UU Tim Berners-Lee, Internet Creator, Warns of Web Abuses

UU Tim Berners-Lee, Internet Creator, Warns of Web Abuses

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.


Tim Berners-Lee
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UU Tim Berners-Lee, internet creator, warns of web abuses

In an open letter on the web’s 30th anniversary, UU Tim Berners-Lee wrote, “While the web has created opportunity, given marginalized groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier, it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit. . . [The] fight for the web is one of the most important causes of our time.” (CNN, 3.12.19)

For more about Berners-Lee, his development of the web, and his UU faith, see this article from UU World’s archives: Keeping cyberspace free.

UUs speak out about Medicaid expansion and sexuality education in schools

The Rev. Sara LaWall of the UU Fellowship in Boise, Idaho, was among those who waited for hours last week to address her state legislators about proposed restrictions to Medicaid expansion. When it was her time to speak, she said, “We should be asking what is the right thing to do. What is our moral obligation to our fellow human beings?” (Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls Press, 3.9.19)

The Rev. Michelle Buhite of the UU Church of Amherst, in Williamsville, New York, was among those who gathered at a local senior center to protest Governor Cuomo’s proposed cuts to Medicaid—cuts that would be “catastrophic for nursing homes, assisted living homes, and other such facilities.” The Rev. Buhite said, “ This is a moral issue as much as it is a healthcare issue. . . . We have taken the moral high ground on so many issues. We can't stumble over a decision to keep health care available and accessible for all.” (WBFO, 3.8.19)

The Rev. Sarah Stewart of First Unitarian Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, advocated for school-based comprehensive sexuality education: “In my faith tradition, Unitarian Universalism, we believe that the whole person is sacred, our bodies as well as our souls. We also believe that God gave us minds with which to understand the world around us and make informed decisions about our health and well-being. So our churches believe in giving young people the tools they need to understand their bodies and navigate intimate relationships with honesty and respect.” (Telegram.com, 3.9.19)

Trans activist Stephanie Mott remembered

After her unexpected death, trans activist and Unitarian Universalist Stephanie Mott received wide-ranging tributes. Mott was a resident of Topeka, Kansas, and the governor of that state said, “Mott was a champion for equality and a role model for the LGBTQ+ community. She will be missed, but her advocacy to improve Kansas will be remembered.” Her minister at the UU Fellowship of Topeka, the Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan, said, “I will remember most her tireless advocacy. . . . The baton is now passed to us who do advocacy for LGBTQ issues.” (Lawrence Journal-World, 3.5.19)

An editorial in Mott’s local newspaper said: “In the twelve short years she lived as her true self, Stephanie made more of an impact than many of us can manage in a lifetime. We hope the next generation of transgender youth can find the peace and fulfillment Stephanie eventually discovered, traveling the smoother road she helped pave.” (Topeka Capital-Journal, 3.9.19)

Congregation celebrates successful fundraising for 100 percent solar power

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames, Iowa, purchased enough solar “power packs” to provide 100 percent of the congregation’s electrical usage from solar. The congregation’s successful fundraising project has inspired other organizations in the city to plan similar efforts. As Allison Brundy said, “It’s impacting quality of life issues, currently, for a lot of people, but also for the next generation. So social justice, climate justice— that is a part of this.” (Ames Tribune, 3.10.19)

Bridge-building program between Muslims and non-Muslims celebrates third anniversary

Three years ago, Muslims and non-Muslims met at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River, Ohio, for the first meeting of Teatime for Peace. Since then, the program has spread to twenty-one churches and schools in Northwest Ohio. On February 28, the organization celebrated its third anniversary, with nearly seventy people in attendance. April Stoltz, a UU co-founder of Teatime for Peace, said that “It’s a way to build bridges and make connections through person-to-person conversations. It is our antidote to the false information that is being fed to us.” (Cleveland.com, 3.10.19)