Interdependent Web: Taking a knee, gathering courage, the elephant in the room

Interdependent Web: Taking a knee, gathering courage, the elephant in the room

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


Taking a knee

The Rev. Amy Shaw explains why she chooses to stand for the national anthem.

I stand in respect because I have the absolute right NOT to stand.

And when that right is taken away, if that right is taken away, from any American, anywhere,

I will never stand again. (Facebook, September 25)

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein admires the effectiveness of the protests gathering momentum in professional football, and other sports.

This is how social change movements MUST work: coordinated and engaged across diverse areas and places in a sick society so that they can meet and confront people where they are. How brilliant and brave and effective for Colin Kaepernick to interrupt the mindless entertainment of football with a statement about reality beyond the stadium. (PeaceBang, September 27)

The Rev. Jay Wolin shares some of the backstory that he believes influences Trump’s animosity toward the National Football League.

My friends who are not football fans you should know Donald Trump has Hated the NFL for a long time. He owned a team in a competing football league called the USFL. At Trump’s urging they sued the NFL. The USFL won $1 in the lawsuit. The lawsuit ended up bankrupting the USFL including Trump’s team. . . .

Then a number of years later Trump tried to buy an NFL team and understandably the existing owners rejected him as a fellow owner due to his previous lawsuit. (Facebook, September 26)

Andrew Hidas urges us to pay attention to other parts of Trump’s speech about football—specifically, the parts where he downplays the serious problem of brain injury in the NFL.

[We] have a president who . . . implores us to encourage more violence in an overwhelmingly violent game that leaves nearly all its combatants affected for life, many of them to crippling degrees and early death. . . .

It all hearkens back to Roman gladiator times, or to the sport of feeding human beings to wild beasts in the arena, appealing to the blood lust and lowest common denominator of crowds, our rapacious animal natures given full rein.

By our president.

Whether or not to take a knee in solidarity with a cause pales in comparison to this latest atrocity from an atrocious and thoroughly dishonorable man. (Traversing, September 25)

Gathering courage

Shelby Meyerhoff examines the immobilization many of us feel when faced with huge but distant problems.

When I think about the conflict with North Korea as a threat to other people, I can look at it, and words arise. It’s wrong to talk about wiping another nation off the map, as if it’s an object, not a place full of people. But when I think about the growing conflict as a threat to me and my immediate loved ones, then I can barely think about it at all. Then the fog drifts into my brain, I am wordless. (Facebook, September 26)

Annette Marquis writes herself free of “the grip of hopelessness.”

Every thing of beauty I grow in my garden, every meal I share with my beloved, every laugh, every song, every generous gesture matters. We cannot give those things up out of a sense of guilt or obligation and expect the world to change. The world changes right here, right now, in this moment, in this place, in this time when I extend myself in love, when I reach for understanding, when I bring joy to the lives of those around me. (Marquistory, September 25)

Liz James encourages us to accept “the blood-splattered pause”—the moment when our minds and souls are stretching, waiting for something new to be born.

When you are becoming sure, more grounded, more open. When you are taking a moment to minimize the tearing and to gather your strength. This is not cowardice, this is wisdom.

It is not a falter in your voice when you pause to listen, inhale, breathe. Courage is a thing you push out, yes but courage is also a thing you stretch into. A thing you gather up.

And then you push again. (Liz James Writes, September 27)

The elephant in the room

Sky Yardley—diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimers—introduces us to his elephant friend, Mnemo, who never forgets a face. (Alzheimer’s Canyon, September 26)