Interdependent Web: The America I know

Interdependent Web: The America I know

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


The America I know

The Rev. Jake Morrill writes, “ The America I know is a creative experiment, seeking opportunity and freedom.”

The America I know shows up to teach in public schools, and to work for a local police department, and at a small business, not only with an eye to self-interest, but with a commitment to the whole community's welfare. The America I know shows up to take part in Black Lives Matter actions, to shine a light on how we have not yet realized justice yet, but with the expectation that, together, we will. . . .

The America I know is moving forward, finding how to create more opportunity and more freedom, getting unstuck from old prejudice and old fear, and all that would hold it back. It's one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. That's the America I know. How about you? (Facebook, July 22)

The Rev. Theresa Novak pushes back against fear mongering.

Shall we tremble and shake
Hide in our homes
Afraid of the streets
No neighbors around
Just a posse of hate
As a madman demands we
Cast our ballots in fear? (Sermons, Poetry, and Other Musings, July 22)

The Rev. Dr. Meredith Garmon reminds us that it’s easier to see moral failings in retrospect.

Moral progress isn’t simple and straightforward, and it often hasn’t progressed as much as we like to think it has, but it does seem to slowly happen in some areas. So what might be next? What are we doing today, what practices do we tacitly accept or actively endorse, of which our great-grandchildren, looking back on the early 21st century, will ask: What were they thinking? There’s no possible way to tell, right? (The Liberal Pulpit, July 28)

In the scrum

The Rev. Evin Carvill-Ziemer urges us not to be discouraged by an imperfect process of change, but rather to keep working.

Politics and social change are not a Monday morning quarterback sports. They’re messy, muddy, sometimes brutal and bloody sports where the decision in the moment may not be the best one from the aerial view, but the only way to get to be part of the decision is to be there in the scrum. (Facebook, July 26)

The Rev. Lynn Ungar offers her thoughts on the ethics of voting choices.

The best choice is the one which, considered as thoroughly as you can, you believe will lead to the best outcomes. We almost never make a choice between two options in which one is terrible and one is perfect. Being ethical means taking the time to fully consider the choices that are in front of us. (Facebook, July 27)

Andrew Hidas reminds us that extreme partisanship has been part of this country’s electoral process since its beginning.

Our revered Thomas Jefferson, eloquent writer, lofty philosopher and amateur theologian: also slaveholder and very likely father to six children of his slave concubine, Sally Hemings. Assertions of his paternity were circulated widely in the press by opposition Federalists during his presidency, and sixth president John Quincy Adams called him “a slur upon the moral government of the world.”

And today we have to settle for insults like “Crooked Hillary?” (Traversing, July 25)

Elizabeth Mount has an interesting get-out-the-vote suggestion.

Ok, here's the deal... you want people to vote? You want to rant about who people should be voting for and how not voting is going to usher in the apocalypse? Ok, here's a way to actually affect that without just making all your friends angry on the internet. It's long, but I think it might be worth it.

Get off your computer, get on your phone, and start playing Pokemon Go. (Facebook, July 27)

Safe spaces

A pagan friend’s comments about creating safe space for ritual makes Suzyn Smith Webb think about whether such safety is possible.

'There is no safe space,' that voice in the back of my head, one that seems neither still nor small, insisted. . . .

A lot of what white people have been figuring out over the last ten years or so is that the places that seem the most safe to us are still dangerous to people of color. I can't speak to that, I can say that having my spouse "out" as a transgendered person has brought home how safety out on society exists on a bunch of levels. Legal protections can't prevent the actions of people willing to break the law, or even the petty-but-not-illegal humiliations that a depressing number of people are capable of. (Chalice Chick, July 26)

Kim Hampton has also been thinking about safe spaces, particularly in Unitarian Universalism.

I’ve been thinking about safety a lot for the past year, for many reasons. (some of you might have heard me talk about this at GA) These two situations bring those thoughts into much clearer focus.

In a denomination that is as white as Unitarian Universalism is, can people of color really be safe in our congregations?

What do we mean when we talk about “safe” congregations? (East of Midnight, July 24)

When the recent murders of 19 disabled adults in Japan was largely overlooked on Facebook, the Rev. Amy Moses-Lagos offered her thoughts and prayers, and a challenge.

This man was impacted by messages that disabled individuals do not have worth. That they do not share the worth of able-bodied and neurotypical individuals. These messages are far too prevalent in this world. Words matter. Metaphors matter. Inclusion matters. Messages in popular Hollywood movies seriously do matter. . . . Let us work towards a world in which all people are truly seen as having worth and dignity, and are treated that way. Let us find words and engage in acts that affirm life and liberation for all. Let us create a world that celebrates the diversity of our human family. (Facebook, July 26)