Interdependent Web: If black people did not have to stand alone

Interdependent Web: If black people did not have to stand alone

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


If black people did not have to stand alone

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern encourages her mostly-white congregation to link arms with black communities, and say to white supremacists, “if you want to beat them into submission, you’re going to have to fight us too.”

The arsons we have been grieving are not a coincidence nor an isolated tragedy, and wringing our hands is not enough. They are the latest chapter of a long history of white supremacy wielding power through murder, rape, bombings, and burnings, and it will not change until white people change. If black people did not have to stand alone–if the wider community, especially the wider white community, stood with them against the powers of white supremacy, then the supremacists would eventually lose. But often, the wider white community has been complicit and cowardly. (Sermons in Stones, July 2)

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein addresses the issue of white fragility.

There are some things that shouldn’t have to be carefully spelled out, and one of them is that white folks shouldn’t need attention paid to their wounded pride while black lives are being threatened and extinguished around them. White people — many of them self-identified as liberal and progressive or simply “not-racist” — still too often hear the conversation about race in entirely personal terms, and we have to grow up and grow out of that. (PeaceBang, June 22)

The Rev. Jake Morrill writes outlines the basics of racism for a white audience new to anti-racist work.

Racism is when a society predictably produces unequal outcomes, irrespective of effort. This inequality is held in place by violence–whether intimidation or actual violence against people of color–in a long line of slavery, lynching, and mass incarceration (different punishment for the same behavior). (Quest for Meaning, June 20)

The Rev. Cynthia Kane hopes for a patriotism that includes “the hard process of facing our national truths.”

This Independence Day . . . I’m worried for my nation. Mandela and Tutu are right: for there to be reconciliation—for us to move forward as a nation, given our deep history of racial injustice—there has to be some actual truth-telling first. It means letting go of some cherished self-concepts and beginning to admit that maybe, just maybe, there are cracks and fissures in our perfect sense of the world. (Captain Reverend Mother, July 1)

Sometimes love wins

The Rev. Theresa Novak celebrates the joy of marriage equality—tempered by the knowledge that there is so much work yet to do.

It has been a day for tears

For weeping

A day unimagined

For most of my life

Has actually come

And I am reminded

That hope can surprise us

That from hard work and pain

Beauty can arise

And love sometimes can win (Sermons, Poetry, and Other Musings, June 27)

The Rev. Jude Geiger shares what the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality means to him.

There's a stunning distance between the idea of equality and the realization that you're no longer a second class citizen.

Equality isn't a talking point. It's not a political chess piece moved along a board. It's a spiritual need. We as a people are less whole, whenever one amongst us is treated as less than fully human. For those of us who have spent a life-time as second class citizens, we're waking up to a new day, where our humanity is not limited by the will of another.

And now that the curtain has been pushed to the side for me, I want even more for all the rest of us to get the same treatment - fully human, fully dignified. (The Huffington Post, June 26)

Justin Almeida used to believe in marriage as “one man, one woman”—until friends and family came out as gay.

I chose to stand on the side of love. This meant that, for me, church teaching about homosexuality was wrong. It struggled with this for a long time, but it formed a crack in my spiritual life. And like a chip in the windshield, the crack just kept getting bigger. I began to question women’s role in the Church; beliefs about other religions; contraception and life issues… eventually my windshield had to be replaced. Choosing love had a snowball effect that eventually led me to the Unitarian Universalist church; a faith that doesn’t teach that homosexuality is inherently evil; a church that affirms the dignity and worth of EVERY person. (What’s My Age Again, June 26)

Finding our spiritual paths

John Beckett lists five reasons people can’t find their spiritual path.

Many of us are religiously wounded, and recovering is an on-going endeavor. But at some point we have to let go of the old baggage and make a fresh start on a new path. At some point we have to stop being not-fundamentalists or not-atheists and start being active Pagans, Druids, or polytheists; or active Buddhists, Progressive Christians, or UUs. (Under the Ancient Oaks, July 2)

Maria Greene believes that the pendulum in the UUA is swinging away from humanism, and toward theism—and she wishes the pendulum could simply be stopped.

You are not serving my needs, UUA, by having the only two options be gospel or classical, speaking in tongues or reading a science journal, listening to a sermon or listening to NPR. Where is the nurturing of my spirit that is in my language of poetry and nature and human relation that isn't based on traditional religious words and symbols that have no meaning for me? Don't tell me that it is my issue or my millennial children's that we can't use God language metaphorically. That does not do it for me or for them. (UU Humanist Association, June 26)

Jordinn Nelson Long thinks that discipline is one answer to the problem of losing “born-UUs.”

There are six words that I hear fairly often in Unitarian Universalist churches in discussing the religious experiences of our UU children and youth. They are six words that apparently sound innocuous to hearers. Or perhaps it’s that they sound like freedom, the mythical kind that can exist only after every obligation is taken away and a happiness-filled vacuum remains.

As long as they’re having fun.

To me, on the other hand, this phrase sounds like neither freedom nor happiness. In fact, as the mother of two children, myself, these words make me feel just a bit crazed. (Raising Faith, July 2)