A Plea for Unity

– by Rev. Leland Sewart

The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music, where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.”  ~ Baha’i Faith, Science and Spirituality, page 192


This Tuesday is, at last, the time for California to have its chance to vote in what has been a most unusual and divisive election.  Many Republicans, and Democrats as well, are not satisfied with the Republican choice for President.  Many in both parties seem to be having issues with Hillary Clinton, even though she is about to be the Democratic nominee.  Bernie Sanders was a dark horse candidate who has come from behind and is making a strong showing, but likely without the delegates to win the nomination.

This election needs to bring itself together and come up with a clear choice for our next President.  What appears to be needed in the midst of a divided Republican party, is for Hillary and Bernie to find a way to work together and come out with a unified Democratic Party by cooperating with each other.  To continue to be offering different alternatives and not to find common ground would be to run the risk of losing the election to a candidate who appears to be putting the country and world at risk.

While my purpose here is not to tell you who to vote for, I am making a plea for unity in this election and finding a way to offer strength and clarity as we move forward into the final months till we have our vote in November.   California often is so close to the end of its time to vote that its vote does not make much difference.  This time the completion of the primaries leaves our state in a most crucial position.  So it is most important to vote especially this year and to focus on creating unity in the process.

The Unity-and-Diversity World Council is based upon the central idea of democracy, which is the principle of unity-and-diversity.  In the midst of the many, there is the one.   E pluribus unum.  It is our task of find unity in the midst of a diversity of races, cultures, and religions.  It is our opportunity to be good listeners and to find solutions to what might otherwise seem impossible.  This election gives us a special opportunity to show our capability at creating unity in the midst of a wide diversity of political views, attitudes toward the effectiveness of government, and our basic respect for each other.

I also want to say that we have just had eight years of our first Black president.  Instead of unduly criticizing him and trying to undo his many efforts to solve our nation’s problems, I feel that we should appreciate how effective he has been in many ways.  He has a wonderful wife, and he has not had marital infidelity problems.  He has shown respect for his fellow Americans and has attended to resolving conflicts occurring during his presidency.  He is the first president who has been able to set up a new health care system.  Instead of our trying to do away with everything he has worked for, we would do better to attempt to improve what has been accomplished through these eight years.

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!



“I believe we will have better government when men and women discuss public issues together and make their decisions on the basis of their common concern for the welfare of their families and their world.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, quoted in Science and Spirituality, page 144

The national election which is unfolding in our midst comes at a very crucial time both in our country and around the world.  We need as our next president a person who has a unifying presence and a steady hand to cope with the many divisive forces at work in our country and throughout the planet.  We also need to have someone who can support the moral and spiritual values that are essential for the preservation and development of what makes this country outstanding and able to provide some capable leadership for the world at large.

It is not my concern to say who we should vote for, but I do feel called upon to focus our attention on the basics that matter in our carrying forth the spirit of democracy.  Abraham Lincoln spoke about that spirit as “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”, and that it “should not perish from the earth”.  First of all, we need to pay attention to the political process and make sure that we are choosing the person who will be our best representative of the democratic spirit.  We need the largest possible participation in the voting on election day, and it needs to be by those who really have considered carefully what the results should be.

The spirit of mutual respect and concern which is arising in the interfaith movement gives a good indication as to the attitude that is needed as well in the political process.  Instead of criticizing each other, we are better off to focus on what each candidate has to offer and make sure that everyone has a chance to understand the real essence of what each candidate stands for.  In that way we will have a much better chance of choosing well between the various candidates that are running.

It is also important that we continue those areas that are working, as well as changing those which either are not working or are in need of improvement.  Each administration will have something new to offer, but there needs to be as much continuity as possible.

This past Tuesday was “super Tuesday”, which is when a number of states vote simultaneously. And many more state primaries and caucuses follow. It will have a very important impact on the final outcome of the election.  It is important, therefore, that each of us pay close attention to what is happening, even though Californians, where I am, will not vote until June.  May the results bring great promise for the next four years and beyond!

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!