Interdependent Web: Religious values and moral touchstones

Interdependent Web: Religious values and moral touchstones

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

Heather Christensen


Religious values and moral touchstones

Adam Dyer calls out the UUA for its failure to adequately recognize “the date that marks 400 years since Africans were first displaced to this continent in bondage.”

I serve this denomination as one of all too few African American ministers and this lack of action is yet another reminder that in many ways, this is not my faith. But I am not deterred. In fact, I am determined that because of this minimal action, I will not let the same thing happen next year with regard to marking 400 years since the start of the aggressive and premeditated displacement in 1620 of Native people from the place that we now call Massachusetts.

I believe that the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ as the modern-day religious descendants of the Puritans who arrived here in 1620 must make a public acknowledgement of their role in initiating the devastation of Native people. I also believe that as the religious body that formed and structured what would become the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the modern government of the commonwealth must join these two denominations in a public act of witness. (spirituwellness, October 7)

Kat Liu comments on a news story about a Jewish-based organization that promises to provide career support to ICE agents leaving their jobs.

What I would like is when people think of religion for them to think of stories like this. A Jewish group naming the the religious value of atonement—making yourself right with your God and your fellow human beings—and helping others to live this value.

Buddhists would call it "right livelihood." Do not make your living based on the suffering of others. (Facebook, October 9)

Jordinn Nelson Long writes that progressivism is missing “a courageous moral center.”

The next horrific thing you read this morning ... what would it look and feel like to engage the issue with a moral touchstone? What would leaders be doing or pointing toward or talking about if they did the same? (Facebook, October 10)

More answers to impeachment objections

As the impeachment inquiry continues to unfold, Doug Muder provides a second set of answers to common impeachment objections.

[Before] we get into the excuses and responses, I think it’s important never to lose sight of the heart of the case against Trump. It’s a simple case, which is why his supporters work so hard to obscure it: He’s cheating again. . . .

The essence of the Ukraine and China stories is that Trump is looking for a country to cheat for him in 2020, the way Russia did in 2016. And this time he has more to work with than just a wink-and-nod about sanctions. As president, he can distort all of US foreign policy to bribe or threaten foreign leaders into doing him “favors.” (The Weekly Sift, October 7)

Grief, graveyards, and grandmothers

Diana McLean observes the fifth anniversary of her father’s death.

Five years out, the images of those final six hours are less vivid. I can still call them to mind, but they are blurrier, a little washed out, like old photographs. They rarely come unbidden. I no longer need to go looking for pictures of a younger, healthier Dad to help erase the painful images. Now I do it just for the joy of seeing him. (Poetic Justice, October 3)

Lynn Ungar tells a heartwarming tale of one action leading to another, then another, then to a very good thing—comforting a recently bereaved neighbor. (Facebook, October 6)

Helen Rose visits a graveyard, and gets a reminder that she is a descendant of “great-grandmothers who never took shit from anybody.”

Sitting in the graveyard
I ask my great grandmother
For a sign
That everything will be ok.

When I try to leave,
My car won’t start.

She always was a bitch. (The Journey So Far, October 10)