Robin Banker (UUFR Board Member)

UUFR is a place where I can raise my children in a faith that affirms the worth and dignity of every person regardless of skin color, religion or sexual orientation.

My parents are awesome. They raised three very individual people. I’ve been divorced about four years now and when I first brought Jonathan around a couple of years ago they were very welcoming and accepting of him. I mentioned this to my dear friend Durenda, whom I’ve been close to since middle school and who happens to be black, and she replied, “Well of course Robin, your parents are some of the most accepting people I know.” I smiled with pride and thought, yes, yes they are.

But, there’s my sister…raised by the same parents, but who likely voted for Trump. I’m honestly too afraid to ask her outright because I just don’t want to know the answer.

You see I have this distinct memory from high school. My sister’s friend Edgar invited her to visit his Pentecostal church. My parents, of course, said, sure. My sister began attending and she started to change. Her physical appearance changed – her hair grew long, she wore longs skirts and she even stopped wearing earrings – but only on Sundays. I remember sitting on the couch as she walked by and asking her, “Why is it that you can show your ankle, but you can’t show this part of your arm?” And she replied, “I don’t know, they haven’t told me yet.”

She was just going along… More alarmingly though, was her views on people, even her friends – we had always had black friends, but I remember her referring to some of them with the N word and then she became very anti-gay and lesbian and proclaimed that all Jews were going to hell and she became strongly pro-life. It’s been 20 years since we graduated from high school, and like I said, she probably voted for Trump.

I don’t think I can ever change my sister, but what I can do is raise my children in a faith that affirms the worth and dignity of every person regardless of skin color, religion or sexual orientation. What I can do is support this congregation financially with a yearly fair share pledge and a make my monthly contribution so that perhaps someday my kids could invite some of their friends to visit OUR church and the story will be different.