Inviting us to draw our own conclusions, the Rev. Meg Riley prays for Dr. Ersula Ore, assaulted by the police for the minor offense of jaywalking.
Dr. Ore, you are in my prayers today. You and the thousands of other people of color who are forced to prove that you have a right to walk home, and upon whom the burden of proof always rests. Please know that you are not alone—that tens of thousands of white people, as well as the people of color who share your experience of being told you don’t matter—are with you and will be with you as you ask for what everyone wants: Respect for your worth and dignity. (Quest for Meaning, June 30)
Supreme Court decisions
Patrick Murfin agrees with the Supreme Court’s recent decision about buffer zones around abortion clinics.
To protect our own rights of dissent, we must unfortunately defend someone else’s right to be an asshole.
That does not mean we have to step back and let wolves lose upon the sheep. It means we have to take action to confront the wolves ourselves, to offer our bodies, if necessary, in their protection. It demands a lot from us. Giving up comfort, giving up safety. It means, as the theme of this year’s GA says, Reaching Out in Love. (Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout, June 27)
The Rev. Elz Curtiss suggests that William Ellery Channing’s book, Slavery, is useful for countering the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.
Much of today’s political breakdown rests on the inability of secular and free-range left wing leaders to articulate a comprehensive philosophical counter to conservative religious arguments. Happily, William Ellery Channing has provided here, in one document, everything we need to lift our stature in current debates. (Politywonk, July 1)
Loved for who you are
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum believes that whether or not God exists, we are loved.
If God exists, quite frankly, I am loved. And you are, too.
But if God doesn’t exist, is the world cold and cruel? Is human life meaningless? Is love absent? Is there no reason to do good?
Of course not.
We are still precious and loved. (Loved for Who You Are, June 27)
Suzyn Smitth Webb argues for a mix-and-match approach to finding our life’s purpose.
We are so quick to define ourselves by our jobs alone in this world, when our respective purposes aren’t at all limited by what we do 9 to 5. . . . [What] the world needs . . . is garbage collectors who are great Moms who also lead scout troops and sing in choirs.
That is a life with purpose. (Loved for Who You Are, July 2)
Brave souls, thoughtless choices
The Rev. Tom Schade looked for stories of courage at General Assembly—ones that didn’t involve heights, fast-moving rivers, or fire.
I heard of a minister who changed the Christmas Eve order of service.
Another recently settled minister told the largest donor that no, they did not get to veto decisions of the Board.
Someone told a UU Republican that just because no one agreed with them, it didn’t mean they were oppressed. (The Lively Tradition, June 30)
For Adam Dyer, too many UUs at the General Assembly WaterFire event failed to live up to their promise to live “on the side of love.”
I watched yellow shirts push past, walk around and yes, even climb over residents who had been waiting for up to 2 hours to see this event. From my vantage point among the local crowd, what was intended to be a “witness” turned into more of a “display” and somewhat of a distraction. (Spirituwellness, June 29)
Religion, spirituality, and philosophy
Andrew Mackay responds to a recent article in Atlantic magazine, which criticizes the casual syncretism of contemporary spirituality.
Mobility in the spiritual realm should not be viewed as intrinsically bad. . . . The dynamic behavior of the newest generation may be a move past the sense of obligation and communal pressure to conform and stay in one religious institution.
To end, it is important to not oversell traditional religious practice, and to dismiss 21st century spirituality. The two have much to teach each other, if they will listen. (Unspoken Politics, June 29)
Alix answers her friends’ skeptical questions about Unitarian Universalism and ministry.
For me, Unitarian Universalism is a philosophy, a way of thinking about and organizing reality, the nature of knowledge, and existence. . . . AND yes, Unitarian Universalism is a religion because it’s not just a way of thinking about the world, but also a way of acting in it. (Doubled Up in Love, July 2)
We’re publishing early this week because of Independence Day. Here’s some advice from Jacqueline Wolven to help you enjoy your weekend.
Get offline and start doing something. Anything. Take walks. Get a hobby that you love. Learn something new. Cook real meals. Dance badly in your living room. Really, anything would work to allow you to experience life in the way that you want to and not transfer all of the millions of emotions that you are experiencing from others online. (Jacqueline Wolven, June 28)