Interdependent Web: The well of white resentment, context and continuity, the path of rebellion

Interdependent Web: The well of white resentment, context and continuity, the path of rebellion

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


The well of white resentment

The water of white supremacy flows through the Trump White House—and Unitarian Universalism.

Doug Muder examined the administration’s attempts to shore up its base by drawing on white resentment.

When things go wrong, you go back to basics. As the down-home saying has it: “I’ll dance with who brung me.”

What “brung” Donald Trump to the White House was not the support of establishment Republicans like Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell, but the white resentment that had built up during the eight years of the Obama administration. And as Congressional Republicans start to back away from him, Trump is responding by going back to that well. (The Weekly Sift, August 7)

After many UUs began wondering online about a boycott of next year’s General Assembly in Kansas CIty, Kim Hampton rejected these reactive responses to the NAACP travel advisory about Missouri.

To express your faux-concern about the Travel Advisory but not have had a conversation with anybody connected to the organizing efforts in K.C. or other places in Missouri shows that your concern is just to make yourself feel better. (East of Midnight, August 5)

Hampton also marked the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, returning again to an ongoing conversation about the difficulty of being black and UU; she found, instead, that her grief left her without words.

I was going to try and explain why I’ve been having a crisis of faith in Unitarian Universalism since August, 2014. But I’ve figured out that I can’t really put it into words. . . .

Because I can’t help thinking about MikeMike. Thinking that he should be 21 and plotting out the rest of his life. (East of Midnight, August 9)

Context and continuity

This week my family is settling into a new home, at long last; because of that, I found the Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern’s post about moving to be particularly poignant.

What is home? What do you take with you between the chapters of life? I can see why people do not like to move a lot. It’s not the packing and unpacking and the learning of a new city or town and the making of new friends. It’s how it forces you into some kind of existential crisis, some kind of life review. It rips you out of context and continuity and asks you who and what you are outside of all that. What about you endures? Who are you, really, if you aren’t Joe’s tennis partner, and the Minister at that church, and the person who lives in that house, and a citizen of that place. (Medium, August 4)

The Rev. Erica Baron wrote about the importance of telling the story of life’s dependence on water, and notes that to tell the story well “it helps to have a deep personal connection to some body of water.”

We can speak more passionately if we can speak from our own experience of waters that are special and sacred to us personally. What are the waters that matter deeply to you? Is it a lake you grew up swimming in, or a river you’ve fished? Is it the ocean in all its majesty and power? Is it a small creek in your own neighborhood? Is it the Hudson river, beautiful enough to inspire a whole school of painting? Is it a particularly spectacular waterfall to which you return again and again? What are the waters that nourish your spirit? What do they give you? How are they important to you? (Nature’s Path, August 4)

The path of rebellion

The Rev. Robin Bartlett acknowledged that her journey from humanistic UUism to Christianity may have been motivated, at least in part, by rebellion; like any rebellion, hers holds a mirror up to the places she left.

I may have found Christianity to rebel, but I stayed because I need someone to say to me over and over again: “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? … You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” And then I need someone to tell me over again to love the stranger, my neighbor, and especially my enemy.

In other words, I need a savior. We all do. (Facebook, August 8)

The Rev. Tom Schade issued a two-part critique of the UUA’s “sources of our living tradition.”

I believe that the Sources statement is a like a family narrative that hides, or disguises, or minimizes, a family trauma. The falsity at the core of the narrative is the implication that to our ancestors at the time whether or not one believed in God was a mere difference of opinion without any lasting consequence. This is like thinking that Cain and Abel had an minor difference of opinion on agricultural policy. (The Lively Tradition, August 7)