Blog roundup, Fall 2016

Blog roundup, Fall 2016

Highlights from the Unitarian Universalist blogosphere, April - July 2016.


Many Unitarian Universalists participate in lively online discussion of a wide variety of topics. Keep up with the conversation: Read UU World’s Editors’ Blog, where you’ll find links to the best commentary about Unitarian Universalism each week.

Sexual violence

The Rev. Vanessa Southern wrote at Medium about the light sentence Stanford student Brock Turner got for three counts of sexual assault: “Someday, when I meet Brock Turner, I will tell him. . . . how he (and others like him) tarnished so much of what my daughter’s grandfather and father, uncles and our male friends—men who are among the most admirable human beings I know—worked her whole life to teach her. I will tell him about the look on her face when the idea of men as kind, oases of support and protection, got mixed with fear; but how I let it be, since that fear might some day save her greater hurt.” (June 6)

The Rev. Amy Shaw of Chalice Fire responded to this year’s Berry Street Lecture, which dealt with issues of clergy sexual misconduct: “If you have been abused by a clergy person from any faith you have the right to be made whole. You have the right to be believed. You have the right to justice. You have the right to shine a light on the truth of what was done to you and you do not have to lie or hide so that your abuser can maintain the illusion that they didn’t do a thing.” (June 28)

The bullets this time

The Rev. Michael Tino posted on Facebook about the Orlando nightclub shootings, writing that “This time, those bullets could have killed me. Someone could have seen me kiss my husband goodbye at the train station. Or they could have seen us co-parenting our child in an airport. Or holding hands over a special (if rare) dinner out. . . . So when you hear someone suggesting that we should appoint judges who will invalidate my marriage, or stoking transphobic fears about bathrooms, or calling my love ‘sin,’ know that anything that makes my people less-than is directly related to guns being pointed at us.” (June 12)

Also posting on Facebook about Orlando, the Rev. Keith Kron committed to working for change: “ I grieve for a country and for a planet where this violence is all too common, all too familiar, all too tragic. I pray that each of us commits to be a little more humane, a little more compassionate, a little more willing to come together to be a part of solution. I pray that we work together to end hatred and superiority. I pray that we decide to become better people today. I pray we never forget. I pledge to remember. I pledge to become a better person. I pledge to be a part of the solution, however many solutions it takes.” (June 12)

The violence of stairs

Theresa Ines Soto posted on Facebook about experiencing ableism:

“We don’t have the
Money. No one disabled comes
Here. Our building is old or special
Or sacrosanct.” No, that’s just your
Edifice complex.

(June 22)

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum of Rev. Cyn addressed ableist language: “[We] often think, even if it is ableist, ‘Standing on the Side of Love’ is a done deal and it would be too hard to change it. I’d like to offer a different possibility. . . . The important part of the ‘Standing on the Side of Love’ isn’t the ‘Standing,’ it’s that we’re acting ‘on the Side of Love.’” (June 29)

Bearing witness to the world

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein of PeaceBang wondered how much of the world’s pain and suffering we are morally obligated to witness and feel: “[Any] individual with a computer and wi-fi has a front row seat to the savage character of the human species, often provided with validating video footage. . . . If I was bleeding out my life in a bombed out hospital somewhere, it would bring me comfort to know that someone, somewhere, truly gave a shit.” (July 3)

Learning from grief

The Rev. Liz Stevens of Revehstevens shared a lesson she learned from her father’s death: “One path to forgiveness involves the one who caused harm accepting responsibility for their actions. That path wasn’t open to us with Dad. . . . [B]ut somehow, seeing him vulnerable and afraid as he neared the end of his life woke up a deep compassion that allowed me to forgive him unconditionally. I understood that the pain he caused grew out of his own scars. I came to believe that he did the best he could. My heart broke for him, enabling deep healing.” (May 20)

The Rev. Dan Harper of Yet Another Unitarian Universalist shared a short, practical guide to grief, based on professional and personal experience: “The first seven to ten days after the death, the grief is pretty raw. You may find yourself bursting into tears at the slightest provocation; and if you find yourself laughing at some memory the next instant, that’s normal too. It often helps to be with family, or if you don’t get along with family, then to be with good friends.” (April 19)

What we need from prayer

Alison Leigh Lilly of Holy Wild wants prayer that blazes brighter than a candle flame: “Sometimes what I want is a wild fire. A fire that roars. A fire that beats at the air with its bright fists clenched. . . . Prayer that ripples out across the rough dark surface of the world like music spilling down endlessly from the night sky, carrying the stars with it. Prayer that rolls over the vaulted ceiling of the heavens with thrilling impossible lightness—a fire round and hot like laughter, dragging the lush purples of faraway galaxies in its wake.” (April 28)