Interdependent Web: Say her name

Interdependent Web: Say her name

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


Say her name

Kim Hampton asks what in our theology helps people live with ongoing terror.

[Children] are worried about how to protect their mothers in encounters with police. Mothers are worried about how to keep their children alive in case they encounter the police.

Liberal religion better have a response to this otherwise it will irrelevant in the “new” religious landscape. (East of Midnight, July 27)

The Rev. Myke Johnson is discovering “a new and deeper layer of the reality of racism.”

Last week, I watched videos of the police officer’s traffic stop of Sandra Bland. Pulled over for failing to signal a lane change, three days later, she was dead in her jail cell. Something about her story—her innocent journey to start a new job, her bright spirit—brought it all home. No black person is safe anywhere. (Finding Our Way Home, July 28)

The Rev. Lynn Ungar draws on her experiences as a parent to understand what it feels like to be a police officer.

As the parent of a smart-mouthed teenager I have some experience with just how easy it is to tip into rage when someone you feel should politely comply continues to give you grief. But I don’t carry a handcuff. Or a Taser. Or a gun. I don’t, on principle, lay hands on my kid in any form of violence. (Quest for Meaning, July 28)

Adam Dyer suggests that we return to language from the 70s: Black is beautiful.

No, we should not turn away from the difficult work at hand, police and prison reform, elimination of public firearms, more comprehensive education, etc. And we need to find ways to get past the black white narrative of oppression in the United States. But in this moment, for me, I have to pace myself through this epic march. I need a cool refreshing, replenishing drink of self love… (Spirituwellness, July 29)

Confronting cultural myths

The Rev. Deanna Vandiver hears the 2015 General Assembly Black Lives Matter AIW as a call to be the welcome table.

The United States of America has struggled with setting a welcome table since it was first colonized. This nation, built on stolen land from stolen bodies, is saturated with a narrative of dominance. This country has a Lady Liberty-sized mythology of inclusion and a powerful and brutal history of exclusion. (Quest for Meaning, July 28)

Bill Dockery marks the 7th anniversary of the shootings at his church, Tennessee Valley UU, with a Facebook post about violence in America.

There is NOTHING one-off about these occurrences.

The individual stitches may vary a bit, but they fit into an overall tapestry of violence and terror and heroism that is becoming the wall hanging in front of which Americans go about our daily lives. We’re learning how to read the mass-murder narrative, and we even relish to an extent the details—the extravagant violence, the acts of unanticipated courage, even the arguments about the roots of these kinds of events. These shootings have become a true reality show, unscripted, with real blood and real hurt and poignantly real death. . . .

I am no longer shocked or sad or angry—I’m bone weary. But I don’t see an end to it. (Facebook, July 24)

You do well to be angry

Some people tell Theresa Soto to be less angry about inaccessibility.

I'm going to be angry when people are indifferent to barriers keeping me and people like me out of buildings, when they are indifferent to our participation. I am going to be angry when it is not capacity that keeps people from being active learners, but rather unwillingness. . . .

Most of the time this unwillingness is rooted in things people already, always know: that access is expensive, complex, or inapplicable. But, no, sometimes there is more than one answer and it is actually in relationship that access happens. (Theresa Loves You, July 24)

The lessons of play

The Rev. Tom Schade thinks back to a childhood in which he lost most physical contests.

I am now over 65 living in a body that testifies to a lifetime of neglect. I have all the metabolic disorders that come from a sedentary life, a life in which there few moments of joy in the strength, or speed, or skill, of my body. After all, it was an inadequate body, a losing body, from before I can even remember. I am becoming convinced that the poor health of many adults of my age is directly traceable to the culture of relentless bodily competition that ruled our childhoods. . . .

I have very few regrets in life. This is one of them. (The Lively Tradition, July 27)

Karen G. Johnston writes a prayer for adventuresome play.

May all children know the call of adventure, the thrill of risk, and the heart-leap of “let’s do that again.”

May all children know failure as the teacher who says love yourself, then try again.

May all children experience the astonishing fruits of their bodies and minds whatever their abilities; may they be praised no matter their accomplishment. (Awake & Witness, July 26)

A clash of worldviews

The Rev. Dawn Cooley suggests that our difficulty talking about God happens because of a clash of worldviews.

It happened again recently. I was at a gathering of Unitarian Universalists and the person leading worship used some God language, without explanation or qualifications. As is usually the case, some people loved it, some people got angry, and some people didn’t know what all the fuss was about. . . .

The trouble arises when Neomodern Riley is trying to communicate with Modern Pat, because Modern Pat does not feel included, and often feels explicitly excluded, and Neomodern Riley is not sure why. There is a clash of worldviews. (Speaking of, July 24)

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