I'm reading Mary Lee Settle's book Spanish Recognitions right now in preparation for my trip to Spain, and following some of that great country's history of religious persecution (they were the pros, boy) and the cruelties of their 20th century Civil War.
This steady encounter with the history of persecution(s) leaves me very impatient with the way contemporary Unitarian Universalists cry "persecution!" at the slightest provocation.
Persecution is having your toenails ripped out and your skin flayed for failing to convert to Christianity. Persecution is to be hunted down, raped and murdered for the crime of having brown skin and having lived on the land someone else wants, first. Persecution is being rounded up in the public square and shot for being a member of the wrong political party, or being placed on house arrest for five years for speaking out against fascism at a rally.
You are not being persecuted when the hymns include lyrics that do not resonate with us. We are not being persecuted if our 4th grader's religious education curriculum is Jesus And His Kingdom of Equals, and we don't want anyone in our family to have to think or hear about Jesus. We are not being persecuted if your congregation fails to vote the way we want them to on the budget.
Unitarian Universalists will be so much stronger when we identify more with our freedom than with our terminal uniqueness as individuals, and when we stop making a mockery of the real human crime of persecution by accusing each other of committing it every time someone does something or has an idea that doesn't include us.