resistance (n.) mid-14c., from Old French resistance, earlier resistance, from Late Latin resistentia, from present participle stem of Latin resistere “make a stand against, oppose” (see resist). Meaning “organized covert opposition to an occupying or ruling power” [OED] is from 1939. Electromagnetic sense is from 1860.Path of least resistance is from 1825, originally a term in science and engineering.
Resistance may be a noun but it is an active one. It implies action. Over and against something. A forceful pushing. A wall. To hold back. The Resistance in Holland during WWII was an underground group that actively resisted the Germans and their presence in Holland. We hear the word a lot as a mindset: folks resisting, objecting to, holding back an idea or way of thought.
When I think of “resistance” as our theme for our worship this month at WUUC, I think of action. Of the actions of those who resist or take on injustice who challenge in word and deed the status quo of our society. I truly believe that to be a UU is to be engaged in resistance. We resist a religious culture of doctrine, indoctrination, and creeds, asking that each person take responsibility for their own spiritual and religious journey. We affirm that it is diversity and pluralism that is needed for any healthy eco-system of any kind.
We hold as a principle not just the “inherent worth and dignity of every person” but of the inherent worth of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part. Relationship trumps efficiency. Commitment to living in harmony rather than dominance over the natural world is more valued than greed.
This sort of resistance is “building a new way” in our world. Or maybe it is just lifting up what one author called “the Other America” that has been with us all the time. Those who have resisted the dominant culture since its inception. Those who see the world perhaps from the outside in rather than the inside out.
What is it that you wish to resist so that you may live an “undivided life?” A life that is full and rich in community, relationships, and values? May this be a month of resistance and an insistence on what you hold up and live by as having ultimate meaning and value…
Because I believe that being a UU is a form of resistance, I have compiled a resources to help us live our UUism. The first four links are about parenting UU children. The last one will give adults an entry point to explore UU resources around adult education and exploration.