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Saturday Share from Cyndi’s Google Reader

A couple months ago my cousin tickled me pink by saying she wished she could subscribe to my FB links feed or something like that. I’m pondering a couple blogs in process and a conversation I had with the tween last night and didn’t get anything written, so I took inspiration from Jessica & decided to just share a few blogs and articles I really enjoyed this week.

My Children Are Not Educational Toys

via Irene’s Daughters by cayce on 9/10/10

The following is a re-blog from Claudia over at My fascinating life. Claudia is an Aussie mom living in the UK who adopted Ethopian children. She’s testament to the fact that if you provide us with insightful commentary on our posts, we might go over to your blog and find things we’d like to bring home with us.  

I’ve made a decision – the next person to ask me whether I need to put suncream on the babies is getting a punch in the mouth. I’m not quite sure why this is every white person’s ‘go-to’ question about raising black children, but that seems to be the case. Like if they suddenly found themselves in my shoes, it wouldn’t matter if the child grew up totally unsure about their identity, where to fit in, lacking any positive black role models and looking down the barrel of casual racism every day; that would be fine, but heaven forfend the baby should get sunburned.

  

via Colorlines by Kai Wright on 9/11/10

Obama began his response by pointing to religious freedom as a foundational American idea and by stressing “we are not at war against Islam; we are at war against terrorist organizations.” But he concluded by pointing to tomorrow’s anniversary of the September 11 attacks as a chance to remind ourselves of America’s valuable plurality:  

We’ve got millions of Muslim Americans, our fellow citizens, in this country. They’re going to school with our kids. They’re our neighbors. They’re our friends. They’re our coworkers. And when we start acting as if their religion is somehow offensive, what are we saying to them? I’ve got Muslims who are fighting in Afghanistan in the uniform of the United States services. They are putting their lives on the line for us and we have got to make sure they understand they are Americans…. We don’t differentiate between them and us; it’s just us. And that’s going to be a principle that’s going to be very important for us to sustain and I think tomorrow is an excellent time to reflect on that.  

Well said, Mr. President.   

  

via Colorlines by Julianne Hing on 9/10/10

“I am a New York City firefighter, and I responded to 9/11,” says a man’s voice, calmly and quietly, before the video cuts back to his face as he looks straight into the camera and says, “And I am a Muslim.”  

The sixty-second spot is part of a set of three public service announcements released on September 1 by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the national Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group. Another spot highlights a range of faith leaders who share the overlapping and often identical values of different religions. A third PSA shares the story of another Sept. 11 first responder who is Muslim.  

via Religion on HuffingtonPost.com by Rev. Meg Riley on 9/9/10

May this holy time bring about willingness to name and face our fears, and to speak openly with our neighbors about them. The conversation about Quran burners is a place to start, but it is not the place where healing is to be found. The deeper conversation is about what kind of nation we want to be, and to create together.  

via Religion on HuffingtonPost.com by Mark R. Cohen on 9/9/10
“We live in a world in which societies strive to impose their way of life on others. Cordoba House (aka Park51) symbolizes the possibility of another approach, one which fosters mutual understanding and respect among peoples of different faiths who know little about each other and whose mutual ignorance breeds suspicion and fear. Cordoba House can be a place where Muslims, Jews, Christians, people of other faiths, and secular people, can gather for social and cultural activities and get to know one another, and this mutual understanding might just contribute to a tolerance that none of the three religions has had a very good record at fostering in the past. ”    

Source: lubbockonline.com

via

TIME has a piece by Andy Cohen about Arizona volunteers who leave water in the desert. There’s no question that the water is consumed by illegal immigrants crossing the border. What is touching about the actions of the No More Deaths volunteers (a Unitarian Universalist group) is that they don’t consider the citizenship status of their fellow human beings that they are trying to save. It doesn’t matter whether people dying of thirst in the desert are here illegally. They are still human beings, and they are still dying of thirst.

OkCupid Shows “Real” Stuff White People Like (And Other Races, Too)

via Colorlines by Jamilah King on 9/10/10

OkCupid Shows

OkCupid, the popular free online dating hub, has figured out a tech-savvy way to answer the question of what people of all races really like (take that, Christian Lander!). The company’s blog detailed how over half a million users were randomly selected and grouped by their self-stated race. The love gurus then looked at all the groups’ profile essays and isolated the interests that made each group “statistically distinct” from the others.  

Of course, the lists are predictable. In some places, the data is parsed down between genders. So, while soul food is generally popular among all Black folks, it’s “really, really important to women,” according to the site. And Asian men are more likely than women to mention their specific ethnic heritage.  

