Hi Friends –
It may be fair to say that Judgment and Justice was at one time and still may be Unity’s definitive statement regarding social justice. The article was first published in July 1912 in Unity magazine and then released as a tract in 1916.
I am comfortable in claiming that Judgment and Justice is definitive because the article was later used as Lesson 11 of the Unity Correspondence School, also entitled Judgment and Justice. Since it was part of the Correspondence School, every Unity minister through the mid 1970s was required to learn and write about its content. The inclusion in the Correspondence School makes it definitive, at least until then.
Further, Charles Fillmore kept a copy in is private papers and he preached on it as early as 1920. It is true that Charles Fillmore was not what we would call today a social activist. His focus was not so much the reform of society as it was the transformation of the individual and of individual consciousness. That is well documented in Reform Your God Thought. But he was never reticent about taking strong stands on issues that he believed were crucial to human progress, particularly the need for world peace, the ethical treatment of animals, the need for responsibility in human sexuality and the tragedy of addiction to alcohol and other stimulants.
Although the Correspondence School lesson makes Judgment and Justice definitive, I have found the original article by Arthur D. Hall to be a better reasoned discourse for those who are trying to create a world that works for all. The message of Judgment and Justice is two-fold:
There will be no justice until we relinquish our judgments.
There is plenty for everyone in the inexhaustible Source of All-Good.
I encourage you to read the article and the Correspondence School lesson and to let these affirmations become part of your thinking for today. There are two resources in the new Ministry Resources gallery on TruthUnity that may be helpful in framing these fundamental principles of truth.
One resource is the page about the Arbinger Institute and their work on The Anatomy of Peace. The book and the Arbinger teachings on justifications has helped me in a profound way to understand my own judgments and how my world will never be just until I let my judgments go. These teachings are getting noticed in Unity churches today; Unity Minneapolis taught them in a class last year and another well known church on the east coast is getting ready to do so as well.
A second resource is the page on Bread for the World, a Christian citizen’s lobby group that advocates for the elimination of hunger, here in the US and throughout the world. Two years ago I, along with a dozen other citizens from Maryland’s 7th congressional district, sat in the office of Elijah Cummings and declared that there is no need today for a child to be hungry.
So can you and so can members of your congregation. Their 2021 Virtual Advocacy Summit is in two weeks. We, as a denomination in the US, spend thousands of dollars, perhaps millions, trying to get out the word that there is plenty for everyone in the inexhaustible Source of All-Good. But we all too often fail to convey that message to the 525 most important people who can really do something about others who are hungry and destitute.
The email for this post is entitled “Where do we go from here?” From here means from our celebration of Juneteenth as a federal holiday and from Unity’s recent declarations regarding inclusion, diversity and equity. It is appropriate and necessary for churches to respond to needs of the moment, such as classes we are having today that explore our unfolding legacy of racism.
But one day the workshops and protests will pass; progress is made or our attention is redirected to new concerns. What will not pass and what has never passed is our need to remember that there will be no justice until we relinquish our judgments and our need to know that there is plenty for everyone in the inexhaustible Source of All-Good.
Father's Day, Sunday, June 20, 2021
See Judgment and Justice, the original article from Unity magazine July 1912 and also see the later iteration of this article as Lesson Eleven of the Unity Society Correspondence School Course]