Interdependent Web: The nation's silt, anger grounded in love, what other countries teach

Interdependent Web: The nation's silt, anger grounded in love, what other countries teach

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


The nation’s silt

A Facebook post written this week by the Rev. Peter Morales generated a tremendous response.

This is what an inquisition looks like. . . . A rigid ideology takes hold and any dissent is seen as disloyalty and collusion with the forces of evil. People are removed from their positions. People are shunned. Many are intimidated into silence. (I have piles of private communications from people, including people of color, who do not agree with what has happened but are understandably reluctant to speak out.)

As I look back at my almost eight years as president, there are many times I felt overwhelming pride in being a UU. . . . Today, sadly, I look at what we are doing in the name of justice and feel ashamed. We can, and must, do better than this. (Facebook, May 7)

Responding to Morales's post, Kim Hampton wrote, “The amount of historical amnesia and willful ignorance and active disremembering that is going on right now is staggering.”

But what is galling is the man had the NERVE to say, “. . . the Beloved Community does not throw people under the bus. The Beloved Community does not practice human sacrifice.”

ok my white liberal friends and people who can pass, let me school you on this. . . .

the “Beloved Community” of Unitarian Universalism has been throwing people of color under the bus since Rev. William Jackson presented himself at the AUA meeting in 1860. (East of Midnight, May 7)

Kari Kopnick alluded to Morales’s post in a broad statement about social media practices.

You cannot post a big, loud, statement that brings huge commentary without curating the comments and spinoffs. If you’re going to make an inflammatory tweet, or Facebook or Instagram post, you have to stay in the conversation. (Kari Kopnick, May 9)

The Rev. Nathan Ryan wondered about the coincidence of racial issues coming to the forefront in the UUA, when General Assembly will be in New Orleans this year.

It might be my perspective from down here at the mouth of the Mississippi, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s actually a coincidence that all of this racial stuff in our faith is bubbling up months before the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly is coming to New Orleans.

I’m from Louisiana and I’m used to seeing how people react when they come to New Orleans. Maybe it’s the magic of the soil (it is, after all, the nation’s silt) or maybe it’s a special quirk of the cultural collisions, but for whatever reason New Orleans tends to be a Rorschach for the values/repressions of any particular visitor. (Facebook, May 9)

Anger grounded in love

Andrew Coate told a personal story about what the loss of the Affordable Care Act would mean.

Prior to moving to Massachusetts, I had simply been living without health insurance; I had been relatively healthy and had no conditions requiring ongoing care. I could not then, and can not today, afford health insurance without subsidies. And now, having been diagnosed with a congenital heart condition, it will be impossible for me to find health coverage I can afford.

Today I am back to most of my normal routines, but I will require lifelong monitoring. I will never make a lot of money. I plan to be a minister which is not a career most people go into expecting to bring home a large paycheck. Without subsidized health insurance I will not be able to see my cardiac specialists for ongoing care. (Facebook, May 5)

The Rev. Ken Beldon testified to the power of spiritual practice in community to prevent activism burnout.

I will admit that yesterday I felt a powerless, leaden anger at the House move on the AHCA bill. . . . I still feel anger, and great fear for those who will become most vulnerable if it becomes law, but now both those emotions are grounded again in love.

May we all do whatever we can to make our love sustainable so it can call us to action. (Facebook, May 5)

What other countries teach

The Rev. Vanessa Southern began a series of posts about what she learned from living in India.

The first thing I have learned is a deep calm and trust in the wildly chaotic and frequently near-life-threatening traffic of the city. I need to confess from the start that I do not, nor do I ever intend on driving in Mumbai. Only the truly courageous (in my opinion) do drive here. In fact, driving in Mumbai was recently added to the Wikipedia list of extreme sports (by me, if you must know). (Medium, May 8)

The Rev. Dan Harper shared a progress report on his grief, a year after his father died—drawing on lessons from mathematician Paul Erdos, a Hungarian Jew who experienced significant pain and loss.

I think there’s something in American culture — particularly upper middle class (i.e., college educated) white American culture — that wants us to believe that life is perfect, and wants us to reject anything that challenges that belief. Erdos had a more realistic understanding of life, an understanding that was not predicated on denying real problems, and so he felt free to feel very sad about his mother’s death five years after she had died. . . . (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, May 5)