“Born Free and Equal: Time for Resistance,” Bruce Knotts

My sermon will focus on the three words of the motto of France, Liberté, égalité, fraternité (Liberty, Equality and Fraternity).  I will discuss how America has focused on Liberty, but it has neglected the importance of Equality and Fraternity (caring for others).  I will discuss the marginalization of Americans based on race, sexual orientation and gender identity in the most important areas of life, with particular focus on unequal applications of criminal justice, deprivation of voting rights and overfunding the military industrial complex, to the detriment of more important areas of life.

Here’s just one sentence from the sermon, “The war on drugs, the war on terror, mass incarceration, breaking down doors in black neighborhoods and spraying mace in grandma’s eyes and killing her grandson and doing the same in Iraqi neighborhoods and expecting these military solutions to produce anything good is madness of the first order.”  To hear the rest, please join us on March 5th.

Bruce Knotts was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia, worked for Raytheon in Saudi Arabia (1976-80) and on a World Bank contract in Somalia (1982-4), before he joined the Department of State as a U.S. diplomat in 1984.  Bruce had diplomatic assignments in Greece, Zambia, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire and The Gambia, where he served as Deputy Chief of Mission.  While in Cote d’Ivoire, Bruce served as the Regional Refugee Coordinator for West Africa.  Bruce worked closely with several UN Special Representatives and observed UN peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone from 2000-2003.  Bruce retired from the Foreign Service in 2007 and began directing the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) in 2008.  Bruce founded faith-based advocacy for sexual orientation/gender identity human rights at the United Nations and continues to advocate for the rights of women, indigenous peoples and for sustainable development in moral terms of faith and values.  Bruce is co-chair of the UN NGO Committee on Human Rights, the chair of the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, a member of the NGO UN Security Council Working Group, serves on the Board of the NGO UN Committee on Sustainable Development and he chairs of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee which represents 1,400 DPI affiliated NGOs at the UN.  In 2006, Bruce and Isaac Humphrie were wed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Isaac works internationally as an event environmentalist, photographer and social media consultant.