Motherhood in the media
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum responds to Time magazine’s provocative cover photo, which shows a mother breastfeeding her three-year-old son, and to its “Are you mom enough?” headline.
[Time magazine] took a picture that made extended breast-feeding look as freakishly weird as possible. I say that while still supporting that there is nothing wrong with what is depicted. But given that in our society extended breastfeeding is seen as unusual at best and as “wrong and perverted” as some comments have said about this picture, the cover photo is a picture that did everything it could to make the situation look even more abnormal and wrong. (Rev. Cyn, May 15)
Sara from The Curriculum of Love weighs in on this latest skirmish in the “Mommy Wars.”
Are the Mommy Wars real? I don’t really see folks getting into fights about parenting choices face to face. But in print, or on the internet, there we go to extremes and fight. The idea that there is some perfect way to parent, or to live, just baffles me. All there is is our own human frailty, blinding groping toward living the life that human dignity demands of us—a life of integrity in compliance with what our hearts call us to do. (The Curriculum of Love, May 12)
Idealism, realism and reconciliation
The Rev. David Owen-O’Quill responds to post-Boomers who are weary of the culture wars.
The question of how do we reconcile is huge. The point that attacking one another doesn’t seem to be the answer is well taken. However, as someone firmly on the side of gay acceptance for faith reasons, and definitely on the side of extending equality under the law, I get troubled sometimes by the talk of reconciliation. I wonder how much of it is a reaction against the messiness, chaos, and conflict that such culture wars produce. (news from the spiritual underground, May 16)
Finding our religion
Christine Slocum wonders about a UU version of the evangelical Christian book, Blue Like Jazz.
The book is a coming of age story for twenty-something, open-hearted evangelical Christians trying to find meaning in an old system that does not necessarily speak to them.
I wonder what the Unitarian Universalist equivalent would be? It seems there could be one, as there are a lot of stories in the blogosphere about feeling alienated, struggling to find meaning, and so forth. What stories would populate that book? Who would write it? (Seattleite from Syracuse, May 15)
In the second of two posts on raising her atheist and agnostic sons, Sarah MacLeod writes about asking her boys what they do believe.
As a strong proponent of a free and meaningful spiritual search for each individual, I’m fine with my children’s choices, which may be temporary or permanent. Either way is fine with me.
Yes, there’s a but. . . . My “but” goes like this: those labels tell me what you don’t believe and nothing about what you do. Without a sense of what one then does hold sacred, important, or true, those are labels of negation (atheism) and uncertainty (agnosticism). There’s nothing wrong with either, but to me, left alone, they are immature and incomplete. (Finding My Ground, May 15)
Congregations and beyond
The Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley shares next steps in the “Congregations and Beyond” process.
I have to say I am simultaneously excited and scared. . . . The excitement part for me is probably obvious: it’s an incredible privilege to work at what feels like the beginning of a huge culture shift in UUism. . . . The scary part is that we really don’t know what “it” is yet. I’m usually quite comfortable with this; I even teach and preach the virtues of holding ourselves in creative space without rushing to conclusions or outcomes. But I also know that there are many people out there who are looking for conclusions and outcomes! (Learn Out Loud, May 13)
Thomas Earthman wonders if we should push beyond congregations, beyond Facebook, to a missional social media platform.
The idea is to mirror some of the work that is being done on other social media, but in a place that is devoted to UUs and not clogged with everyone else’s friends, ads, and games. I want a place where people can come and focus on being part of a larger movement. I want a place where we can support each other, discuss crazy ideas, and not fear judgement and ridicule for wanting to speak radically about our faith. (A Material Sojourn, May 17)
Around the blogosphere
The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern asks, “What annual income are folks are expected to live on in your area? Do you think it’s feasible?”
Setting the minimum wage far below the poverty level is one of the biggest pieces of corporate welfare we Americans fund. Instead of businesses paying people a living wage, they pay wages at which a full-time worker–or even two full-time workers–can’t support a family, and the taxpayers step in to fill the gap with welfare programs. Or, more usually, the gap just stays a gap. (Sermons in Stones, May 16)
The Rev. Dan Harper describes his multi-ethnic neighborhood, and then explains why he thinks his neighbors wouldn’t be welcome in most UU congregations.
Mostly . . . I think the problem lies in the misguided notion held by many Unitarian Universalists that we are supposed to feel comfortable hanging out with everyone in our congregation. We feel we must achieve a social consensus; we must have congregations where there are no divides of any kind.
That’s why people in my neighborhood won’t fit into a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Yet I believe they might go to a liberal congregation if there were no implicit social consensus they were expected to fit into. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, May 14)
The Rev. Ed Searl shares the introduction he uses in same-sex marriage ceremonies. (Ed Searl’s Journal, May 13)
Watching the movie, The Descendants, prompts the Rev. Naomi King to write about advanced medical directives. (The Wonderment, May 11)