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Showing posts from June, 2016

Standing, Rolling, Dancing, Singing, Praying, Preaching, Acting on the Side of Love

At our the preceding Ministry Days preceding the UU General Assembly, ableist language was used in worship to the extent that UUMA Board Member Josh Pawelek issued this response:

Clearly there is a problem with ableism in our public presentation. Public statements, music, stories and metaphors that perpetuate ableism have been hurtful to colleagues. As with any oppression, this ableism likely runs deeper than our public presentation. I remain grateful to all those who are willing to call it to our attention, and I am deeply sorry that such calling is still necessary. (The full response is here.) The most prominent example of ableist language in our movement, however, is our social justice arm: Standing on the Side of Love.  And before you say, "It's just a metaphor," I invite you to watch this and read this by UU minister Theresa Soto.  The point here is not to convince you that ableist metaphors are a problem.  The point is that we often think, even if it is …

For Orlando and for Change

They died in the high schools, in the cafeterias and the libraries and the classrooms.
And we cried, and we wondered.
And we blamed gaming and outsiders.
And nothing changed.

They died in the universities and community colleges, in the classrooms and dorms.
And we bawled, and we yelled.
And we blamed reporting systems and foreigners.
And nothing changed.

And they died on the street corners lobbying, on the pavement and sidewalk.
And we keened, and we lobbied.
And we blamed politics and mental illness.
And nothing changed.

And they died in the movie theaters and restaurants and clinics, around tables and in cushioned seats.
And we sobbed, and we argued.
And we blamed gun culture and zealotry.
AND NOTHING CHANGED.

They died in the elementary schools, in the arms of the teachers.
And we wept, and we mourned.
And we blamed autism and parenting.
AND NOTHING CHANGED.

And they died in the churches, the mosques, and the temples, in worship and in song.
And we howled, and we prayed.
And we blamed …

A Response to "On Outrage and Douchebags"

My dear colleague (and formerly my minister) Lynn Ungar has written a thoughtful piece about the Brock Tuner rape case on Patheos.  I appreciate her deep thinking and opportunity to look at the situation differently, but I have to respectfully disagree with her conclusions.

First, like Lynn Ungar, I want to see large changes in our prison industrial system.  I believe too many nonviolent offenders are given long sentences and this is to the detriment of our society.  I want to see people getting rehab, not jail time, for drug use.  But there are a few groups of people I'm willing to see get long prison sentences.  And one of those groups is rapists.  There are cases where I feel bad for a criminal who will have the rest of their life affected.  Brock Turner isn't one of them. 

I'm not a survivor of rape, but I've lived with the aftermath.  In 1995-6 as a graduate student at the University of Georgia, I lived with two other female students, one of whom I hadn't kn…