Showing posts from June, 2009
The UUA has announced a new campaign against hate crimes, "Standing on the Side of Love." Hate crimes are definitely something we've had enough of in the last year:

July 27, 2008: Jim David Adkisson enters the Tennessee Valley UU Church and kills two people and wounds more. He says in his manifesto, "This was a hate crime: I hate the damn left-wing liberals."

May 31, 2009: Scott Roeder enters a Lutheran Church and kills Dr. George Tiller. He is quoted as saying on a blog, "Bleass [sic] everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp."

June 10, 2009: James Wenneker von Brunn enters the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and kills a guard. Von Brunn ran an anti-Semitic website and had connections to hate groups.

What is striking about these three, in comparison to all the other horrible hate crimes that happen, is that they all took place in places that should be places of peace, where we honor peo…

Thoughts While Staying Home from GA

Unitarian Universalists from all over the country have headed off to Salt Lake City this week for our annual General Assembly, which starts tomorrow. The twitter reports, blog posts, and facebook status updates are already pouring in, and I'm enjoying reading them, for I will not be at General Assembly this year.

General Assembly is where we vote on the business of the association, and it's an important year this year, for two major reasons. The first is that it's our first contested presidential election in eight years. (In case I forget this fact, there are about eight e-mails from the two candidates that pour into my inbox daily, despite the fact that I've already mailed in my absentee ballot.) During all this time I did not endorse a candidate. I believe that both candidates are good and worthy people. The lists of endorsements are so long that an endorsement of a small-town minister like myself wouldn't even merit an e-mail anyway! I haven't seen in any of …

Back to the HRC Clergy Call...

I finally found video of the HRC Clergy Call 2009 press conference:

And here's the link, so you can jump to whichever person you want to watch:

HRC Clergy Call 2009 Press Conference

UU minister Rev. Manish Mishra does a very fine job, so if you only watch part, I recommend him. Most of the speakers were excellent and inspiring, though, so the whole thing is worth a watch.

Human Rights - Coming to Jackson Anytime Soon?

For several years, the Jackson Human Rights Commission has been putting up a proposal for a Civil Rights Ordinance to the Jackson City Council. It has been repeatedly referred back to the committee for further work. Here's the first paragraph of the latest draft:
It is the intent of the City of Jackson that no person be denied the equal protection of the laws; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of his or her civil or political rights or be discriminated against because of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, condition of pregnancy, marital status, educational association, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status. As used herein, "perceived" refers to the perception of the person who acts, and not to the perception of the person for or against whom the action is taken. (Source: PFLAG) Last night, the City Council tabled it until the July 14 meeting, and referred it to the city attorney …

Answering Violence

Part of me really does understand, I confess, the mindset that leads to things like the murder of Dr. Tiller this weekend. If you passionately believe that abortion is murder, and you work yourself into a place where you're comparing him to Mengele in the holocaust, as was done by some, isn't it the right thing to do to kill him? By doing so, you're saving potentially thousands of lives. The argument of those who advocate for violence against abortion providers is essentially that they are living in an unjust state that condones murder. Going through the state process is unthinkable while people are being slaughtered. It must be stopped.

We glorify this sort of thinking all the time in our society. Our superheroes are the ones who take the law into their own hands and battle what they see as evil. Superman, Batman, and the rest of the superhero vigilantes usually pick targets that culturally we all agree on as evil (and usually in those stories, the law is trying to catch t…