Interdependent Web: A revolutionary story, birthing the light, practical strategies

Interdependent Web: A revolutionary story, birthing the light, practical strategies

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

Heather Christensen


A revolutionary story

The Rev. Tony Lorenzen writes that the Christmas story is a revolutionary one.

The essence of the Christmas story is this: Love shows up in an unexpected place and an unexpected person in an unexpected way and challenges the arrogance, conceit and control of the cruel, the powerful, and the violent. Retold in various ways this story is also The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars, and A Wrinkle in Time, and The Wizard of Oz, and The Hunger Games, and others. Dressed in these different clothes, most people get the story. But with Christmas, a lot of people still miss the point. I can’t believe so many people still get this story wrong. It’s a simple story. And a revolutionary one. (Sunflower Chalice, December 21)

The Rev. Lynn Ungar is working to get in the Christmas spirit—and some parts of the story are easier to connect with than others.

[There] is something in my little Jewish-UU heart that is reaching out toward Christmas this year. The story of Mary and Joseph traveling because they had to sign themselves onto a government registry. The story of the couple looking for shelter in their time of greatest need. The story of a fragile king who ordered the slaughter of innocents because he couldn’t handle the prospect of a threat to his own power. The story which imagines the nature of the new-born king to be something so different from the despotic Herod that even now we have a hard time imagining what sort of a king could align himself with the poor and the outcast, insisting that power means something utterly unlike the kind of power that the crowned kings tried to grab and maintain at all cost. (Quest for Meaning, December 15)

Birthing the light

The Rev. Peggy Clarke reminds us, at this darkest part of the year, of our call to birth the light.

[We] are, again, at a moment of turning. Earth can no longer sustain our appetite for consumption. The industrial growth economy that requires demonstrable growth in every calendar quarter, demands an incessant and unceasing stripping of natural resources from Earth. The transition we’re seeing is from an unsustainable economy to a life-sustaining society committed to the recovery of our world. . . .

Earth is turning again. We are in the last days of darkness, the days when Loki is aiming his poison at the light, hoping to burn out the sun. Frigga can see what’s coming, and in her grief, she will birth the light once again. (Voices of Liberal Faith, December 20)

The Rev. Amy Beltaine encourages us to pull together—all of us—because we have a winter to get through.

We may not be able to agree on which politician (if any) can get us out of this frustrating mess, but we can probably agree that it is a mess. We can agree that the struggles we are feeling now feel like the time of the winter king: the painful, cold, struggle to survive, the lack of resources, lack of comfort, the depressing absence of light and hope, and the worry about the coming days. (Nature’s Path, December 19)

Practical strategies

The Rev. Tom Schade admits that he is embarrassed by the scatteredness of post-election opposition to Trump.

The requirements of leadership include not leading people on wild-goose chases. Having a strategy beneath the tactics. Not projecting images of ineffectuality or frivolity. Not promising more than can be delivered. Not endangering people and institutions without careful consideration. Demonstrating a realistic sense of what is possible in the moment and what is not. (The Lively Tradition, December 20)

The Rev. Gretchen Haley shares practical information from a meeting with her congressional representative, Jared Polis. (Facebook, December 20)

The Rev. Dawn Cooley pens an impatient letter to Democratic Party leadership.

Progressives have a compelling message, if you would just claim it. Claim your voice, proudly. Claim your values. Stop being so wishy-washy-wait-and-see because there is an army of us who are behind you and who will put our bodies on the line for our cause.

And if you realize that maybe we are actually too bold for you, if you find yourself confused by how upset we are and how scared we are and HOW ANGRY we are, or if you don’t have the courage to speak up, then may, just maybe, you need to get out of the way so that others can step up. (Speaking of, December 19)

Doug Muder explores how Trump voters will change their minds.

Trumpism will fail as a political movement because the people who voted for Trump will look at their own undeniable experiences and change their minds. It’s something they will do for themselves, not something we can do to them or for them. The best we can do is to help that process along. (The Weekly Sift, December 19)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern shares a video which shows the real cost of “easing regulations.” (Sermons in Stones, December 18)

Alex Kapitan provides a brief list of post-election words to know, beginning with alt-right, and ending with white nationalism. (Radical Copyeditor, December 22)

The Rev. Robin Bartlett has a simple post-election strategy—paying for the coffee of the person behind her in the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru.

I know the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru in a small town in Massachusetts is probably fairly insignificant in the fight for the soul of a nation. But I think it may be significant for my soul, which has to be where this revolution starts. Maybe we all need these small acts of resistance against the worst of who we can be to remind ourselves to whom we ultimately belong: to each other, and to God who is Love. (Facebook, December 20)

The Rev. Jake Morrill reminds us that this is not a time for wishful thinking, handholding, infighting or purity tests.

No single tactic will de-fang the incoming President, who dishonors our country and threatens her people. Instead, resistance has to come in a million ways, from a million perspectives, each of us in our gifts and positions, using what we have to become instruments of all-conquering love. . . . The winning coalition isn’t focused on utter agreement. It’s focused on impact. Division is distraction. Keep your eye on the prize. Love isn’t meek. It’s tough, it’s generous, it’s forgiving, tireless, and creative. And it wins in the end. (Facebook, December 20)

The Interdependent Web will be on break next week. We’ll be back on Friday, January 6.