Interdependent Web: While it seems the world burns

Interdependent Web: While it seems the world burns

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


When she was younger, the Rev. Cecilia Kingman felt she was missing out by not living during a “large historical moment.”

Turns out, the Revolution isn't all that glamorous or romantic, is painful and awful, and we still have to go to work and make dinner and bathe small children while people we love get arrested, get killed, succumb to despair, while it seems the world burns. (Facebook, July 14)

After last week’s murders in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, and Dallas, Carey McDonald writes that “something is different this time.”

I don’t want to mourn, I don’t want to attend a vigil, I don’t want to tweet about ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬, even though I do all those things. I don’t want to encourage white folks to educate other white folks about their privileged positions, as though this is an information problem and not a heart problem. I don’t want to act as if the revolution is around the corner, waiting for this world to be swept away and replaced by the beloved community, if only we believe. And, with apologies to the NAACP email list, I definitely don’t want to call my member of Congress and tell her to support the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act, a well-intentioned bill that is grotesquely out of proportion to the scale of violence, hatred and fear afflicting my community.

What I want is to see some light up above. (Facebook, July 10)

After serving as the only adult staff member of color at a UU camp during a challenging week when two black men were murdered by police, Kenny Wiley writes, “I barely made it through this week, friends.”

I badly want white UUs and other progressive folks to know and see that carrying out white supremacy isn't always obvious. It can look like never asking “How can I help?” or “How are you holding up?” It can be never asking “I wonder how this black person is handling two black persons’ murders.” (Facebook, July 11)

When pundits suggest a national conversation on race, Kim Hampton says, “I’ll skip this conversation, thanks.”

Listen up my white, liberal friends. America has been having a “national conversation on race” for 397 years now. And black humanity is STILL up for debate. There is no conversation to be had while my—and my people’s—humanity is up for debate; at least not for me. (East of Midnight, July 13)

The Rev. David Pyle acknowledges that protest serves as “a form of mass pastoral care and communal awareness and formation,” but he believes “ protest no longer works as a tool of systemic change.”

At best, it is the training ground for the modern activism we need. At worst, it is a safe way for the energies of outrage and heartache to be released without threatening the systems of power. (Celestial Lands, July 8)

The Rev. Ashley Horan believes that policing, the criminal punishment system, and prisons need to be dismantled, not reformed.

I heard stories today of churches reaching out to extend sympathy and comfort to their local police departments, in a good-faith effort to serve as bridge builders; I saw Unitarian Universalists around the country posting memes like “Pro-Black and Pro-Cop. It’s not rocket science.” I am wondering, did we send condolence cards and flowers and love notes yesterday to the Black activist collectives and organizations and churches that are in such deep pain and rage with the same alacrity as we went them to police stations today? Are we in deep enough relationship with Black leaders and other frontline communities that we are asking whether it is actually useful for us to try to be "bridge builders" between police departments and activists in the Movement for Black lives? (Facebook, July 8)

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein asks her fellow clergy, “If you do not have a relationship with your local law enforcement and public safety officials, why not?”

I know that this is often not easy. I think we need to collect more stories about where and how it works well. The Reverend Kathy Schmitz, a Unitarian Universalist minister in Orlando, Florida, made such an impression on me when she recently said that one of the reasons the community response to the Pulse murders was so strong and coordinated is because “none of us were meeting each other for the first time.” (Beauty Tips for Ministers, July 14)

The Rev. Andy Burnette shares an unusual story—of working with police and congregational leaders to hold accountable a young adult who had stolen the congregation’s Black Lives Matter banner. (Facebook, July 8)

Denise Moorehead writes about the intersection of class and race.

Those of us who care about ending classism and racism see the terrible irony in all of these killings . . . People from low-income and working-class backgrounds are being pitted against each other. (UU Class Conversations, July 9)

Christine Organ wonders, “So what can little old me—a plain, white mom living in the suburban Midwest—do to work toward ending racism and doing the work of healing this so-very-broken world?”

Well, it turns out a whole lot. I can teach my sons how to be kind and brave boys so that they grow into kind and brave men. . . . I can teach them how to stand up to assholes telling racist jokes, and teach them how to use their voice even though they are really scared to do so. I can remind them that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable and scared because healing sometimes hurts. And I can teach them [to] celebrate, not just tolerate, difference.

Because quite frankly, it isn’t enough to raise kids to not be assholes. We have to do better. Being not-an-asshole isn’t enough right now. It takes more. (The Huffington Post, July 8)

Theresa Ines Soto recognizes the imperfect and necessary comfort of religious community.

I don't rave on about hope. I mean, it's nice and all, but I come to believe that hope isn't something you find, like a lucky penny in the street, but something you build, like a house that you hope will one day be a home. I will go to church. It will not fix everything, but it will bandage my aching heart. (Facebook, July 10)