Interdependent Web: No safe place, choose wisely, a hurricane of anger, belonging to our longings

Interdependent Web: No safe place, choose wisely, a hurricane of anger, belonging to our longings

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

Heather Christensen


No safe place

Doug Muder criticizes the media’s coverage of the recent UN climate change report, writing that it is too simplistic.

[Framing] the situation in that way makes scientists sound like comic-book terrorists: “Do what we want by our deadline or the Earth is finished.”

. . . . What you won’t find in the report is a safe zone, a line in the sand that tells us how far we can go. Where we are now isn’t “safe”, it’s just less risky than where we’re headed. (The Weekly Sift, October 15)

Choose wisely

Kim Hampton writes that she wants “a Unitarian Universalism that doesn’t see people of color as a problem.”

What would it mean for Unitarian Universalism for people of color to be able to bring their full selves into this?

What would it mean for Unitarian Universalism to actually lean into a liberatory theology?

Unitarian Universalists have a choice to make. Choose wisely. (East of Midnight, October 18)

UUA board member Tim Atkins responded to disbelief that UUs can be racist.

Unitarian Universalists have a long history of racism. There were plenty of Unitarian churches and ministers who supported slavery in the 1800s. Plenty who were either against the Civil Rights Movement or still had segregated churches in the 50s and 60s. Plenty who are don’t support the rights of undocumented workers. Plenty who don’t support or believe in Black Lives Matter. We’ve shown historically over and over again to be a divided faith when it comes to matter of race. (Facebook, October 14)

A hurricane of anger

The Rev. Theresa Soto examines the process of losing—and regaining—the ability to be angry.

They felt a hurricane
of anger growing in their bones,
and being constantly told that
anger was unattractive, and
attractiveness their indentured bond,
they began the long, slow process
of dutiful atrophy, until the anger that
remained was an assortment of
shrimp shells and banana peels—
foul and unthreatening, unless
you are a crustacean. (Facebook, October18)

The Rev. Dawn Cooley notes that some white women “are waking to the illusion of proximal power and instead claiming our real power, which is a power-with instead of a power-over.”

Some of us are a bit late to this party. Women of color have been telling us this for a long time, but we haven’t listened. Many of us haven’t felt as though we needed to listen because we thought the white men would protect us. We were wrong.

Our real power comes when align ourselves with others, like women of color, who are fighting for liberation. It comes when we stop seeking or expecting protection, much less permission, of white men. When we stop apologizing. Stop being polite, stop trying to keep the peace. Stop all the things that keep us in our place. We gain real power, power-with, when we resist the divide and conquer tactics and align ourselves with the liberation of others. (Speaking of, October 17)

Belonging to our longings

The Rev. Amy Petrie shaw explores the many choices about coming out, or not, and celebrates the freedom of truly being oneself.

If you cannot be who you are, where you are, begin looking for somewhere else to be. If the people around you wouldn’t love you if they knew, maybe you need new people. (Chalice Fire, October 12)

The Rev. Karen Hering longs for the world to be different than it is.

Whether we think of longing as nostalgia for the past or a steady march of progress toward the future, it can be tempting to think of it in a straight line, stretching out in one direction or the other from where we are now.

But longing is much more curvaceous and dimensional than that. This is abundantly clear in the natural world, where time does not march but bends around the cycle of seasons, where life itself circles back, dust to dust, whether of earth or of stars. Not without its own movement or improvement, Nature has its own emergent progress that unfolds over time. (Karen Hering, October 12)

Tina Porter returns to her writing practice, wondering whom it benefits.

How much of this writing is throat clearing, and how much of it is merely moaning into the bottom of a mug. And how much, if any of it, makes a difference to anyone other than me. (Tina L. Porter, October 16)