Blog roundup: Room for complicated feelings

Blog roundup: Room for complicated feelings

Highlights from the Unitarian Universalist conversation online, January through March 2019.


We must do better

Responding to UU World’s Spring 2019 article “ After L, G, and B,” CB Bealmodeled what could have been—a genderqueer person telling their own story: “My faith has once again, with every good intention, centered people who are understood as ‘typical’ and decentered marginalized people. The author makes common cause with other cisgender people who are confused. And I am right over here.” (Medium, March 6)

The Rev. KC Slack wrote, “I’m hurt by this piece and by the UU World’s choice to publish it at the exclusion of seeking out trans voices. . . . I need you to think about how self-congratulatory and self-declared allyship strangles marginalized communities which are already fighting for air. I am hurt, but I love you enough to think you can do better. So please try.” (Facebook, March 5)

Room for complicated feelings

Doug Muder ruthlessly examined the ways in which most men—including himself—have harmed women: “As a culture, we have consistently treated women like players in a game that they never signed up for. . . . Men in general (and not just a few bad men) have kept it going through our lifetimes and taught the next generation how to play. So it’s far past time that we take responsibility for that game and join women in demanding that it stop.” (Free and Responsible, March 1)

Liz James suggested that, when it comes to the #metoo movement, “sooner or later, we are going to need to start having conversations with more depth to them.” We have to stop sorting everyone into “monster” and “saint,” she says, because “This crap is so prevalent that it is also committed by men we love, men we respect, men who also do many good things. We need room for complicated feelings, for redemption, for learning.” (Facebook, December 31)

Strides toward becoming

The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford asked, “When did Unitarian Universalism become not just an inherited part of your identity, but a faith you chose, that you fell in love with? When did you see the high ideals of this faith and, breathless, feel in your heart that this was something you were called to live up to?” (Boots and Blessings, January 8)

The Rev. Aaron White combined current neuroscience with Emerson’s idea that we become what we worship, incorporating what we are learning about our brains: “With focused attention or deep habits, a substance called myelin wraps around neurons connecting them, making the path between them even faster. What was a residential road between two thoughts becomes the express lane; dial up internet becomes broadband in the mind. . . . And like that, a life is made.” (Possibility Conspiracy, February 16)

The Rev. Monica Dobbins celebrated the Mars Opportunity Rover and encouraged us to follow in its tracks: “[You]—yes, you! Little old you!—are brilliant, and you deserve to be out there among the stars, traveling at light speed, discovering things no one has ever seen before. What you are learning while you’re here, alive, with us, could change everything. We are anxiously awaiting your report, and we want to share ours with you. What could you accomplish this week, if you knew you had a ground team wishing you well?” (Facebook, February 17)

After being diagnosed with Adult ADHD in mid-life, Joseph Erhard-Hudson described the difficult work of moving past decades of accumulated shame: “This is my path. This. This. This. Mine. Mine. Mine. Here, where I am now, who I am now, this is my new path, through the land on the other side of shame. I don’t have to be the person that could be on a different path. I don’t even have to know the end of the path to follow the call.” (Rev. Heather Lou, March 7)

A united state of division

The Rev. Robin Bartlett, who has deliberately worked to maintain politically diverse relationships, wrote directly to her conservative friends: “I don’t want you to vote for Democrats if that’s not something you can do. . . . I just want to know why you don’t put forward better conservative leaders. I need you to take a stand for your own morals and principles—not mine. We all need you to.” (Facebook, March 23)

The Rev. Adam Lawrence Dyer described “A United State of Division” in which

one America wants private and independent
the other wants public and shared everything
one America wants everyone to win
the other wants only to be the winner
one America is a warrior
the other a protector.

(Spirituwellness, March 25)