Interdependent Web: Confronting the NRA, shareholder witness, not failing at Christmas

Interdependent Web: Confronting the NRA, shareholder witness, not failing at Christmas

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

Heather Christensen


All that is righteous and good

The Rev. Audette Fulbright prays for the strength to bless the world.

Let us praise with hands and hearts and song
All that is righteous and good in this world.
Every day, the troubles of a wounded world pour in
And we need strong hearts to make the journey. (Facebook, December 10)

Confronting the NRA is holy work

This week, many UUs traveled to the National Interfaith Clergy Witness outside the headquarters of the National Rifle Association. The Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long celebrated all those who made this witness possible.

Tonight, I'm lifting up the courage, witness, and FIERCE LOVE of the colleagues who traveled for so many miles to Fairfax, Virginia. Tonight, I'm grateful for the congregations supporting them, groups of people ready to say no more, too many gone too soon, we want our children back. Tonight, I'm amazed by the leadership and hospitality and service and song of those putting the event together. Tonight, I'm honored to be part of this movement that shows up, resists, and answers the call of love. (Facebook, December 13)

The Rev. David Miller, whose congregation helped organize the event, expressed his gratitude to all who came, and all who helped make it happen—and who continue this work.

This is holy work. This work can't stop until it is done. A world of love and joy is possible, I know deep in my heart it is. We cannot let the forces of fear and division win, we can't, we just can't, love must win. (Facebook, December 14)

The Rev. Christina Leone Tracy expressed the feelings of many who were unable to attend.

I dropped my own beloved child, my heart, at daycare this morning and cried in the car as I knew those parents did the same that day five years ago when their children were stolen from them by a coward with a gun. . . . This is a largely-fixable problem, and I will continue to work for sensible gun laws locally and federally, and I hope you'll join me. (Facebook, December 14)

The deep roots of racism

Debra Greenwood points out the long history of sexual abuse, and the particular vulnerability of those with less power.

From the time of American slavery, white, male slave owners have used their position of authority and power to rape enslaved women and children. In more recent times, housekeepers of color—who have worked for rich, white men—have been sexually victimized by their employers. Desperate to keep their jobs, there has been little or no recourse, save resignation, for these women. In order to eat, they’ve had to endure the abuse. The fact that these women were victimized made no real impact on society. It wasn’t until white women were more widely abused that women were believed and action taken. (UU Women, December 8)

The Rev. Nathan Ryan traces the racial division evident in this week’s Alabama special election back to the late 1600s.

In Virginia, after Bacon’s Rebellion burned down Jamestown, the ruling elite saw how dangerous it was (for them) when poor whites and poor blacks united to rebel against inhumane treatment. To protect against future upheaval, they made white servitude temporary and black enslavement generational. This invented racial division has haunted us ever since. (Facebook, December 12)

Spiritual work in a shareholder meeting

Charles Du Mond recently spoke at the Cisco Annual meeting, presenting a shareholder resolution on behalf of the UUA, asking for greater transparency in the company’s lobbying efforts.

At the end of the meeting, several people came up to talk to me and share their UU values. The Wall Street Journal reporter told me she was a UU. Another shareholder came up and said they used to go to the Palo Alto UU church.

Gratitude to [UUA Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer] Tim [Brennan] and his staff for doing this work. And I think it is an opportunity for UU evangelism. Sharing our values in a shareholder meeting didn't seem like spiritual work, but now I think it is. (Facebook, December 13)

You are not failing at Christmas

The Rev. Theresa Soto’s Advent devotional offers ways to find peace—more or less.

I know; we live in overwhelming times. The state of politics, the environment, even humanity, is often more challenging than inspiring. At the same time, there is some thing, one single thing you can do now, next.

As long as you are able to do the next right thing, you are leaving room for transformation and redemption. You are bringing light to the world that darkness cannot extinguish. (Medium, December 10)

Liz James reassures us that “The meaning of Christmas is not about being perfect.”

Every piece of the story, when you trace it back, is about the opposite of being perfect. It's about something more beautiful, more profound, and decidedly less photogenic.

To be human is to be part of a great story of making do. Of changing and learning, and getting together.

And you, with your best-I-can-but-not-perfect-efforts, fit right into that story. You are not failing Christmas.

You are doing Christmas exactly right. (Liz James Writes, December 14)