Interdependent Web: Please keep in mind, good practice, honoring our ancestors, all oppressions are linked

Interdependent Web: Please keep in mind, good practice, honoring our ancestors, all oppressions are linked

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


Please keep in mind

Because too many people need reminding, Kim Hampton tells us, once again, that racism kills.

In all of the hubbub of the upcoming release of Omarosa’s book, the news of another Ferguson protestor dying on Friday didn’t make it into the zeitgeist.

His name is Allen Frazier and he leaves behind a wife and 4 children. (East of Midnight, August 14)

As the anniversary of Hurricane Harvey nears, Katy Schmidt Carpman speaks up for her fellow storm victims with a plea about social media.

Please keep in mind that many of us here are feeling pretty fragile - heck, many are not yet resettled.

Be kind. And maybe leave off the flooding photos. (Facebook, August 16)

Good practice

The Rev. Jake Morrill has an unusual spiritual practice.

Every day, no matter what else is going on, and how many things tug at my attention, I try to work on some individual project or goal. I think it's good to practice selfishness, daily. (Facebook, August 15)

For Liz James, participating in a long distance walking event teaches her that she is more than“support staff.”

It did not occur to me that I might be more than that, until James asked me, over lunch, how far I was planning to try for. In my brain a tiny Liz stood up, stomped her feet and howled “ALL THE WAY, MOTHERF—" which surprised the heck out of me, because I did not know that tiny howling Liz existed. Or had been in there training this whole time. I told her to sit back down and be realistic. (Liz James Writes, August 15)

The Rev. Linda Hart shares a list of questions from members of her congregation.

What is the best or easiest way to show love and acceptance to someone whose beliefs are so different from your own?

How do we begin conversations with folks with whom we can’t even agree on basic facts? How do we counter ‘fake news’? (Tahoma UU, August 13)

Honoring our ancestors

Charging the congregation at an installation service, the Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein reminds them of the high cost paid by their ancestors for the congregational polity we now take for granted.

Those who established congregational polity in the 17th century wanted to see to it that the local congregation, gathered by a covenant made between themselves and their God, had the right to call their own minister and to covenant with that person to walk “in God’s ways as known and to be made known,” as they often said in their covenants.” For this innovation they were persecuted, imprisoned and in some cases executed.

Remember that when you are having a brownie in the parish hall later. (Peacebang, August 14)

Doug Muder writes that anti-immigrant rhetoric is an insult to many Americans’ ancestors.

America always changes. It changes noticeably from one decade to the next, and pretty extremely with each new generation.

It always has. If your ancestors had wanted to keep living exactly the same way their ancestors did, they probably would have stayed in the Old Country. From the English and Germans to the Guatemalans and Somalians, immigration has always given America a bias towards the New. And that has worked well for us, century after century.

In the end, elasticity has been the most enduring trait of American culture. Massive demographic change is as American as apple pie — which has this tasty Pennsylvania Dutch variant. (The Weekly Sift, August 13)

All oppressions are linked

John Beckett pushes back against that assumption that “no matter what interests and experiences they share, the only reason . . . a straight man and a straight woman would have a relationship is for sex.”

Like so many assumptions in our society, this one is usually unstated and unexamined. . . . And it’s a toxic assumption.

It’s an assumption that keeps men and women from developing close friendships, because one or both assume that if the relationship gets close enough, it will inevitably lead to sex. Spouses and partners make the same assumption and get jealous. That in turn puts pressure on the romantic partner to be “your everything” – something no human can be. (Under the Ancient Oaks, August 14)

The Rev. Dan Harper believes that there is a minor form of privilege that he calls “Boomer privilege.”

I believe “Boomer privilege” can be a useful tool for analyzing institutional dynamics within Unitarian Universalist congregations, and within Unitarian Universalism as a whole. Those of us who are Boomers — and I am one — can challenge our fellow Boomers and point out ways in which we are making unconscious assumptions that are in our own self-interests. This must take a lower priority to using the analytical tools of “white privilege” and “male privilege” and “class privilege”; yet since all oppressions are linked, we cannot avoid looking at even minor forms of oppression, and see how those minor forms of oppression help perpetuate major forms of oppression. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, August 13)