Interdependent Web: Slaughter of the innocents

Interdependent Web: Slaughter of the innocents

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


Slaughter of the innocents

On the day that Christian churches remember the holy innocents murdered by Herod, Kim Hampton notes, we learned that Tamir Rice’s killer would not be prosecuted.

13 months ago Tamir Rice was minding his own business playing in a park. But, because he was black, he is now dead. And the state took his life away then turned around and said that nobody was responsible.

What a message for Holy Innocents Day. (East of Midnight, December 28)

The Rev. Krista Taves writes an Epiphany reflection for the Black Lives Matter movement.

What it would look like, in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, to kneel before the Christ child and offer gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense? Perhaps we have money, status, privilege, power, knowledge, wisdom, curiosity and humility. We have our spheres of influence. We have our voices, our hands, our eyes, and our feet. We have our smartphones and our laptops and our cameras. We have our patience and persistence. We have the ability to follow. But none of this means a thing if we do not have love, for it is love that fuels the brilliance of the Star of the East; it is love that draws us to one another; it is love that pushes us out from the court of Herod and before the manger in Bethlehem. Let us gather our gifts and bring them to the child. (And the Stones Shall Cry, January 5)

Walter Clark asks a common question about Tamir Rice’s death: “In Ohio, open carry is completely legal, so why did an officer-in-training feel threatened?”

For the same reason that black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than white men.

21 times.

White people are taught that black men are a threat. They are thugs. Criminals. Gang bangers.

So if one gets killed by an officer, they had it coming. (Lack of a Clever Title, January 4)

Our worst natures

For the Rev. Lynn Ungar, Donald Trump represents the lure of our worst natures.

The popularity of Donald Trump blatantly asserts—trumpets, if you will—that you are fully entitled to your prejudices and your paranoias and your privileges. How refreshing! How natural!

And, of course, how utterly wrong. This is where religion comes in. Because any religion, every religion, issues a challenge to become better than we are. Every religion, at its heart, tries to nudge us away from the control of the selfish id and toward a broader compassion. (Quest for Meaning, January 5)

For Doug Muder, Trump is just the latest billionaire dividing those who have common cause with this message: “Even more desperate workers are coming to take what’s yours. If you want to keep what you have, you have to help us keep what we have.”

The chief pitch-man for this message is a billionaire, one whose wealth comes from inherited capital and connections, who has probably never done a day’s physical labor in his life, and who I suspect has gone decades at a time hearing nothing from working people other than “Yes, Mr. Trump” and “No, Mr. Trump.” and “I’ll get that for you right away, Mr. Trump.”

He’s the guy who’s supposed to be speaking for Joe Sixpack and all the other Americans who just want a chance to work hard for a fair wage. Does that make any sense? (The Weekly Sift, January 4)

Tips for ministers

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein offers New Year’s resolutions for ministers.

Be fierce. The world doesn’t need “nice.” It needs good, and true, and faithful. Keep teaching that loving leadership doesn’t look like pandering, coddling, avoiding or enabling. Stay close to good leaders, encourage them, find the reasons for joy in the madness and hold it up as a beacon. (Beauty Tips for Ministers, January 1)

The Rev. Aaron Stockwell begins a new blog with helpful instructions about conducting a successful Skype interview. (Sandlot Rev, January 2)

Varieties of belief

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden writes about apatheists and religious naturalists.

I’ve also discovered a variety of humanist I had not previously known existed. I’ve had more than one person describe themselves as apatheists. Little did I know that the term appears in Wikipedia. But I’ve written my own definition:

Apatheist: Someone who doesn’t know if there is a god or not and doesn’t care one way or the other. (Quest for Meaning, January 7)

You might be a religious naturalist if you are inclined to think that far from being a reason for despair, the realization that there is no deity granting requests and no meaning or purpose outside of the human mind frees us to ask questions rather than follow preconceived formulas. (Quest for Meaning, December 31)