Interdependent Web: We are marching, safety and justice for all, taking responsibility

Interdependent Web: We are marching, safety and justice for all, taking responsibility

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


We are marching

The Rev. Carmen TenEyck-McDowell, who works as a chaplain at a children’s hospital, was deeply moved by participating in Seattle’s March for Our Lives.

This chaplain will follow the children, whose souls I tend at work each day, whose parents I journey alongside, and I will support their professional care teams with all my ability. And outside of the hospital, I will follow to them as the white kids pass the mics to the black kids, as the boys call out white male domination, naming it a weapon of mass destruction, and I will vote for their health care, their ability to have safe air to breathe, and water to drink, food to eat, homes to live in, and be treated with respect and dignity. And be safe in their classrooms. (Facebook, March 25)

Tina Porter hopes that the march leaders from Parkland find time to grieve.

Your actions are a way to grieve—do not discount that. But I hope you are also finding silence somewhere other than on the stage. I hope there will be times to go to the ocean, sit on the sand, and let the weight of the world slip from you for an hour. Maybe two. Know that we who are inspired and thankful for you and all the work you have done and will do, we want this for you. A time of rest, a time of tears, a time of remembering, a time of mourning. (Ugly Pies, March 26)

Safety and justice for all

Kim Hampton writes, “ Please stop telling me the Parkland students ‘get it.’”

Whether the Parkland kids get it or not, the real question is why you good white people didn’t get it before now. And whether you will get it tomorrow when the people who are killed don’t look like you. (East of Midnight, March 27)

The Rev. Barbara Hoag Gadon also has a message for white people, including herself, who are celebrating the success of the March for Our Lives.

I’ve watched some of my friends, particularly people of color, pointing out our hypocrisy. We call the Parkland students courageous, and we happily follow. We turn up in droves at their march. Yesterday, I was telling my father-in-law it was the first glimmer of hope I have felt in changing gun laws. The hypocrisy? That young black people have been doing the same things since the shooting of Trayvon Martin, and we have barely paid attention. We have held ourselves back with apprehension. We have looked askance at “tactics.” (Facebook, March 26)

The Rev. Nathan Ryan responds to news that there would be no charges in the police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge.

When I look at the decades and centuries of abuse towards the poor and the black communities in Louisiana, I understand why the police expect violence. You can only abuse a people so long. . . .

I keep remembering what one person at a Together Baton Rouge meeting said: “There’s a difference between peace and quiet.”

Please be peaceful, Baton Rouge. You deserve that.

But please do not be quiet. We deserve a city with justice at its center. (Facebook, March 27)

Disability and the Ministerial Fellowship Committee

Following her successful meeting with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, Sierra Marie Gerfao writes that she experienced the committee as treating her disability as a personal issue rather than a systemic one.

When we treat disability as a personal issue, it means we think disability is the problem. When this is the case, we require people with disabilities to demonstrate that their disability won't be a problem for "the rest of us." This means ministers going through the credentialing process deal quietly with their disabilities as something they have to “prove” won't interfere with their ministry (or as one more thing they might have to answer to for the MFC) rather than as an access issue. Under these circumstances, people tend to keep quiet about their experiences, even feeling some shame about having to go the distance to prove they could really measure up.

On the other hand, if we treat disability as a systemic issue, it means we think ableism and lack of access is the problem. When this is the case, we talk openly about our challenges because we understand that what we are naming is not a way in which we personally fall short, but a way in which the community has fallen short of its ideals. When a community falls short of its ideals, we have an opportunity to correct that together. (Facebook, March 27)

Taking responsibility

Liz James explains why she won’t delete Facebook.

[By] all means, #deletefacebook if that’s what it takes. But don’t be under any delusions about what that will or won’t solve. . . .

What matters is how tuned in you are to who you are, what you want, and your compassion for those around you. What matters is having the kind of deep rudder that makes it hard for others to steer your ship for you. So if you don’t want to be manipulated, don’t be that person. Be someone who isn’t steered by fear, hate, or simple thinking. (Liz James Writes, March 24)

The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford shares what she believes is the most controversial thing she’ll write all year.

We live in a time where emotional self-responsibility is not the expectation. And you see it on every side: the person who feels they should be able to say whatever they want without consequence, the person who feels that the world should protect them from ever feeling uncomfortable.

Learning how to become responsible for what is ours, and knowing we are not responsible for what is someone else’s, is the key to emotional maturity. (Boots and Blessings, March 27)