Interdependent Web: Paying respect, deep conversations, the choice to belong, the vile slide

Interdependent Web: Paying respect, deep conversations, the choice to belong, the vile slide

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


Paying respect

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein reacts to the passing of Aretha Franklin.

When I heard the news that she died, I hurt more than I would have expected, because whenever she appeared she delivered power, love, strength, solidarity, hope, beauty. Her voice rearranged something in our guts and dug into the ineffable thing we call the soul. I join all who grieve that we won't ever turn on the television or the YouTube to see her stride out again to bless us. She was a high priestess and true queen. (Facebook, August 18)

Deep conversations

The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford suggests that our congregations would be less like debate clubs if we learned to use the words “I believe.”

I think that the reason why we so often do not have those deep conversations in our churches is because so many people are not interested in debate. They’re craving dialogue, where the people involved are not trying to convince each other, or “win,” but instead share ideas and explore new thoughts without coercion. It is a vulnerable thing to share our beliefs, knowing they may open us up for ridicule or scorn. (Boots and Blessings, August 21)

The Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long begins a conversation about a communitarian argument against suicide.

I don’t necessarily know who you are or what you’re struggling with (although on some level, I do know . . . on some level, we all know).

I don’t know, and I do know, and despite and because of all of it: stay.

You have to stay. (Facebook, August 18)

The choice to belong

John Beckett responds to the anxieties of those who find their spiritual path later in life, and feel pressure to “catch up.”

No spiritual journey moves at a consistent rate of speed. Sometimes stuff comes at you so fast you can barely keep up, while other times it seems like you’ve been in the same place for months and months. Either way, keep doing the foundational work that will support you in good times and in bad, and that will prepare you for what comes next – whatever that is. (Under the Ancient Oaks, August 21)

Thomas Earthman celebrates Unitarian Universalism as a freely chosen religion.

Unitarian Universalism is a choice. We don’t stand against the world and all are invited to consider their participation. You choose us, and we are pledged to accept you as you are while encouraging you to grow and be your best. You choose to be one of us; you bless us by your desire to work with us. (I Am UU, August 20)

The vile slide

Andrew Hidas is tired of the enduring vilification of Hillary Clinton.

Reading my friend’s Facebook thread, I suddenly realized, I think, how sick I was of the absurd claim that Hillary is some kind of leftist radical trying to suck the soul out of America, rather than what she really is: a true middle-of-the-road, incremental and cautious mainstream Democrat informed by her history and her utterly conventional Christian faith (Methodist, not the Church of Satan) that commands her to seek justice, be civil, tend to the poor, and be good stewards of the earth. (Traversing, August 18)

Doug Muder writes that that with Trump’s revoking of high level security clearances, the drift toward autocracy continues.

The abstract principle here is that presidential powers are not personal prerogatives, they are tied to presidential responsibilities. In this case, the president’s power over security clearances is tied to his responsibility for securing the government’s secrets. Any security-clearance decision that can’t be justified in those terms is illegitimate, even if it is technically legal. (The Weekly Sift, August 20)

The Rev. Adam Dyer says that it is not a suprise that Trump is a racist—and it’s bigger than that.

Racism is not Donald Trump using [the n-word] on tape. Racism is not white supremacists marching in the streets. Racism is not the attempt by the Republican party to erase the legacy of the United State’s first black identified President. Racism is not putting brown children in cages separated from their parents in a foreign country. Racism isn’t even referring to other human beings as “vermin”. Racism is looking at all of this, these vile and inhuman actions and words and crimes against humanity and saying you have more important things to worry about. (Spirituwellness, August 19)