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Blog roundup, Summer 2009

Online responses to UU World.
By Christopher L. Walton
Summer 2009 5.15.09

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Many people discuss Unitarian Universalism and UU World stories on blogs. Keep up with the online conversation: Read uuworld.org’s blog, “The Interdependent Web,” which highlights the best blog commentary each week.

UUA Moderator Gini Courter explained the Board of Trustees’ changes in policy regarding “independent affiliate organizations” in a letter published on trustee Linda Laskowski’s blog, “UUA View from Berkeley,” (February 2). At its January meeting, the board voted to stop granting independent affiliate status altogether; see “UU News,” page 49, February 2.

Bloggers reacted to the February 9 guilty pleas of Jim David Adkisson, who murdered two and injured six others in a shotgun attack on the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Univer­salist Church in Knoxville last July, and to the release of the manifesto Adkisson wrote prior to the shooting (see “UU News,” page 41, February 16).

Sara Robinson at “Orcinus” read Adkisson’s manifesto and concluded that “right-wing eliminationism” drove Adkisson to kill two Unitarian Universalists. She argued that liberals “are no longer safe, not even in our own houses of worship,” but added, “The right wing has, as usual, grossly underestimated our cour­age and our commitment” (February 10).

Ogre at “Sparks in the Dark” compared right-wing talk radio to the genocide-inciting broadcasts in Rwanda in 1994: “Radio Rwanda called for people to go and kill the cockroaches—and Tutus were massacred. Adkisson’s been listening to American Hate Radio—and what he heard is what he wrote, that liberals are a pest like termites, and should be killed” (February 10).

Lizard Eater at “The Journey” thought that Christine Robinson’s UU World essay “Imagineers of Soul” was “slamming hands on the steering wheel good” (February 23). In the comments, UUMomma wrote, “I’m crying as I read it, wishing I had had an ‘Imagineer of the Soul’ to turn to, a safe place to be vulnerable. This is why I go to church.

At “California Girl in Massachu­setts,” the Rev. Dorothy Emerson liked Joanna Fontaine Crawford’s uuworld.org article about the Inter­national Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women, “Reclaiming My Space in the Sisterhood” (March 16), but wrote, “I must say I feel misunderstood and rejected by her labeling of the opening ceremony as ‘hippie pagan’” (March 19).

The Rev. Daniel Harper an­nounced that poet Everett Hoagland, a member of his congregation, will be inducted into the International Liter­ary Hall of Fame for Writers of Afri­can Descent (March 30). UU World featured Hoagland’s poetry in July/August 2004.

Bloggers also discussed Facebook, the fast-growing social-networking site. The Rev. Victoria Weinstein defended the site from hand wringers who worry it is eroding “real” relationships (“PeaceBang,” March 10). Chalicechick posed questions about how youth group advisors can or should engage youth on Facebook (“The Chaliceblog,” March 22). Lizard Eater explored the complex topic of ministerial boundaries on Facebook, generating lots of feedback (“The Journey,” March 23).

At “CUUMBAYA,” Pagan UU Joel Monka responded to Doug Muder’s uuworld.org column, “A Religion for Hard Times”: “My spiritual life has been greatly enhanced by my UU experiences. But despite having been an enthusiastic UU for more than a dozen years, I’m afraid that UU itself is still like monosodium glutamate in my life—a flavor enhancer for what I already had, rather than a stand-alone religion in its own right” (April 8).


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