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Blog roundup, Fall 2013

Online responses to UU World.
By Heather Christensen
Fall 2013 8.15.13

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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.


Boston bombings

The Rev. Tom Schade of The Lively Tradition wrote about why liberal people express compassion for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev: “Spiritual liberalism notices that if you build a habit of compassion, you will be happier, healthier, more able to love and receive love. The world will be better, too.” (April 20)

For the Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford of Boots and Blessings, moving quickly beyond rage to compassion was too much of a stretch: “There are some who already, or from the very beginning, had hearts of compassion not only for those hurt, but for the person(s) behind this. . . . I am not so spiritually advanced.” ( April 17)


Tornadoes

The Rev. Lynn Ungar addressed God’s role in natural disasters on the Quest for Meaning blog: “How I hate that phrase, act of God. As if God would come down from the clouds to smite a town out of, what, spite? . . . You will not find God in the great wind, any more than Elijah did.” (May 21)

For Rebecca Hecking of Breath and Water, the tornado was a reminder of our powerlessness in the face of Nature: “All our technology couldn’t stop a tornado. Whether we wanted to or not, for a brief moment, the culture bowed to wildness, to Nature in full fury.” (May 23)*


Supreme Court rulings

Writing at Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout, Patrick Murfin reviewed the Supreme Court’s June rulings: “Taken on the whole, it is easy to see that this Court did not navigate the illusionary center path but was the consistent champion of privilege and authority. Reversing the damage that this Court has done will take concerted action in the streets and in the voting booth and a united movement.” (June 27)

Diane Daniel, writing at She Was the Man of My Dreams, shared how the court’s decision on DOMA will affect her family: “Transgender rights are still badly in need of an update, but, like I said, I’m focusing on gratitude today. My marriage is legal, but it’s a gray area of the law, which is not comforting. I told Lina today that if the Justice Department rules that marriage in any ‘legal’ state transfers to other states as far as federal protections go, we are getting married. Again. ASAP.” (June 26)

As he read the Voting Rights Act and DOMA rulings back-to-back, Doug Muder of The Weekly Sift concluded that the justices writing for the majority in each case exhibited substandard legal reasoning: “As my high school algebra teacher used to say: ‘Show your work.’ . . . You can’t just list a bunch of facts and then state a conclusion, as if the logic connecting them must be obvious to everybody.” (July 1)


Refining our faith

The Rev. Meredith Garmon of Lake Chalice admitted that he once said that “we can believe whatever we want to” and received a scolding from a UU elder: “You think I believe in what I do because I want to?” she said. “I believe this because I have to. You think here in Waco, Texas, my life wouldn’t be a lot easier if I could be a Baptist? But I can’t. My conscience won’t let me.” (June 12)

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein of PeaceBang challenged our congregations to become places where people actively grow in faith: “If I go to the gym and people are sprawled out napping on the floor of the aerobics studio, I will think the gym management is not just remiss, but nuts. It’s no different in church.” (June 10)

Karen Johnston of Irrevspeckay warned about spiritual manifest destiny: “When we hear something of resonance enacted or proclaimed by someone of another faith and then call them UU . . . it is a kind of spiritual manifest destiny, claiming particular thoughts, values, or beliefs as ours and ours alone, even if others have displayed them for centuries or millennia before the arrival of us latecomers.” (May 26)


The power of personal stories

Writing at Sermons in Stones about gun safety, the Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern told the story of her aunt’s murder by her uncle: “If we had decided to arm the good citizens of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, so that they might protect us from machine-gun-wielding drug dealers and mass murderers, Jimmy could have been first in line, and he would have been handed a lethal weapon with a smile. And taken it home and used it exactly the way he did use it.” (June 3)

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum of Rev. Cyn came out of the fat closet, calling on UU congregations to consider how welcoming they are: “[Here’s] the vision I hold out—fat people could walk into your sanctuary and know instantly that they are welcomed in your church. What would it take to make that a reality?” (June 7)


This article appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of UU World (pages 60–61). See sidebar for links to related resources.

Correction 8.15.13: The version of this story that appeared in the print edition misidentified the writer of Breath and Water. It is Rebecca Hecking. Click here to return to the corrected paragraph.

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