Jul 7, 2019
The message was delivered on Sunday, July 7, 2019, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Diana K. Davies, Lead Minister, First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City, at the Humanist Service.
In early September of 2004, I was doing research in Moscow. It was a time of high tension. Two Russian planes had been blown up and a major Moscow subway station had been the site of a deadly terror attack. According to the Russian press, three Chechen women – roommates – were responsible for the plane and subway bombings. But there was a fourth roommate, believed to be at large in Moscow, who had gone missing. It turned out that I bore a resemblance to that woman. Everywhere I went, I was met with glares, stares, and harsh words. Back home in the post-9/11 U.S., the mainstream press and popular culture depicted terrorists as people who looked very different from me. So, it was a shock to find myself in the role of the feared “other,” presumed guilty, presumed to be a terrorist. I’ll share what I learned through this experience, as well as the questions that it raised for me about the legacy of violence, the tragedy of “othering,” and how we might move beyond fear.
*Music: Riley Kern, piano and vocal solo; Rick Fortner, piano
or text LOVEBB to 73256
All Souls Church Website: