Interdependent Web: A boot on the neck of the poor

Interdependent Web: A boot on the neck of the poor

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


This week the administration proposed a budget that prioritizes military spending, and sacrifices the wellbeing of poor people. By coincidence or design, many UUs wrote this week about poverty, social safety nets, financial realities, and caring for each other.

The Rev. James Ford noted that one thing most of the world’s religions have in common is some version of the Golden Rule.

We have just elected a president who draws the smallest possible circle of who gets to be a neighbor, whose actions seem vastly more in concert with Ayn Rand than with Jesus, Buddha, or, for that matter, Darwin.

Now, in Jewish history in such harsh times when the rich put their boot on the neck of the poor, prophets arise and rail against the imbalance.

I consider these things, and I wonder if that prophet isn’t getting ready to stand in front of the White House?

It feels that time is at hand. (Monkey Mind, March 11)

Chris Crass shared a charming story about his young son.

My five year old son, River, heard Trump might be coming to Louisville. His eyes widened, and then said, “Alright, I’m going to get my friends across the street and Aliza (his bestie next door) and my friends from school and we’ll march and I’ll give a speech. And we’ll have two police officers with us and I’ll say, Donald Trump you have two choices—peace and justice or racism. If he says racism, we’ll have the police arrest him and put him in jail.” (Facebook, March 10)

Andrew Hidas asked, “What is it about conservative Republicans that makes them so hostile to any measure that would provide adequate safety nets to the less endowed, the elderly, lower class working people, and, perish the thought: the unemployed?” (Traversing, March 11)

Doug Muder argued that the poor need better health insurance than the rich do.

In this article I want to argue that health insurance is a unique commodity, and in this instance our common sense is just wrong: The poorer you are, the better your health insurance needs to be. In this one situation, it’s the poor who should get the mansions and lobsters, while the rest of us occasionally make do with less. (The Weekly Sift, March 13)

The Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw compared the ease with which she prepared a healthy meal with how difficult the same meal would have been when she was less financially secure.

When we talk about how easy it should be for people living in poverty to just do it the way we do, we need to stop an look around.

At our houses and our dishes and our stoves and our knives.

At our car and our spice rack and our matching Tupperware.

Change the lenses and understand why maybe, just maybe, spending $3.00 at McDonalds is not so bad. (Chalice Fire, March 16)

Shauna Ahern wrote a letter to her young children about the joys of a disciplined budget—and the privilege of even relative financial stability.

I’ve said it in every one of these letters and so I’ll say it again: having a budget in the first place is a privilege. It means you have enough reliable income to be able to plan. Intentions, hard questions about the money we spend, the decision whether or not to buy the ceramic plate? Those are privilege. As our friend Tita said to me one day, “When you have to choose between having the flat tire on your car fixed and eating the next day? That’s when you’re really broke.” (Gluten Free Girl, March 16)

The Rev. Ron Robinson explained what a Liberal Redneck is.

Being a Liberal Redneck means caring more if someone treats their dog right than who they love, where they go to worship or if they do or not. It means caring more for where you hunt or fish than for the corporations that pollute where you hunt or fish. It means drinking beer across a fence with anyone more than building a wall between people. Liberal rednecks aren’t afraid of anyone, especially not families running for their lives looking for a home. Liberal rednecks know their ancestors cussed plantation owners too, and that they still had it better than their enslaved and Jim Crow-ed neighbors, and that it is time to join together in a New Reconstruction. Liberal rednecks may put an infinite number of syllables into Jesus’ name, but it is so they put his life of sacrifice and radical compassion and hospitality first and the pursuit of money without those things ain’t worth spit. (Facebook, March 11)