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Showing posts from May, 2010

What would you do? -- Breastfeeding Edition

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When I was in seminary at Meadville Lombard Theological School, we were often focused on one big hurdle that UU ministers have to get over: the MFC visit.  The MFC, or Ministerial Fellowship Committee, is a committee that grants UU ministers "Fellowship," which gives us the right to search for a church through the UUA's systems, access to UUA grants, and is a major gate to keep out people the MFC believes are not suited to the UU ministry.  It's a major credential on the path to becoming a UU minister, and without it you're unlikely to be able to be a UU minister.  It puts you in the group, basically.  When I went through it, this is how it went: The MFC asked for all sorts of paperwork, which I shall not go into, and all sorts of steps you go through before you get there, and then you had your interview, in which the committee members each asked you a question.  The question could be a single question or a series of questions along a particular line, or a questi…

Names

A few days ago I ran across this blog post against women changing their names by M. LeBlanc while surfing the web on my cell phone while riding home in the car.  It got me thinking--not about not changing my name, but about the fact that I've never really written about this subject.  So here goes.

As a minister performing weddings, it's still pretty rare that I see women keeping their original names after marriage.  And looking around at my liberal church, I see only a small percentage of the women there made this decision--I think maybe two of the married women in heterosexual marriages.  So even in liberal circles, it's still the minority option, by far. 

When I got married I kept my name.  The three major arguments against name changing that were presented to me at the time were the "it makes things complicated" and "name-changing shows your commitment" and "it can make things really complicated when you have children; you want your whole famil…

Finally Joining the Debate - Who We Are

For those who haven't been following this, Paul Rasor wrote an article in the UU World in which he said:
And it is not just about numbers in another sense, too. Unitarian Universalism has its own cultural tradition, one that is rooted in European-American cultural norms and ways of being in the world. This normative lens is often invisible to those of us who look through it, but it is all too visible to those who view the world through different cultural lenses. This is why our ongoing antiracism work is so important. We cannot become a multicultural faith if we—subconsciously or otherwise—continue to treat a particular monocultural lens as normative. This article was paired with one by Rosemary Bray McNatt in which she said:
How, then, do we encounter those whose experience of church is different, whose experience of the holy is different, who find the truth of their lives in music from T.I. and Naz, in the Black Eyed Peas and A Tribe Called Quest? Where do they enter into the cu…

How About Making Today Interfaith Respect Day?

Today, apparently, is "Draw Mohammed Day" as jokingly announced by cartoonist Molly Norris, who now says she doesn't stand behind the idea as a movement, that it was a specific response to a specific incident, the pulling of a South Park Cartoon from Comedy Central's website.  Apparently the South Park cartoon included Mohammed as a character, and Comedy Central pulled it out of fear of retaliation against their employees.

Despite Molly Norris' intent, this has started a movement on college campuses of drawing Mohammed today in stick figures labeled "Mohammed" in chalk on the sidewalks, and launched some Facebook pages, "Draw Mohammed Day," and "Against Draw Mohammed Day," among others. 

A number of thoughtful articles have been written about this.  I want to point to a few from writers I particularly respect.

A well-reasoned article by Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain in the thick of things at Harvard, concludes:
As a Humanist, I hop…

Is This Our Selma?

Some late-night musings and meandering thoughts...

A blog post from Rev. Kim Crawford Harvie at Standing on the Side of Love yesterday says, "Immigration reform is our Selma."  I read this and think it means that I should go to this event that SSL and others are promoting now, a march in Phoenix on May 29.  In 1965, you see, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., put out a call asking UU clergy to come to Selma, saying, "The people of Selma will struggle on for the soul of the nation but it is fitting that all Americans help to bear the burden. I call therefore on clergy of all faiths to join me in Selma."  Many did, including the Rev. James Reeb. We are now, the next SSL post says, "Called to Arizona" to march along with our UUA president, Rev. Peter Morales.

Last year, the Human Rights Campaign put out a "clergy call" asking clergy to come to Washington D.C., and I went.  I felt a bit like this was our Selma.  Certainly civil rights for le…