Interdependent Web: News of the bombing, a culture of self-isolation, the goal of world community

Interdependent Web: News of the bombing, a culture of self-isolation, the goal of world community

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


News of the bombing

The Rev. Gretchen Haley’s post about the bombing in Syria—and all the world’s pain—is an outpouring of grief and outrage.

The news of the bombing feels like the news of the school shootings feels like the news of the police shootings of an unarmed Black man feels like the news of the ICE raid feels like the story of the 8 year old in the detention center at the border feels like the story that made me find the line of despair that’s always there but I straddle it, hop scotch around it, the story of the parents that overdosed and left their children to starve, the ordinary stories that are everywhere, feels like my own family and all the ways love just will not promise to stop breaking my heart. (Facebook, April 13)

A culture of self-isolation

The Rev. Erika Hewitt passes along wisdom from her colleague, the Rev. Marisol Caballero, about white UU reactions to Kendrick Lamar winning a Pulitzer.

Whether we (who are white, middle-aged, et al.) like it or not, chuckling wryly at the absence of rap on our playlist communicates a bunch of stuff that’s not flattering. This (what Mari calls) “culture of self-isolation” is a harmful stubbornness; it broadcasts indifference about anything that falls beyond the whiteness in which we’re so fluent, so adept, so entrenched.

When we as white people stay in our lane, we perpetuate whiteness as a dominant cultural force. (Facebook, April 17)

Would you get someone out of hell?

The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford writes a theological dividing line—between those who would condemn a person to hell, and those who wouldn’t—affects “how we think about prison, about welfare, about war . . . well, it shapes so much of our view of life and each other.”

Because if you are glad, if you thank God, at the idea of someone tortured forever in hell, then how could you possibly be willing to support anything that would mean a better life for them now? (Boots and Blessings, April 17)

Thomas Earthman reminds us that our theology needs to be more than just words.

When we say that we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person, what we mean is that everyone is worth trying to redeem. Everyone who is alive can choose to be their best selves today, regardless of what they did yesterday. We don’t absolve them of consequences, but we do hold that they can and should be encouraged to be better now. Can’t we all be a little better? (I Am UU, April 16)

The goal of world community

The Rev. Carl Gregg writes that human rights are inalienable, not inevitable.

[If] we are to have any hope of achieving our goal of “world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all,” I invite you to consider that it will require more than the bumper sticker slogan of “Think globally, act locally.” While acting locally will remain vital (“All politics is local!”), the goal of world community will require us not only to “think globally,” but also to “act globally. (Carl Gregg, April 19)

Doug Muder points out the difference in taxes paid by wage earners and investors.

Over the last few years, my wife and I have eased towards retirement, . . . I’ve watched our taxes go down accordingly, because the tax code is stacked against people who get their money by working. . . .

Our tax system is unjust, and every person who earns wages should feel insulted and abused by it. (The Weekly Sift, April 16)

Balance and Beltane

The Rev. Theresa Novak writes about finding balance in her aging body.

My body was a well-honed tool . . .
It is time
To work on it again.
And learn to ride
The waves of aging
With all the balance
I can find. (Sermons, Poetry, and Other Musings, April 17)

John Beckett suggests eight solitary ways to observe Beltane—including a suggestion for those without green thumbs.

Have you managed to kill every plant you’ve ever tried to grow? Does your cat think flowers make nice appetizers? Or are you just not up for planting? Then go buy some fresh cut flowers.

Most grocery stores carry them, at least around here. For a few dollars you can brighten up your house and make it look like Beltane, even if your local weather is decidedly Winterish. (Under the Ancient Oaks, April 19)