Interdependent Web: Salt-of-the-earth bigots

Interdependent Web: Salt-of-the-earth bigots

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


Refusing comfort

Kim Hampton cuts to the heart of UU concerns about race issues.

I think it’s time for Unitarian Universalism (and Unitarian Universalists) to face a uncomfortable truth. That, unlike with LGBTQ issues, UUism and UUs have no sense of urgency about race issues because, for the most part, black (and brown) children are not a part of most UU families. (East of Midnight, July 6)

The Rev. Erik Walker Wikstrom shares the words he spoke at a prayer service after the Charleston shootings.

[This] is not the time to come together in healing. We should come together to demand that things change, We should come together to demand the end of these atrocities!  We should come together and refuse to make others comfortable when we are grieving, grieving that so many of God's children, so many children of life itself, have been slaughtered for no other reason than being black in a country that can't live up to its ideals. This has got to end, and I refuse to be comforted until it has. (A Minister’s Musings, July 6)

The Rev. Peter Boullata writes about forgiveness as a challenge to repent.

The point of bringing that murderer the light of God is to illuminate the evil he has done. . . . .

People have a tendency to cover up our mistakes, our missteps, our—let’s just say it—our sins through denial. We deny we have done anything wrong, or we deny that our actions were wrong, finding ways to justify or rationalize.

The unrelenting soul-force of those who would hold us accountable blow that all away. Look at what you’ve done, they say, see it here in the light. Acknowledge it.

And repent. (Held in the Light, July 6)

The Rev. Eric Posa addresses the racism inherent in the 2015 General Assembly’s process around the #BlackLivesMatter AIW.

In the multiple, repeated efforts of so many GA delegates to utilize the amendment process to change wording that was so important to the #blacklivesmatter movement, we played into . . . old racist patterns. We did not allow people of color to set the terms for their own collective liberation, and we placed our discomfort with the vocabulary of "prison abolition" over the need to name how incarceration has been used against black people & communities in particular. (On the Road Again, July 7)

Salt-of-the-earth bigots

Doug Muder challenges the bigots who say, “But I don’t hate anyone!”

There’s nothing new about nice, salt-of-the-Earth people who sincerely believe that certain other people are undeserving of empathy or respect or fair treatment. . . . Quite the opposite, that’s the normal situation. Throughout American history, most people have been pretty nice—even the bigots. America has seen nice slaveholders, nice segregationists, nice male chauvinists. (The Weekly Sift, July 6)

Uneasy companions

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden considers what it means for his congregation to be both UU and humanist.

The congregation I serve, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, has identified as explicitly humanist since 1918, and was one of the first Unitarian congregations to do so.

Why, then is the congregation now Unitarian Universalist and Humanist, rather than independently Humanist or affiliated with the overtly humanist Ethical Culture Society?

The reason, I think, is that Unitarian Humanism is it’s own beast, neither Unitarian Universalist fish nor Humanist fowl, but a combination thereof. A combination that calls members to an uncomfortable sort of integrity. (Quest for Meaning, July 9)

The Rev. David Oliver King, ordained by Sacred Well Congregation, writes about his experience as a Unitarian Universalist.

The ordination process within the Unitarian Universalist system is a byzantine process . . . . and it felt very lonely trying to navigate through this system without deep roots within Unitarian Universalism. . . .

I felt that my Pagan identity was being eroded away during my time with the Unitarian Universalists. I gained valuable ministry experience with them and encountered many lovely people who I still cherish in my life; however, the deep connection with Paganism was being lost. (Nature’s Path, July 8)

Sitting, surrendering, and getting off the couch

Tina Porter’s day gets off to a slow start.

I sit

Thinking about a friend

whose life has been rough

like living in a house with

sandpaper walls.

She never knows when

her skin will be rubbed raw

again or what hurts will be

rent anew. (Ugly Pies, July 9)

The Rev. Madelyn Kelstein Campbell surrenders to the just-right waters of a saltwater pool—and to God.

I’m all for arguing with God. There are definitely times to argue. But there are also times to surrender. And with complete surrender comes relaxation and clarity. It might seem paradoxical, but I think it’s because with complete surrender there’s no energy spent on fighting. There are no distractions. It becomes easy. Easy – that’s a thing worth trying. (The Widow’s Mite-y Blog, July 8)

The Rev. Thom Belote—after a sedentary decade—becomes more active through Crossfit.

My adult life up until this past year had been spent largely surrounded by church people, minister colleagues, academics, social justice activists, and liberal do-gooder types. None of these people were opposed to fitness, per se. Physical activity was just something that for the most part we didn’t talk about or acknowledge. In a future post I’ll write about that experience of being part of what I call a “disembodied” culture. (RevThom, July 9)

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