Interdependent Web: Thirsty for justice

Interdependent Web: Thirsty for justice

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


Thirsty for justice

Encountering unthinking ableism at General Assembly, Theresa Ines Soto says, “I can lead you to water but can't make you drink. But legit, I can wonder why you aren't thirsty.”

[Disabled] people. . . .
have climbed the stairs
on hands and knees, to free
ourselves. We have fought to
integrate our bodies with your
daily experience. And still, the
violence of stairs goes largely
unchecked. "We don't have the
Money. No one disabled comes
Here. Our building is old or special
Or sacrosanct." No, that's just your
Edifice complex. (Facebook, June 22)

The Rev. Amy Beltaine traces the causes of violence back to toxic masculinity.

Being a man in America today can be challenging. Standards of masculinity say “Don’t Cry”, “Don’t express emotions”, “survive without comforting touch”, “look like David Beckham”, “be in charge”, “don’t act gay” and “always win.” It’s no surprise some men are broken by these pressures. The miracle is that most men hold it together. (Nature’s Path, June 20)

Doug Muder writes that terrorism and gun control are not two separate issues.

The question is whether we will adapt, overcome the NRA’s resistance, and force our representatives to face the new reality. Will we find ways to reduce the number of the most lethal guns and make the existing ones easier to track? Will we limit guns’ mass-killing potential by banning high-capacity magazines? Will we allow authorities to track suspicious guns-and-ammunition purchasing patterns?

That isn’t just a gun-control agenda any more. It’s an anti-terrorism agenda. Given what we’ve seen, any purported anti-terrorism agenda that does not include such gun-control measures is just not serious. (The Weekly Sift, June 20)

The Rev. James Ford is worried about the hatefulness of what Donald Trump is selling.

Mr Trump is flat out selling a form of fascism, hard on fear of the other and a promise of putting it all right. What he is asking for is not actually election as president, but as strongman. And the part that makes me sick is people are buying it. Large numbers. Enough so that he has captured the nomination of one of the two parties in a two-party system. (Monkey Mind, June 20)


The Rev. Catharine Clarenbach draws a lesson from witchgrass, an ancient, indestructible weed that will outlast us all.

We are children of Oneness, but we are destined for compost, my loves, we are destined to be food not only for worms, but for witchgrass. We will push up not only daisies, but much more likely, lamb’s quarters and dandelions and bamboo. (Nature’s Path, June 22)

Alison Leigh Lilly writes about being “forever Maiden,” wild and free in the digital age.

That is the burden of the Maiden, the young beloved, the inexperienced youth casting herself out into the wild winds for the first time. To hold her idealism like a torch to light her way. To revel in the longing of her expectation, her potential becoming. And for all her daring, to risk being thought of as immature, foolish, sentimental, and naive. To have her parents fret that she isn’t saving for retirement, or that her tattoos might peek out above the collar of a respectable, office-appropriate blouse. It’s her task to scoff at such worries, too, because after all, cynicism is just the mask that hope wears when it ventures out at night. (Holy Wild, June 22)

Sources of strength

Thomas Earthman says that the world needs liberal religion.

Liberal religion stands in opposition to fundamentalism, not just theologically and ideologically but as a cultural ward against the teaching of fear and intolerance. It can vaccinate people who are mentally and emotionally inclined toward religion against the kinds of religion that prey on people who are lost, hurt, and lonely. Liberal religious congregations build better neighborhoods through their involvement with education, civics, and social justice. In short, liberal religion, while not for everyone, is a powerful ally to anyone who wants to make the world a nicer place. That, after all, is our kind of heaven. (I Am UU, June 22)

Allison Ehrman writes that in times of great pain, active forms of spiritual practice can be difficult.

When we just sit and allow ourselves to hurt and cry and feel, and feel, and feel, without fighting or judging our emotions, eventually they have their say and are often gradually replaced by a sense of calm and peace.

I also find music to be a great source of comfort and healing. . . . Music can hold us in its arms and cradle us. It can lift us up and take us to other places. It can remind us of distant memories. It can shock and inspire us. It can heal us. (Nature’s Path, June 17)

John Beckett responds to an online article that says travel is only for people who have money.

[If] you’re telling yourself you can’t afford to travel, my suggestion is to shut up and go somewhere. Don’t do what I did in my 20s and 30s and now regret. Forget the places your rich friends are bragging about that you really can’t afford. Cut back somewhere else and go where – and how – you can afford to go.

Or don’t. As much as I enjoy traveling and as much as travel has expanded my life and the lives of so many people, some just aren’t interested in it. If that’s you, it’s OK to say “thanks, but I’d really rather stay home.” If a better house really means that much to you, it’s OK to say “I’d rather put the money into a house.” However much or little money you have from whatever sources are available to you, spend it the way that’s right for you.

But understand that for a lot of us, that means traveling. (Under the Ancient Oaks, June 23)