Interdependent Web: Bees on the door handle, hope is a thing with claws, brazen cynicism

Interdependent Web: Bees on the door handle, hope is a thing with claws, brazen cynicism

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


Bees on the door handle

Liz James provides a striking metaphor, answering the question of why a woman being harassed doesn’t simply leave the room.

Imagine you are in a room you want to leave. The path to the door is clear, and it’s unlocked.But there’s one, tiny catch.

The door handle is smeared with honey. And on that honey, there are seven or eight bees. . . .

How bad would the thing in the room have to be for you to grab that handle? (Liz James Writes, December 5)

Hope is a thing with claws

In these challenging times, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum reminds us that hope is more than a thing with feathers.

[Hope is] a thing with claws, grasping on tightly for what it wants. It is a thing with a beak, pulling and pecking and fighting for what it knows is possible. Hope is a thing with muscle and sinew, pushing against the forces of empire. Hope is a thing with bone, solid force against the despair. Hope is a thing that bites and claws and scratches on us . . . making us fight for the world that should be. (Facebook, December 5)

Tina Porter creates an advent calendar of words, filled with twenty-four intangibles she would love to put into her daughters’ lives—including this one, hope:

It seems just out of reach right now, and also like a useless tool in your survival kit, but it is what helps you see past the mess at your feet and in your face to the society we have yet to create. (Ugly Pies, December 6)

The Rev. Peggy Clarke responds to the anger and hopelessness felt by many on the left.

[We] can’t hide our heads in the sand (or shopping or ice cream). I know how horrible it all is, but I also know that it can get worse. If they think they can get away with it, those in power will inflict even more suffering. Now is not the time for us to pull back. Now is the time for us to pull together, to lean on each other, to empower both friend and stranger. (Facebook, December 4)

Brazen cynicism

Doug Muder admits to being surprised by the Republicans’ brazen cynicism in this week’s tax reform vote.

So what about that big infrastructure project Trump talked about. . . . Where’s the money for that going to come from? How’s he going to keep his promise not to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, once the trillion-a-year deficits start happening. . . ?

He won’t keep that promise. He’s already breaking it.

If this passes, there will be no money left for populism, and no money left to save the programs the middle class depends on. They’ll have given it all to the rich.

They’re doing it as you read this, and they’re being totally brazen about it. (The Weekly Sift, December 4)

For Carey McDonald, even some Democrats are implicated in the tax reform bill.

Every Democrat that ever ran on tax cuts owns a piece of this slash and trash legislation that is a straight up wealth transfer from poor and working folks to the winners in Trump’s cynical world. . . .

As if government shouldn’t even try to solve social problems. As if public education, public infrastructure, publicly owned resources and universal benefits haven’t been a rare historic route out of poverty for those who have been able to access them, and the foundation of whatever middle class we’ve ever had. As if the only goal is to spend less (except when it comes to “economic development incentives,” of course) no matter who literally loses their lives or livelihoods as a result. (Facebook, December 2)

The Rev. David Miller believes that current conservative politics are “destructive for the soul of this country and our ability to build any true version of Beloved Community.”

That is why I speak out, preach out and act out. If we wish to see a future based in the values and religious grounding we profess, we are called to act often, boldly and stay grounded in humility, reflection and, as much as possible, love.

To me this is deeply spiritual work. It calls on me to practice what I preach. It calls on all of us to know our Unitarian Universalist principles and try to live them as part of our spiritual practice. . . . For when our values and principles are in such a place of opposition to the prevailing practice, our historical call for active participation in healing the world leads to our need to rise up to meet this moment in history. (UUCF, December 4)

The Rev. Ian White Maher writes that “An overwhelming sense of isolation and alienation is killing us as a species.”

Each day we seem to become more atomized as a society as we find new ways to live separately from one another. We retreat from the complexity of community seeking instead tiny corners of serenity believing if we can only find some quiet then we will be saved. . . .

But separation is the fantasy. Our true self is interconnected in the absolute and liberation from suffering is a shared experience. . . . We must look into the collisions, the clashes, the shames, if we want to find how we turn the world into objects that we can collect or throw away as it suits our mood. (Ian White Maher, December 5)

Disturbing the fragile peace

The Rev. Jake Morrill reacted to the news that the president planned to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In other words, instead of honoring the delicate balance of three great faiths, in a world heritage city, he will pick a winner and a loser. It’s as reverent and thoughtful as someone marching up during a funeral to urinate in the baptismal font, before mooning the mourners. To say that Muslims will be offended by this unnecessary and provocative assault on the current uneasy peace is an understatement. Probably some extremist will respond to our President’s provocation with an act of violence, and, that will whip up a hurricane of fear and hatred, in response. . . . [Our] President will get the adrenaline jolt of attention he seems to like, until it wears off and he can think of what else might get people talking. (Facebook, December 5)