Interdependent Web: The moral crisis of black maternal mortality, learning from the storm, seeking a Democratic Jedi

Interdependent Web: The moral crisis of black maternal mortality, learning from the storm, seeking a Democratic Jedi

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


The moral crisis of black maternal mortality

Kim Hampton struggles to find words to describe how important the problem of black maternal mortality is to her.

Mother’s Day is hard for a lot of people. And many preachers stumble over what to say from the pulpit on the day. If I may make a suggestion it would be to focus on this. There is no reason for the church to be silent in the face of people dying from things that, at least the data says, should be preventable. (East of Midnight, 5.8.19)

Molly Housh Gordon shares the text of her comments at a recent # StoptheBan rally with Planned Parenthood.

If our legislature cared about our lives, they would be treating our state’s extremely high infant and maternal mortality rate, especially for black women and babies, like the moral crisis that it is, instead of stripping away funding and resources from the very health care providers, like Planned Parenthood, that could make a difference. (Facebook, 5.8.19)

Learning from the storm

When the sound of gunshots echoes right outside the door of his home, Justin Almeida begins to believe that “nothing will ever change.”

Not until each of us has sat with a body bleeding out.
Not until we’ve held a child’s hand while they cry about how much it hurts.
Not until each one of us has lost somebody to this horrific violence.
Not until every one of us is shot, one way or another.

Today, my family was lucky. The shots didn’t enter our home.
There’s always tomorrow. (Necessary but not sufficient, 5.8.19)

Aaron White asks, “What can your fear teach you?”

Fears of snakes and falling point toward our desire to have basic safety and protection. Fears of aging bodies and minds can represent, in part, our hopes to have agency, to create, and make a difference. . . .

The storms outside and within us will return. That is certain. But sometimes, if we sit and watch them, we learn who we are and what we desire most. Goodness and wisdom exist, even within the fear. Sometimes, a person reaches over to hold our hand, and we are not alone. The clouds will clear, the skies will open, and we will start again.  (Possibility Conspiracy, 5.4.19)

Heather Petit offers gentle encouragement.

When we can’t find a thing that gets us through
from where we are to all the way there
May we find the things that get us to tomorrow (Facebook, 5.9.19)

My fellow UUs

Joanna Fontaine Crawford writes, “My fellow Unitarian Universalists, I’m concerned.”

People come to UU congregations from other religious places, including from the theologically conservative. Over and over again, I hear their joy when they learn that in a UU church, yes, really and truly, you can ask questions! . . .

Increasingly, though, on social media, I see people attacked for asking genuine, non-leading, questions. Not for their commentary or opinions, but just for asking the question. (Boots and Blessings, 5.9.19)

My prayer is that you'll keep growing

While attending an evangelical Christian conference centered on the question, “What’s your name?” Gretchen Haley finds herself positioned between rage at the real harm Evangelicals cause, and awareness that there’s more to Christianity than Evangelicalism.

Dear Evangelicals. Dear Christians. Dear friends who I know in my heart are not my enemies, but my kin—You are so right. Everything changes when you know my name. And when you know their name. And my prayer, my lament, my rage, and my grief, which I pray with my hands raised and my heart open—is that you’ll keep growing whose names you mean, and whose name you’re willing to call beautiful. (Another Possibility, 5.7.19)

James Ford remembers and honors Gene Reves, who was a UU minister, and a Buddhist scholar and teacher.

He once wrote, “I was raised Christian. At twenty I became a Unitarian. At thirty I became a Unitarian Universalist. And at fifty I became a Buddhist. But not once did I think of those becomings as a conversion from one faith to another. And so I remain, in my own self-understanding, Christian, Unitarian, Universalist, and Buddhist.” (Monkey Mind, 5.9.19)

Seeking a Democratic Jedi

Doug Muder answers the question, “What should electable mean?”

I’m looking for someone mud won’t stick to, who can deflect criticism with humor, and who can deliver a sting without sounding nasty. I want a candidate who can stand up to hostile questioning without getting flustered or testy or evasive. I want someone who can get specific on policy details, but never loses sight of the millions of Americans who aren’t political wonks.

Most of all, I’m looking for someone who uses the Light Side of the Political Force, someone who can raise enthusiasm without resorting to fear or anger. (The Weekly Sift, 5.6.19)