Interdependent Web: Bigotry in word and deed, violence leads to violence, everybody beloved

Interdependent Web: Bigotry in word and deed, violence leads to violence, everybody beloved

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


Bigotry in word and deed

As Texas lawmakers considered proposed anti-trans legislation, a member of the Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford’s Austin congregation was attacked, at least in part because she is a transgender woman.

I will not say that Stephanie was lucky. To be lucky would be to never have been attacked. To be lucky would be to not have her elected officials actively fomenting violence against her.

I am grateful she is alive.

I am furious that some Texas legislators consider threats to the trans community an acceptable price for being able to stir up their “base.” (Facebook, July 21)

The woman who was attacked, Stephanie Martinez, shared her feelings in a public Facebook post; despite the rawness of the experience, she continued with her planned testimony before the state legislature.

It’s 3:45 am. I should be sleeping. My body is exhausted but my mind won’t silence.

I close my eyes and I replay my physical attack from Thursday. I try to drive that from my mind only to think of the hundreds of voices of which I was one crying out for real justice to our senators only to be ignored once again and having discriminatory harmful legislation advance. Legislation that will result in the type of violence I just endured. (Facebook, July 22)

The Rev. Dan Schatz posted “a response to bigotry” after the president tweeted that trangender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military.

It is an old story, and an intolerable one. It is the story of Dixiecrats, the “Southern Strategy,” “Defense of Marriage” acts, anti-immigrant racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, continued legal discrimination against the lgbtq community, and much more; the list stretches far too long. Always the method is the same—find a vulnerable group in society, paint them as less deserving of human rights, and therefore less than human, and use them as objects to create societal division. Always the consequences are the same—violence, discord and despair—and in the extreme, genocide.

To my transgender family, friends and neighbors who are suffering today, I give you my support and my solidarity. You have been victimized, not because of who you are, but because of what you are—an easy target. It is wrong on every level, and I pledge myself to your struggle. (The Song and the Sigh, July 26)

A number of other UU clergy also responded with words of support for the transgender community, including the Rev. Catharine Clarenbach, the Rev. JakeMorrill, and the Rev. Theresa Soto.

Violence leads to violence

Alison Leigh Lilly blamed the TV show Game of Thrones for the country’s convulsions of chaos, hatred, and violence.

Why spend time with such monsters?
Are we so bored
with singing love songs, playing
games of chance and skill where
no one dies? What makes us
think these stories can tell us
who we are? Violence leads on
to violence, and love to love. (Holy Wild, July 25)

The Rev. Ken Beldon wrote about the president’s corrosion of the theological meaning of the word pardon.

The prayer ascribed to St. Francis speaks of meeting injury with pardon and that in pardoning we ourselves are pardoned. But here, “pardon” from a man who says “When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.” (Facebook, July 21)

Prospective Eagle Scout Jasper Davidoff shared his letter to the Boy Scouts in response to the president’s Jamboree speech. (Facebook, July 25)

Everybody beloved

Andrew Hidas read Irish writer Nuala O’Faolain’s book, Are You Somebody, a memoir of her life, beginning as a child unloved by her parents; he noted that “It is a testament to the resilience and love lying like a coiled spring at the base of each human life that so many millions survive harsh and horrid circumstances.”

But this is also a day in which sunshine suffuses my front patio on a leaf-lined street in the fecundity of summer, as maybe it does yours. A day when my tomatoes are ripening in the heat, plums are going plop on the ground, and in which a small gaggle of neighborhood children has gathered kitty corner to me, riding scooters and tiny cars on Sunday morning, clattering and chattering loudly along the sidewalks under the eyes of gentle, well-intentioned parents.

These parents hold the precious young souls of their children close at hand, close to their hearts, unaware of how they stand on this morning as answer and counterpoint to Nuala’s parents, who were no doubt victimized by far harsher circumstances in their own day. In this way, each generation pushes on from the currents bequeathed by the last, more often than not offering corrective if still imperfect strokes where needed, in the continuing expression of hope and practice for the better days that beckon us ceaselessly forward, whatever the rapids and boulders that always loom along the way. (Traversing, July 23)

The Rev. Ken Collier rejects euphemisms meant to cover the realities of aging.

It seems to me that all of these are nothing but euphemisms designed to help us forget the truth that we are all aging and moving inexorably toward our deaths. It’s as if death is something we can all avoid if we just don’t talk about it, think about it, and, especially, mention it (shudder!). It’s a form of name magic that doesn’t work. The reality is that each of us who lives long enough will become one of the aging, and even one of the aged. And as far as I can tell, that certainly beats the hell out of the alternative. Nope. It’s time to leave all that nonsense behind and come out into the open: We who are more or less my age are who we are, and we are aging. (The Colliery, July 27)

At long last, Tina Porter has come to terms with her curly hair.

I know, I know–there are more important things to say today than what I am about to, but this is helping me exist in these awful and awe-filled times–but today I am totally in love with my curly hair. . . .

So that’s one fight I don’t have to have today so I am able to help slay not the dragons, but those that tether them to old norms, old notions, and ideals that were never attainable in the first place.

So ends this love letter to my hair, who loved me even when I couldn’t love me back. (Ugly Pies, July 27)

Cameron Whitten attended this year’s General Assembly with an ambitious goal in mind; be sure to click through and see all his beautiful photos!

After attending GA for three years, I was inspired to do my part to raise the visibility of people of color within my own faith. This album and the 203 photos within it is the result. This was a fun and transformative project.My favorite part was chasing down hundreds of UUs of color over the course of three days. I was introduced to so many beautiful people, and engaged in deep conversations about how their racial identity affects their lives and faith. The most challenging part of this project had to be editing the pictures. Not only did that take FOREVER, but almost immediately, I had to come to terms with my own white supremacy. (Facebook, July 24)