Interdependent Web: A Trumpist religion, outrage spills over, notes for the resistance

Interdependent Web: A Trumpist religion, outrage spills over, notes for the resistance

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


A Trumpist religion

Doug Muder asks, “What if what we’re seeing is an actual schism in American Christianity?”

On one side will be a genuinely Christian Christianity, one that takes the words of Jesus seriously. On the other side will be a Trumpist religion that is nativist and supports all the traditional supremacies: white, male, heterosexual, and born to wealth. One side will concern itself with the poor and victims of injustice. The other will preach a prosperity gospel in which God wants you to be rich and has his own reasons to leave the poor in the gutter. One side will promote humility, the other will glorify men of large egos, who never apologize or admit their mistakes. . . .

A large segment of American Christianity has been drifting away from Jesus for many years. Now they have found their voice and their leader. (The Weekly Sift, June 18)

The Rev. Michael Tino writes that there is “a blight in our nation.”

A fungus that has lain low in our soil for generations, silently poisoning the ground. It is silent no more. It is killing our siblings, our cousins, our neighbors, our friends.

It is a blight of hatred, of intolerance, of bigotry. It is a blight of white supremacism, of nationalism, of xenophobia. It is a moral blight, disguising itself as Christianity, but really an insidious form of faux-Christian dominionism that reserves salvation for certain races, ethnicities, abilities, gender identities and sexualities. (Facebook, June 17)

Outrage spills over

The Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long urges us to take our fury about migrant children torn from their parents’ arms, and channel it into action.

Imagine it's your kid.

Dare—risk your whole heart—to imagine it.

And then. Then, with tears fresh on your cheeks, DEMAND—with the full strength of your horror, your hurt, your outrage—that these kids be returned. That they be given back to their parents. That they be placed back into the safe arms of those who loved them enough to risk it. (Facebook, June 20)

The Rev. Peggy Clarke reports from a vigil, where she gathered with others protesting the administration’s immigration policies.

A good number of the women there were born in other countries. One told me that she was a Russian refugee whose family came here 25 years ago. She said that as Russian Jews, they were considered “desirable refugees” (read: white) and that the process for them was clear and easily followed. . . .

It seems that reasonable and humane process is limited to those we consider “desirable”. (Facebook, June 20)

The Rev. Robin Bartlett finds the administration’s use of scripture appalling.

This administration's use of the Bible to justify separating babies from their moms and dads at the border and warehousing them in cages is nothing short of demonic. Beware false prophets. Beware tyrants who seek to justify hatred in the name of our God. . . .

From the story warning us against failing to provide hospitality in Sodom and Gomorrah to the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Bible is clear: We must welcome the stranger and the alien. We must love our neighbor. All children are children of God, therefore all children are our children. What we do to the least of these, we do to Jesus. We are to Love one another. Every single other. (Facebook, June 15)

The Rev. Jake Morrill considers the damage that this kind of work does to border agents.

There's a mental health concept called “moral injury.” It's what happens when we act against what we know deep-down to be right, when we violate our own values, especially when the stakes are high. And the deep shame we feel after. Taking part in dehumanization can cause moral injury. So, of course, in the years to come, the children going through this nightmare will carry the wounds and scars of what we’re doing to them—it will take generations to heal what's being harmed now. But the border agent will carry the wounds and scars of having done something that he knew was wrong. The shame of having taken part in evil, and done nothing to stop it. He may be managing that pain for the rest of his life. And he comes as a warning, to not let our heart harden, but to keep it engaged. (Facebook, June 18)

Notes for the resistance

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern shares her “notes for the resistance” from the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam.

It seems as if we have been here before. Here’s the thing to remember, then: the Dutch resisters were victorious. They needed the Allies to liberate the country, ultimately, but they hung in there through starvation and repression and outright murder, until they won and the Nazis lost. This, even though their resistance movement was filled with infighting and compromise and sniping.
Maybe that’s just what successful resistance looks like. Maybe even when your efforts are messy and you get a hundred things wrong, it can be enough. Maybe we should stop worrying about being such a flawed, frustrating resistance movement, and just keep on keeping on. They also serve who only sabotage the officers’ socks. And if enough serve in enough ways, we will win. (Sermons in Stones, June 15)

The Rev. Daniel Harper offers a suggestion for those of us who feel that there are too many pressing issues all at once.

Please remember that all injustices are linked. I assume you’re already working on another one of the pressing injustices of our times. . . . [The] most important thing for us to do is continue working on the injustices to which we are already committed. . . .

It’s fine to feel outrage and anger and fear and discouragement, and all those other complicated emotions that we’re feeling now. . . . I’d suggest that instead of becoming obsessed with news media and social media accounts, you will feel better if you engage in any kind of justice work. Because all injustices are linked, you will be making a difference in the injustices that ICE is currently perpetrating. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, June 20)

John Beckett writes about each of us finding our place in the resistance.

These are difficult and stressful times. They are also passionate times. We see a great injustice, we are compelled to act, and we want—and need—others to act with us. Some oppose us, and so we must oppose them. Some are indifferent or afraid, and so we must persuade them.

And some share our goals but not our methods. You may think their methods are too radical and dangerous. They are not your enemy. You may think their methods are too mild and accommodating. They are not your enemy either. . . .

Let people do what they feel called to do, and what they feel capable of doing. If they share your goals but not your methods, treat them as friend and ally, not as an enemy. (Under the Ancient Oaks, June 21)

The Rev. Scott Wells warns us that repairing the damage to our country will take a long time—and that there’s no guarantee that we’ll have the opportunity to do so.

[The] list of the unbelievable and the unimaginable keeps getting longer. Defend against this, and the White House lobs that grenade into the crowd.

Overcoming these assaults will mean a lot of hard, wearing work, and success is not given. Things I used to care about deeply—employment rights for gay people, or the end of the death penalty—are (to me) now less important than the calculated and empowered de-humanization of target groups by the current Administration. God willing, we may step out of crisis in a few years, but I’m not banking on it. (Rev. Scott Wells, June 19)