the Roe decision (which is to say the majority of people of faith in the USA) know that people deserve to make decisions about their own bodies. We know that women and transgender persons who get pregnant should have agency over their own bodies and lives. We know that those persons who find themselves pregnant often have very compelling reasons to end those pregnancies. But really, it’s not for me to stand here and tell you what are the good reasons or the justifiable reasons to end a pregnancy. That’s the point. If it’s not my pregnancy, it’s not my choice, nor should it be. I have my moral and religious convictions, and so do each of you!”

HDS students and Cornel West

FlyerRadicalFutureLast night I had the pleasure of participating in an event put on by the Harvard Divinity School Socialists called “Living a Radical Future: The Spiritual Opportunities of Socialism.” I was (unbelievably) on the bill with Dr. Cornel West! (Flyer to the left.) It’s sort of a fluke that I got to do this; the Harvard Divinity School students saw that I was in the “editorial group” of Religion and Socialism (of DSA), and that I was local, and an HDS grad. So, lucky me!

The event was in Andover Chapel, which I hadn’t stepped foot in since 1997, 21 years ago! I was surprised to find the pews are gone, with lovely chairs creating a much more versatile space.

It was great to meet the current HDS students, too. They gave me so much hope. They were predominantly from the Millennial generation, and they seem so advanced in their understanding of democratic socialism.

When I was a student at HDS in the mid-90s, it was through taking a class with Dr. West (called “Religion and Cultural Criticism”) that I ultimately learned about the concept of democratic socialism (as opposed to the “scary” versions of socialism that I’d been taught about growing up). And it was through Dr. West that I heard about DSA (the Democratic Socialists of America), since Dr. West has been an honorary Co-Chair of DSA for quite some time.

I attended quite a few meetings of a start-up version of Harvard YDSA (Young DSA), but there were only a handful of us (four – seven, tops) at each meeting, though it was university-wide. This was around 1995-97. At last night’s gathering of HDS Socialists (just Divinity School Students, not university-wide), there were probably 85 people there! It was wonderful.

Cornel West Lara Hoke HDS Nov 2018I had the honor, after giving brief remarks, of introducing my hero, Dr. Cornel West. I felt unworthy of this, but I did it anyway!

Dr. West is so brilliant. I had the privilege of learning from him, once again.

In addition to being as intelligent as anyone I’ve ever met, he is also as warm and sweet as anyone I’ve ever met. What a great human being.

Yes on 3!

yeson3 fcu littleton
First Church Unitarian, Littleton, says “Vote YES on 3!”

The FCU Standing Committee voted unanimously to endorse “Yes on 3”, and the Deacons and I unanimously agree. We are part of a larger faith coalition in support of this measure. “Yes on 3” is a campaign of Freedom Massachusetts to support ballot initiative 3 this November. Voting YES on Question 3 means voting “to uphold dignity and respect for our transgender neighbors”. As an LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation, it is in line with our values to take this public stance. There are now “Yes on 3” yard signs at FCU. Learn more at!


Another welcome article, and…

Recently, the Littleton Independent welcomed me to town, which I very much appreciated. You can read that article here.

So much has been happening in the world. I have been all-consumed (in a good way!) with getting up to speed here at my new, wonderful congregation. But this week, the outside world really came screaming in with the Kavanaugh hearings. That is very much on my mind today.

believeThe UUA President, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, is in D.C. today with other clergy to try to #StopKavanaugh. She will deliver a petition that UUs were invited to sign onto here.

My heart goes out today to all those people who have been triggered by this recent discussion. There are many of us. May our nation find the wisdom and strength to overcome rape culture and our larger culture of violence.