Black is a Country: “Gypsies,” Justice, and Brown Versus Board of Education

via We are respectable negroes by chaunceydevega on 9/9/10

…in Eastern Europe the Roma have been struggling against discrimination in their access to education and schooling. They have modeled their resistance on the groundbreaking legal decision Brown versus Board of Education which was one of the first nails in the coffin of Jim Crow. The Roma’s use of Brown is inspirational. Despite its struggles with obsolescence in the present, the Roma’s enlistment of Brown signals the historical weight of the NAACP as an organization. More broadly, the use of Brown v. Board, and their appropriating the language of The Civil Rights Movement (never forget that The Movement itself borrowed and was inspired by Gandhi’s anti-colonial struggle) is an object lesson in how the Black Freedom Struggle has given so much to Americans of all colors, and has inspired people around the world.  

Black Americans often don’t claim that gift. Perhaps, it is because like Americans at large (and to paraphrase Gore Vidal) we don’t have a memory past last Tuesday. Maybe it is a function of some odd mix of colorblindness, charity, and politeness that those in the know may claim the genius that is Black creativity in the arts, letters, and music, but for whatever reason these same members of the negro intelligentsia are often resistant to claiming our gifts to American democracy.  

The Roma haven’t forgotten. They know that Black is a country. And perhaps the wellspring that is blackness as “political race” will give them the strength to overcome the adversity and challenges facing them as a people.  

Andrew F. March: What Shari’a Actually Says

via Religion on HuffingtonPost.com by Andrew F. March on 9/9/10

Every American now knows something about “shari’a” — the Islamic religious law. What most know, or think they know, about shari’a comes to be symbolized by a few violent rules — stoning, cutting off hands or lashing. Other practices many Westerners find disturbing, like veiling women’s faces, regulations on female marriage autonomy or restrictions on the freedom of religion, are commonly justified in the language of Islamic law.  

Little Rock Nine’s Jefferson Thomas Passes Away

via Colorlines by Julianne Hing on 9/8/10

Little Rock Nine's Jefferson Thomas Passes Away

We lost a part of American history this weekend. Jefferson Thomas, who was among the first group of nine black students to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in 1957, passed away on September 5. Thomas was 67.  

As a high school freshman Thomas agreed to leave Dunbar Junior High to enter Little Rock Central High School as a sophomore and enforce Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court order to end racial segregation in public schools. It sparked the historic standoff between Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus and President Dwight Eisenhower; Faubus called in the National Guard to stop the black students from entering the schoolhouse on September 4, 1957, and Eisenhower responded by ordering the Army’s 101st Airborne Division to escort Thomas and his classmates inside.  

via uuworld.org : The Interdependent Web by Kenneth Sutton on 9/10/10

Doing theology

“Chutney” continues his exploration of religious understanding by proposing the “Wesleyan Triangle.”  

The second thing to point out is that there’s no direct access to experience: you have to go through reason, scripture, and tradition to be able to articulate experience and make use of it. You can stick with pure experience if you want to, but you’re not going to be able to talk to anyone about it. (“Making Chutney,” September 8)  

“DairyStateDad” makes a declaration of faith.  

I do not believe that Jesus died so that I might be saved, by a vengeful, sadistic, and petty tyrant of a god, from an eternal torment as a result of an act committed by a mythical ancestor 6,000 years ago.  

But I still declare myself a Christian. (“DairyStateDad,” September 9)  

Around the blogosphere

Will Shetterly left a comment about race and class on the blog “Racialicious,” which was rejected. He shares the comment and the note from the moderator that was posted instead. There is an interesting comment discussion about censorship. (“racefail,” September 9)  

The Rev. Tony Lorenzen ponders, “what sermons by women would be historically important to the development of Unitarian Universalist thinking and theology or show the development in UU thinking and theology?” (“Sunflower Chalice,” September 3)  

The Rev. Kit Ketcham learns and re-learns the lessons of the 12 steps she began practicing in AlAnon.  

I found my sense of guilt greatly diminished and a sense of freedom from self-absorption and self-flagellation. I still carried the sense of responsibility for my actions; I hadn’t given that up, but it now served as a reminder not to commit the same act again. (“Ms. Kitty’s Saloon and Road Show,” September 4)  

The recent All Things Considered mention of the new Oval Office rug with Theodore Parker quotes (via Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.) leads the Rev. Thomas Perchlik to wonder why UUs (and Unitarians) don’t have higher public visibility.  

I am not saying we all have to become personal theists to become a great religion. I am saying that we will not be a popular religion in America until we practice better ways of being more inclusive of people like M. L. King Jr. and Theodore Parker. (“Rev. Thomas Perchlik’s Weblog,” September 5)  

The Rev. Dan Harper calls for discussion:  

[W]e need to disentangle ourselves from the ethos and assumptions of the ruling powers of the United States, to disestablish ourselves (actually, in our case, part of the task is finally to understand how little political influence we actually have, and to re-conceptualize ourselves on that basis). (“Yet Another Unitarian Universalist,” September 6, and followup post on September 9)  

  

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