UU Faith in Action: Prominent UU Women in the Struggle for Universal Suffrage
We Unitarian Universalists should be gratified and motivated by our heritage of leadership in social, economic, cultural and political reform. Speaking truth to power and challenging inequality and injustice is in our DNA, a core feature of our liberal religious faith and spiritual practice. This essential feature of our identity manifested itself widely and deeply in the struggle for universal suffrage, a struggle culminating in the passage in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that accorded women in the United States the right to vote. On this first Sunday of Women’s History Month, in this the centennial year of the Amendment’s ratification, we’ll honor some prominent UU women leaders of the Suffrage Movement, among them Mary Wollstonecraft, Judith Sargent, Margaret Fuller, Lucy Stone, Mary Livermore, Julia Ward Howe, and Rev. Olympia Brown. Their work on behalf of human rights in general, and women’s rights in particular, was firmly grounded in a faith which held, as its highest ideal, the liberation of the human spirit from narrow thought, lifeless creed, and social codes that fail to serve human needs, including the deeply experienced need for self-determination and spiritual fulfillment.