UUs (and others) on the soul, not drawing Mohammed, and Arizona

Boycotting and protesting Arizona

UUs continue to blog about the immigration law in Arizona, the proposed UUA boycott in 2012, and the upcoming protest. Of note is the number of blog entries that have attracted comments asking if the blogger has read the law.

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum is torn.

I wonder if it really is our Selma. Immigration Reform has not been an issue that I’ve seen as the biggest issue of our time. Is that because I’ve been comfortable up here in the Midwest, where we don’t notice it as much? Is it because I live comfortably in a cultural enclave? Is it because it doesn’t touch me personally? These are the questions I challenge myself with, as I remind myself that just because it doesn’t touch me doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get involved. (“Rev. Cyn,” May 15)

The Rev. W. Frederick Wooden wonders if protesting in Arizona will “only further polarize the situation.”

I am quite at a loss about what will make a real difference. My desire to pull into my shell is as real as that of the resurgent conservatives. But in my case, it is personal. Just stand back and wait for the storm to pass, I think. (“Aside From The Obvious,” May 16)

Seminarian Shawna Foster argues that General Assembly needs to be in Arizona in 2012.

I’ve always been troubled by Unitarian Universalists’ habit of boycotting or creating a walled garden in our tradition as a response to injustice. Oh, you become vegan, and you stop watching television and you send one letter about Stupak and you listen to NPR and you drink fair trade coffee and you, you, you become something so far removed from reality that it’s far too easy for Garrison Kieller to use you as a punchline. And then you wonder why our religion is in decline and viewed as fairly bizarre to the average person. We put ourselves out of touch by our own virtue. (“Vessell,” May 17)

“PolityWonk” cautions that it is a complicated situation.

Well, the numbers are in and the Hispanic community, even in Arizona, has no one stance on AZ1070. A significant number prefers the tougher patrolling of their neighborhoods. For UUs, this presents a major challenge. Quite simply, as people of privilege, we have been projecting onto others what WE want in law enforcement. It’s time to remember the fundamental task of ministry: maintain a non-anxious presence while you LISTEN to what the congregation is telling you. (“PolityWonk,” May 17)

The Rev. James Ishmael Ford explains why he is going to Arizona on May 29.

Our charge as people of faith is to find the generous heart. We also need a cool head. But they need not be incompatible. We need to be willing to listen to reasonable reforms to immigration, to acknowledge the needs of secure borders, and when reasonable to support those calls. And we need to challenge, loudly, with great vigor, anything that serves to hurt the most vulnerable among us. (“Monkey Mind,” May 18)

Joel Monka provides links to reports that lead him to conclude that the Arizona immigration law is not unconstitutional.

This suggests to me that going to Arizona and protesting will have more impact than boycotting. . . . [W]inning the hearts and minds of voters seems the only way to stop the promulgation of the law if it is constitutional. (“CUUMBAYA,” May 20)

The Rev. Sam Trumbore is also going to Arizona.

What we really need is comprehensive reform at the federal level. I hope making some noise in Phoenix as part of this demonstration will contribute energy in that direction. (“Rev. Sam Trumbore,” May 20)

Around the blogosphere

“Kinsi” has questions as a first-time attender (and delegate) at General Assembly. See what advice people have, or share your own.

I’m going to be a delegate. But there are also two things during Plenary 4 that I’ve either been invited to or really want to go to. I’d end up missing the last half of the Plenary. Is that…ok? (“Spirituality and Sunflowers,” May 15)

The Rev. Kit Ketcham and “Lizard Eater” both have lovely posts about caring for the bodies of the dead. (“Ms. Kitty’s Saloon and Road Show,” May 20; “The Journey,” May 21)

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum marks “Interfaith Respect Day.”

Today I will not be drawing Mohammed, nor will I be boycotting Facebook because it allows a page for people calling on people to draw Mohammed. Today I will be working for interfaith cooperation and respect. (“Rev. Cyn,” May 20)

Maggie also isn’t interested in drawing Mohammed.

I love free speech. I’m a big fan. But I’m also a big fan of respecting people’s faiths. (“It’s Maggie not Megan,” May 20)

Meanwhile, “smijer” drew the wrong Mohammed. (“Tete-a-Tete-Tete,” May 20)

Two more UU bloggers have answered the questions posed by UU Salon about the soul.

Kelly Kilmer Hall has been talking about death and dying with her mother.

I have always seen her as this pretty traditional but non-churchgoing Christian until the last few years, since I entered the journey to the ministry. Since then, my grandmother’s Irish pagan roots seem to be coming out. My mom tells me stories of celebrating the wheel of the year, etc. But she blew my mind last month when she basically, word for word, said that the cauldron is what she thinks happens to souls when you die. (“Seeking Divinity,” May 15)

“Ogre” shares his answers about the soul.

“Soul” is a term I use to describe that experiential essence of being; the “I” that seems to exist within a living being. Not the thinking, but the aware observer that experiences being aware and observing. Perhaps that is an illusion–but if so, it’s a “real illusion,” in the same sense that solid objects are illusions. (“Sparks in the Dark,” May 16)

Not a UU but . . .

Just see if you don’t find yourself or someone you know reflected in Andrew Sullivan’s blog posts on death and atheism. Sullivan excerpted (“The Daily Dish,” May 12) an essay by Stephen Asma at the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Soul Talk.” (May 2) Sullivan posted reader responses on May 16, and then the reader responses really took off, with “What do atheists think of death?” and “Meditating on death, and life,” both on May 16.

In the same extended conversation, Sullivan excerpted Rod Dreher‘s response to Asma, “What do we mean by ‘soul’?” (beliefnet, May 13) As well as including a “Quote for the Day” from Thich Nhat Hanh about waves beginning and ending.

And if you’re still with me, here are the other related posts to date: