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Blog roundup, Winter 2010

Online responses to UU World.
By Kenneth Sutton
Winter 2010 11.1.10

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

“UUMomma” discusses her reaction to the UU World articles on UU culture (Summer 2010), arguing that the most important thing is “to create worship services that feed all our senses and help more people in on the good news that is our faith.” (May 31)

Shawna Foster responds to John Katz’s essay, “I’m Proud of UU Culture.” “That’s the problem I have with the dominant UU culture. I don’t come from it. I was born in a trailer. Those songs that you disdain? They are my songs. The words that you use to describe them? Come from a college education, which most people I know do not have.” (August 9)

After remarking on some of the complexities of expanding diversity within the UU community, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum concludes, “We need to make sure we examine and broaden our UU culture without making people who fit this dominant culture ashamed of who they are or feel like they’re being told they’re either irrelevant, unwelcome, or, at best, highly problematic in their being.” (May 26)

The Rev. David Pyle at “Celestial Lands” was troubled by the way the debate about holding the 2012 General Assembly in Arizona was framed “in ways that, while they may lessen anxiety and lead to less conflict, may detract from the democratic nature of our faith governance and be more than a little conflict-avoidant.” (June 27)

Kinsi at “Spirituality and Sunflowers” wishes that social justice had not been such a prominent theme at GA. “I see the top three priorities of Unitarian Universalism as worship, community, and education. Social Justice would probably come fourth. It certainly is an aspect of our faith, but it’s not what makes our faith a faith.” (June 30)

The Rev. Chip Roush at “The Yes Church” believes the main value of Actions of Immediate Witness at GA “is to allow people to voice their feelings. Perhaps doing away with the messy vote process, and deepening the opportunity for lamentation, would better serve our delegates and our movement.” (July 2)

The Rev. John Cullinan at “UU Los Alamos Blog” uses UUA President Peter Morales’s definition of religion from his Spring “Hand in Hand” column to show how Unitarian Universalism is a religion: “I’ve told newcomers for years that Unitarian Universalism is a religion, but not a religion that stresses what to believe. Rather, we focus on how we should be together.” (June 1)

In response to the UUA’s decision to move its investments to TIAA-CREF, the Rev. Colin Bossen at “The Latest Form of Infidelity” is glad “that the UUA has come to a place where the Board is willing to make a stand of some sort over issues of responsible investing. What we do with our money is an expression of our moral values.” (May 28)

There were many posts by UU bloggers, both participants and observers, about the demonstrations on July 29 to protest Arizona SB 1070. For a sample, look on our “Interdependent Web” blog, as well as on the Facebook pages of UUA Immigration, Standing on the Side of Love, and UUA Moderator Gini Courter. (August 2 and August 6)

The “UU Salon” encourages bloggers to address “the Big Questions in life” by suggesting a monthly topic such as “What is the nature of evil?” “UU Salon” links to all the replies.

Sometimes a theme appears among otherwise unconnected blogs. “Death Becomes Her” manages to write at “Auspicious Jots” with humor about her own grief after the suicide of a family member. “It is hard to write accurately what it feels like to be a grief zombie because the core of my zombie life is not having feelings.” And the next day, she responds to concerns that she has published such personal information. “So why wouldn’t I confess to being a grief zombie? I’ve known lots of grief zombies. They were perfectly nice people. . . . This isn’t ‘intimate.’ This is just life.” (September 15 and 16)

The Rev. Meg Riley, blogging at the Huffington Post, reflects on the suicide of an old friend. “There was distance between us. Yet I feel in my bones this morning how distance is not the same as separation—there is no separation from grief, or loss, or the bewilderment that suicide always leaves in its wake.” (September 22)

The Rev. Debra W. Haffner at “Sexuality and Religion: What’s the Connection?” wrote to the Today Show about their coverage of Tyler Clementi’s suicide. “Your piece . . . focused almost exclusively on the dangers of webcams and internet posting, rather than addressing what drove Tyler to take his life. If Tyler had been kissing a girl, this tape wouldn’t have been made. . . . Homophobia and hate caused his death, and you inadvertently add to the problem when you don’t even mention it.” (September 30)

Many bloggers republished the charge the Rev. Ian White Maher delivered at the Rev. Jason Lydon’s ordination ceremony, which he shared on Facebook. “The church has to change. We are insular and often irrelevant. Many members in our older generations are plagued with resentments of how they were raised, and the younger generations, well, they leave largely because these resentments have impoverished our spiritual life. I am tired of the young generation leaving the movement, because we are not fed here.” (September 22)

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