Highlights from the Unitarian Universalist blogosphere, September 2016-January 2017
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 each week’s best commentary about Unitarian Universalism and topics of interest to Unitarian Universalists.
During this quarter, the Editors’ Blog featured several staff and guest bloggers, and among their topics were how UUs use Twitter (September 30), Tumblr (October 7), and Facebook (November 4). If these topics interest you, visit the Editors’ Blog to learn more.
Since election day, the overwhelming focus of UU online commentary has been responses to the election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States. The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford spoke for many when she posted on Facebook, “I cannot be neutral. Because this isn’t Democrat vs Republican vs Independent. My very religious values as a Unitarian Universalist are being attacked.” (facebook.com/joanna.crawford, November 30)
A month after the election, Claire Curole of Sand Hill Diary reported on the state of her heart: “My heart—small wild thing that it is, with flashing eyes—has gone to ground, disappeared into a tangled thicket of branches and old roots, wary and invisible, silently observing a world that has once again demonstrated its pervasive untrustworthiness and inherent danger.” (sandhilldiary.wordpress.com, December 10)
The Rev. Chris Buice, writing at the Tao of Tennessee, admitted that he’s glad that God loves Donald Trump: “I have been wrestling with the fact that I do not like the president-elect of the United States. . . . I find it comforting to delegate to God those tasks I personally find humanly impossible.” (thetaooftennessee.wordpress.com, November 28)
The Rev. Colin Bossen challenged us to move beyond despair: “In far darker times than these people have dared to dream freedom dreams. Tomorrow, when all seems impossible, ask yourself what is your freedom dream? In it you will find a kernel of hope.” (colinbossen.com, November 27)
Patrick Murfin of Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout, had a few suggestions about surviving, post-election: “Cancel the newspaper, avoid the news, purge the Facebook and Twitter, block the malcontents.” (patrickmurfin.blogspot.com, November 15)
The Rev. Tom Schade of the Lively Tradition was embarrassed by the scatteredness of post-election opposition to Trump: “The requirements of leadership include not leading people on wild-goose chases. Having a strategy beneath the tactics. . . . Demonstrating a realistic sense of what is possible in the moment and what is not.” (tomschade.com, December 20)
When liberals began critiquing each other’s strategies, the Rev. Andy Burnette posted a warning on Facebook: “I was raised in an authoritarian faith tradition, and I just want to note a similarity I am seeing in the liberal community: The pursuit of purity.” (facebook.com/andy.burnette.9, November 18)
The Rev. Jake Morrill posted a similar warning: “No single tactic will de-fang the incoming president, who dishonors our country and threatens her people. Instead, resistance has to come in a million ways, from a million perspectives, each of us in our gifts and positions, using what we have to become instruments of all-conquering love.” (facebook.com/
revjakebmorrill, December 20)
The Rev. Lynn Ungar, writing for Quest for Meaning, applied a lesson from her knowledge of dog training—that it’s easier to teach a positive than a negative—to our current political situation: “Rage and protest have their place, but over time they tend to become exhausting. What if, instead, you chose to focus on the world that you want to see, and kept taking steps in that direction? What if you focused on building what you wanted instead of fighting what you didn’t want?” (patheos.com/blogs/uucollective, December 4)
Doug Muder of the Weekly Sift discussed Trump’s assault on facts: “Fantastic lies depend on an ability to constantly change the subject, so that the thinness of the fantasy world can’t be compared to the richness of reality. When a topic becomes so important that it stays in the public mind for long periods of time—the Iraq War is a good example— it becomes harder to lie about.” (weeklysift.com, December 5)
Muder also explained what will change the minds of Trump voters: “Trumpism will fail as a political movement because the people who voted for Trump will look at their own undeniable experiences and change their minds. It’s something they will do for themselves, not something we can do to them or for them.” (weeklysift.com, December 19)
The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein of Beauty Tips for Ministers wrote: “This is going to be a great endeavor, and we must not allow our bodies to break down or appear to be breaking down in the struggle. Put on your armor of beauty, polish, poise, and decorum. . . . This struggle will be played out in front of cameras, my dear colleagues. You take care of you so you can rise to the occasion. Shall we?” (beautytipsforministers.com, December 8)
The Rev. Thom Belote of RevThom suggested a strategy for moral opposition to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act: “Find out who are the people you know who get their health insurance through the exchanges and have health insurance because of the ACA. . . . Document their pain, their hardship, their vulnerability, and the harm done to them.” (revthom.blogspot.com, December 8)
The Rev. Krista Taves of And the Stones Shall Cry drew on her family’s history as persecuted Russian Mennonites to warn us not to be complacent about Russia’s role in the recent presidential election: “[Lest] you protest that we are a long way from the atrocities of the Soviet Union to the Russia that exists today, I tell you, the signs are all there. The same people are in charge. We should be aghast that Russia attempted to sway our election and even more horrified that it succeeded.” (kristataves.wordpress.com, January 1)
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The Rev. Heather Christensen wrote The Interdependent Web, UU World's weekly guide to Unitarian Universalist blogs, from 2011 until 2020. She lives with her two young children in Bellingham, Washington.
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