Interdependent Web: Reconsidering separate but equal, banding together, instructions for life

Interdependent Web: Reconsidering separate but equal, banding together, instructions for life

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


Reconsidering separate but equal

After enjoying a recent Black Lives of UU Revival, Kim Hampton asks, “Why are we trying to integrate UU congregations? Is it time for a separate but equal Unitarian Universalism?”

Part of the reason Revival was so freeing was none of the people in the room had to hold back in bringing their full selves into the room. We all knew the white gaze was not going to be there. Those of us who got to plan the worships knew that we could play music and have readings and rituals from the African diaspora and not have to explain why we were using them or having to do a 10-minute education session about them. That is freeing too. (East of Midnight, May 27)

Theresa Novak writes a poem for white people, called “Intentions.”

The road to hell may not be paved
But it is covered with the guano
Of our so-called good intentions
It’s a seagull shit so white
It covers the awareness
Of the pain we cause
By our fragility (Sermons, Poetry, and Other Musings, May 25)

Banding together

The Rev. Beth Johnson recently traveled to Sacramento to participate in the Poor People’s Campaign.

On the flight, the man next to me asked if I was going to Sacramento on business and so I told him about the Poor People’s Campaign too. We had a powerful conversation about income inequality and the issues of poverty and racism, health care—his brother died from lung cancer for lack of health care. And he had a lot to say about the power of corporations and what we know is the resistance to equity. . . . He said, “It’s going to be hard. Do you think it will happen? What if they try and stop you. You know . . . if they kill you. They disappear people you know.” I said I was ready if that were to happen. (Facebook, May 27)

Doug Muder summarizes what he’s been reading about the class divide in America.

Instead, the Founders counted on relative equality of wealth and the presence of a large middle class to maintain a balanced society. Those are the conditions our system of government is designed for, and at various key points in American history (the homestead era, the Progressive Era, the New Deal) the government made deliberate choices that preserved the middle class and prevented either plutocratic domination or a revolution of the dispossessed.

Now we’re in an era of increased concentration of wealth and power by the .1%. Now more than ever, if we’re going to preserve our system of government, we need the 9.9% and the working class to band together against the domination of the super-rich. But how is that going to happen? (The Weekly Sift, May 28)

Systems thinking

The Rev. Tom Schade rejects the theory that school shootings and other acts of mass violence are the result of “involuntary celibacy.”

There are systems which turn out school shooters. Those systems are called patriarchy, rape culture, porn culture, and gun culture. . . .

Porn culture teaches that satisfying sexual desires is the highest value in life. Rape culture teaches that the use of coercive power to compel women to satisfy sexual desire is justified, for its own sake. And gun culture ensures that a tool for expressing your rage in a public theatre of death is always available. (The Lively Tradition, May 26)

Instructions for life

The Rev. Amy Shaw writes a note to politicians, influencers, televangelists, and entertainers, reminding them of kindergarten lessons they’ve apparently forgotten.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours (it's stealing even if you convince poor Billy that he really really does want to give you his entire lunch).

Don’t be greedy—just take what you really need and leave enough for others.

Don’t brag.

Keep your hands and other body bits to yourself.

Apologize when you’ve made a mistake.

Everybody here is important. (Facebook, May 30)

The Rev. Erin Walter turns her notes from a recent therapy session into a poem, reminding herself to “make a nest of the little things.”

My therapist says
Recalibrate to empathy
Make it mutual
Ask them to meet you there:
Someplace not so fixed
So rigid
Like stone.

Your perspective is real and true,
she says
And it is not the only one. (Facebook, May 28)

In the midst of a divorce, Liz James savors opportunities for self-discovery.

I’ve never chosen my life like this, before. Compromises are a natural part of a marriage, but because Gary and I got together when I was so young (and his life was so fully formed), I just fit into that situation. I never really had the opportunity to find out who adult-Liz-on-her-own is. I kinda always abdicated that onto Gary’s responsible and steady shoulders. I always feared that there was no adult-Liz underneath the bubbly half-kid I’ve been used to being. Now, I’m finding out that a) there is an adult-Liz there, and b) I like her. A lot. (Liz James Writes, May 31)

The Rev. Lynn Ungar’s dogs answer a reader’s question about how to encourage a neighbor to mow their weedy lawn.

Yeah, but think about it. Who is bothered by the dandelions? Who wants the situation to change? Maybe the messy neighbors like dandelions. Maybe they don’t have a lawnmower. Maybe they just have too many other things going on and the lawn never gets to the top of their list. Apparently other people care more about the lawn than they do, so maybe the people who feel it’s a problem should be in charge of fixing it. (Wombat and Dingbat Fix the World, May 30)