Showing posts from July, 2013

SUUSI SciFi and Fantasy Recommendations

I had a great time at SUUSI this year leading a workshop on Science Fiction and Fantasy and Religion.  One favorite part of the class was the great reading/viewing list we generated.  I hesitate to some degree to share it with those who weren't part of the class.  On the other hand, it's such a great list of works that others may find engaging.  Please be mindful that this is partly a result of where our particular conversation wandered.  The categories that are short are usually so because they are categories we didn't get to, so they just have my starter items in them.  And yes, there are a couple of things slipped in there that you might not consider SF/Fantasy, but which were a part of our discussion.

Science Fiction and Fantasy and Religion Works SUUSI 2013 Workshop #152 – Cynthia Landrum
The Nature of God

Avatar (Film)
The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the Talents – Octavia Butler
The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
Contact – Carl Sagan
Star Trek (TV Series …

Blogging for Beginners

I'm leading a workshop at SUUSI this year on "Blogging for Beginners."  My mom (herself a former director for on-line learning for a university) pointed out to me that I should have handouts of my PowerPoint slides for the participants.  Handouts for a class about blogging?  That's so low-tech!  But I was trying to decide, indeed, how to share these -- whether to upload the file and share the URL or to e-mail them, or what.  Finally, I thought, "Why not just blog them?  The class is about blogging, after all!"  I remembered that I had found a way to do this once with some web-based application.  Turns out it's even easier now than it was before.

If you're not in the workshop, keep in mind that these are just slides for some basic information and URLs that I thought might be helpful.  It's not everything we'll cover.

We Don't Stand for Stand Your Ground

In the wake of the verdict about the Trayvon Martin case, there are a lot of protests going on, and petitions calling for a civil rights case against George Zimmerman. 

With all honesty, I think that George Zimmerman is innocent under the law.  And what we need to do now is channel this energy, this passion, and change those bad laws, state by state.

Michigan is a "Stand Your Ground" state.  There have been rallies and protests going on in Detroit.  What we need to do is get this base mobilized to change these laws.  The Stand Your Ground laws perpetuate and exacerbate an already large problem of racial bias in our sentencing.  In states with Stand Your Ground laws, a new study has shown that whites who kill blacks are more likely to be found to be acting in self-defense than any other racial combination.  It's true in all states, but more so in Stand Your Ground states.

The studies aren't as thorough as they could be -- they don't compare home-invasion with non-…

We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest

Yesterday at UU Planet, Peter Bowden wrote about how some churches were guilty of ignoring the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case.  He said, "If it is Summer, that’s no excuse.   CLERGY, if you serve a congregation you are responsible for making sure this happens while you’re on Summer vacation."

I don't have a plan for how such things will be handled when I'm on vacation or study leave.  I was fortunate to be up and hear the news.  And, upon hearing it, decided that I needed to go to church, and after a little delay, realized that I needed to do something to address the verdict in the worship service, even though the worship service wasn't my responsibility directly that way.  Bowden is right, that it's always our responsibility, even when on summer vacation (or study leave).  We are responsible for the worship of the congregation, even when we're on leave.

There's a question about where to draw the line in terms of current events that need to be r…