Interdependent Web: Self-examination of Unitarian Universalism

Interdependent Web: Self-examination of Unitarian Universalism

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

Kenneth Sutton


This week the Unitarian Universalist online world was filled with discussions of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s hiring practices and the resignation of UUA President Peter Morales. (See UU World’s coverage, “Critics Decry ‘White Supremacy’ in UUA Hiring Practices,” “UUA President Resigns amid Controversy over Hiring Practices,” and “Updates to Presidential Resignation and Controversy over Hiring Practices.”) There are far too many posts and voices engaged in the conversation for this roundup to do them justice. A blog post by the staff of the UUA’s Youth and Young Adult office, “Reflections on White Supremacy in Our UUA,” (3.28.17) points to other resources, including a Google document created by Elizabeth Mount that compiles responses into a timeline. The editors commend it to you.

As you read posts on blogs or Facebook, it is important in this case to read the comments (despite the nearly universally good advice to “never read the comments” online). For instance, UU World’s post on Facebook has comments from a wide variety of perspectives. The Rev. Peggy Clarke calls for discussion:

I am hoping that people in congregations, that ministers in clusters, that UUs gathered wherever you are, will have honest conversations about the ways our institutions perpetuate white supremacy. Discuss. Decide. Organize. (Facebook, 3.24.17)

Who are covenants by and for?

Adam Dyer, awaiting information about where he will begin his journey as a Unitarian Universalist minister, writes about the need for “more.”

“Inherent worth and dignity” is not enough,
when “worth” is code for “white”
and dignity is spelled “m-a-l-e.”
This slippery intention
to name us all the same,
too often strides
into assumptions about perspective,
privilege, agency and pride. (spirituwellness, 3.29.17)

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden takes a look at the Mayflower Compact to question unspoken assumptions about communities.

But a larger problem is just who this covenant was “most meet and convenient” for. What are the hidden assumptions about what a “civil body politic” might look like?

The Mayflower Compact embodies a “social imaginary,” which is a set of values, narratives, and symbols common to a particular social group and the social system that develops from it. (Quest, 3.30.17)

Becoming ourselves

John Beckett says “don’t be respectable, be authentic.”

If we pretend to be harmless so our neighbors will like us, eventually we’ll convince ourselves we really are harmless, and we won’t be able to do the work we’ve been called to do. (Under the Ancient Oaks, 3.30.17)

And the world goes on

The current political climate drives Doug Muder to verse:

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for Republicans that day.
They’d promised for six years that they’d repeal the ACA.
But when the caucus gathered, and they looked from man to man
They knew that not a one of them had ever had a plan. (The Weekly Sift, 3.25.17)