Solidarity with Muslims, holiday preparations, E.T., and more UU blogging

Standing in solidarity

The Rev. Ellen Cooper-Davis gathers Houston-area colleagues to stand in solidarity with a local Muslim community whose sacred space was desecrated.

We, the undersigned religious leaders of the Houston area wish to express to you our sorrow at the recent gesture of bigotry inflicted upon your community. We can only imagine how your hearts must feel when you arrive to worship peacefully, and instead find a blatant symbol of prejudice, unwelcome and intolerance on your very doorstep. (Keep the Faith, December 6)

Preparing for the holiday season

Sarah MacLeod thinks back over the evolution of her relationship with the Christmas tradition.

My relationship with the holiday remains uneasy. It’s mine to celebrate by tradition alone, and I can’t shed the sense of a season stolen, now that my faith is gone. Perhaps that tradition is enough, as long as within it we continue to look beyond the lights, presents, and coffee cake to the reminder that loving each other is humanity at its best. (Finding My Ground, December 6)

The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford celebrates the fragile beauty of a perfectly happy moment.

This year, I think my favorite ornament is one of the most simple. It’s a clear glass ball, with a tiny bit of iridescence to it. It looks like a soap bubble. . . . It is my favorite because it symbolizes what I know all too well. That happiness is ephemeral, fleeting.  (Boots and Blessings, December 6)

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein paints a less-saintly portrait of the two pregnant women of the Christmas story, Mary and Elizabeth.

And after about three months, Elizabeth said to Mary, “Sweetie, you know how much I love you. But we’re both so hormonal and frankly, I could just use some ‘me time’ before the baby gets here, you know?” And Mary said, “Totally. I didn’t want to say anything because I wasn’t sure if I’m allowed to be bitchy anymore, since I’m God’s Numero Uno. . . .”  (PeaceBang, December 6)

Evan Austin writes about Chalica for a secular parenting blog.

Do you have to be a UU to celebrate Chalica? Of course not—just like you don’t have to be Christian to celebrate Christmas! While Chalica is growing out of the Unitarian Universalist tradition and celebrates the faith’s specific, official Principles, we believe that their beauty and accessibility lie in their, ahem, universal nature. (Parents Beyond Belief, December 3)

Choices, choices

John Beckett considers questions of ethical purity in the Pagan community.

Do your best to align your life with your values. . . . Make compromises you can live with—compromises some will find too large and others will find too small. Understand that other informed, mindful Pagans will make compromises that look very different from yours. Have some humility and some compassion, because neither you nor they are ethically pure. But purity is overrated. (Under the Ancient Oaks, December 5)

Sara Lewis takes us through the complexity of her choices in a day of running errands—and with hindsight wishes she’d chosen differently.

We just should have driven two cars.  The truck would have only been used for a short drive, and the hybrid would have done the across town errands.  And I wouldn’t have come home with 5 plastic bags or been flipped off today.  (The Curriculum of Love, December 1)

God and conquest

In his new blog about biblical interpretation, the Rev. Dr. Roger Schriner takes a frank look at the Hebrew Scriptures’ account of the violent conquest of Canaan.

It’s interesting to ask whether God would want anyone to march into someone else’s country and wipe out its inhabitants. . . .  I doubt that the conquest of Canaan was sponsored by a deity. Instead, I suspect that some of those who wrote the early books of the Bible were still thinking in terms of a fierce tribal war-God instead of a universal deity who loved every person on Earth. (Did God Really Say THAT!?, December 4)

Writing about today’s conflict in that same land, the Rev. Dr. George Kimmich Beach mourns the demise of the two-state solution.

The upshot of this demonic situation? A one-state solution! . . . Let the whole of Palestine/Israel be one country. Would it be a democracy, enfranchising everybody? Maybe, some day. . . . Though I suspect the world no longer has that much time; something will explode, first. (Campicello, December 5)

Conversations about race and class

The Rev. Robin Tanner is disappointed that it took her a week to recognize the lack of strong, independent black characters in the movie Lincoln.

I don’t desire a wave of white guilt. . . . My point is that racism is still a painful conversation, even for someone like me and my cultural competency does not seem to be improving at the rate of my desire for it to improve. (Piedmont Preacher, December 1)

Kim Hampton suggests that Unitarian Universalism’s demographics have implications for the healthiness of our theology.

Most UU theology is thin because it is still race, class, culture, and education bound. And it will continue to be thin (and small) until it recognizes the “inherent worth and dignity” of those who don’t fit its traditional demographic. (East of Midnight, December 2)

Around the blogosphere

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason finds a corner of kindness in Tiny’s Diner, “a clean, well-lighted place.”

Tiny’s stands as a beacon of hope on a city block in the middle of a turnaround, at the margins of a city continuing through the early stages of what will no doubt be a lengthy recovery. Affection, disbelief, and a dash of faith will bring me through its doors again, not the cuisine, but I know that once I’m inside, I will not be alone; I will surely find myself in good company. (The Reverend Dr., November 30)

After a sleepless night, Christine Organ is delighted when her young son prepares “the best breakfast ever.”

I entered the softly lit kitchen to find Jack standing on a stool at the kitchen counter with an unbroken bowl, an unspilled gallon of milk, and a spoon in front of him. . . . “I was getting you your cereal, Mom, since you are so tired,” he proclaimed with a humbly proud smile.  (Random Reflectionz, November 30)

The Rev. Dawn Cooley posts the introduction to her paper, “Why E.T. Matters,” and provides a link to the full text.

For as long as Homo sapiens have existed, we have gazed up into the stars and told stories: stories about the gods who dwell in the heavens; stories about life that might be out there; stories that indicate that we might be from “out there.”  (Speaking of, December 5)