Interdependent Web: Brave ears, ‘mother’ of all bombs, white supremacy, and more

Interdependent Web: Brave ears, ‘mother’ of all bombs, white supremacy, and more

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.


Brave ears

Kim Hampton writes about being expected to play Mammie from Gone with the Wind.

I am expected to take care of white people (Miss Scarlett) in any situation; especially if the situation involves black women and white women. And it is really present in liberal circles. This expectation is exacerbated by the fact that I am a fat black woman. . . .

Unitarian Universalism is on the precipice of having some difficult conversations. MAYBE. (the possibility/probability of y’all flaking out is real)

What I worry about is that you, my white liberal friends, are going to go Miss Scarlett in the extreme and expect people of color to play Mammie to you to our emotional and spiritual detriment. (East of Midnight, April 11)

Liz James shares her hopes for becoming a person who listens at least as well as she speaks.

I want to be a person who can listen to a lot of different things, without confusing the pleasantness or power of the voice with the accuracy of the notes. I want people to be able to say hocus pokey when they mean hocus pokey, whether their voice is pretty or not. I want to be able to hear more things, without my needs jumping in the way of the person I am listening to and drowning out their voice.

I want to be a person with REALLY BRAVE ears. (Facebook, April 12)

White bloggers, white supremacy

The Rev. Tom Schade writes that “white supremacy” is exactly the right way to describe what’s happening in Unitarian Universalism.

This whole train of assumptions and conclusions are based on the idea that liberal religion and Unitarian Universalism are culturally appropriate to white people, but not so to people of color. It’s white supremacy, friends. (The Lively Tradition, April 11)

Kari Kopnick received hate email after the UU organization she works for supported the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn.

It’s not bothering me. I have been taught that the discomfort that I feel as a White person when I am confronted with the hard truth about the prizes and kickbacks I get in this world for having the heritage of a well-traveled Viking ancestor is nothing compared with the discomfort of having the very worth and dignity of your being assaulted on a regular basis when you are a person of color in this world. (Kari Kopnick, April 7)

The Rev. Dan Harper responds to a reader, who asked, “I was wondering if you had any practical input on how to teach his subject without making the non-white children in the congregation feel uncomfortable or singled out in the process.” (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, April 7)

Mothers don’t bomb anything

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein writes about the massive bomb dropped in Afghanistan this week: “What is this ‘mother of all bombs’ thing? Language matters!! Mothers don’t bomb anything.” (Facebook, April 13)

Drawing on his military experience, the Rev. David Pyle writes:

The MOAB is a big bomb... But we drop thousands of bombs and shoot thousands of missles every year around the world. If you accept that we are at war, and this was a valid military target, then this was an appropriate use of a conventional weapon.

It’s not about the bomb... or at least it should not be. It is about this war we have been in for almost 16 years, that the majority of our country has slept through. (Facebook, April 13)

Sacred stories

The Rev. Karen Hering urges us to remember the power of stories.

We are in a sacred time. Whether celebrating Passover or preparing for Easter or praising the abundance of birdsong and buds bursting out everywhere, we are all in a sacred time marked by stories of rising and uprising, of liberation and new life, of hope and relief from tyranny, suffering and dormancy. Powerful transformative stories told in words and in the earth’s changing seasons.

In this year, perhaps more clearly than in some others, we need stories like these. (Karen Hering, April 12)

The Rev. Robin Bartlett suggest that our prayers—those of the left and the right—could use more humility.

What I hear and see everywhere I go, in my denomination right now, in the world, especially in the echo chambers we have created on social media, is the Pharisee’s prayer.

“Dear God: thank you for making me a highly educated, perfect feminist who is staying woke about racism and recycling every day, and can spell and correct other people’s grammar. Thank you for giving me the heart to pick out my “coexist” bumper sticker for my Prius. Don’t blame me, I voted for Bernie. Amen.”

“Dear God: thank you for the gift to see an elitist who wants to take away my guns coming from a mile away. Thank you for making me a man who values hard work, not like those lazy welfare recipients. Thank you for reminding us that marriage is between one man and one woman and that Obama is the anti-Christ. Amen.”

Guess what we all should be praying instead? “God, be merciful on me, a sinner.” (Facebook, April 13)