beheading a human crime

Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan has been found guilty of second-degree murder, for beheading his wife in February 2009. Aasiya Hassan was killed after she filed for divorce from her husband.

As I blogged at the time, this heinous act was not a “Muslim crime.” Rather, it is an all-too-human crime.  Many will use this story as evidence that all people who follow the Islamic faith are prone to violence (even terrorism).  But husbands have been killing wives, and wives have ~read more~

lament: Giffords, Tucson, Todos

My heart is broken, my soul is sick because of last weekend’s attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a committed public servant whose life will never be the same.

I grieve for the death of nine-year-old Christina Green, who may have followed Rep. Giffords, or murdered Judge John Roll, into working on behalf of her fellow human cousins. I mourn for the four other people killed, and all those wounded (including five still in hospital). I ~read more~

make them look you in the eye

When choosing how to have your privacy violated (method A, nude x-ray photographs, or method B, invasive “pat-downs”) at the airport, Elusis blogs that we should opt for the pat-downs, while looking the patter-downers in the eye.  She compares TSA screenings to Stanley Milgram’s experiments on obedience to authority, and notes that compliance dropped–subjects refused to administer (fake) electric shocks to other people–when they were in the same room, confronted with the humanity of those being shocked.

~read more~

easy to be hard

Tea Partiers are driven by Status Anxiety; unless we provide an alternative status, their fear and anger will continue to escalate, until it bubbles over into real violence. The traditional markers of status in the USA–wealth and white skin–are changing. We cannot (and would not choose to) stop that evolution, but we can respond to the anxiety it causes. We can present a wider, more universal status (the inherent worth dignity of every person!) to ~read more~

guilty bystander?

“For us to claim we are ‘on the side of love,’ implying others are not, feels dangerously self-righteous to me,” posts Rev. Laura Horton-Ludwig.  She continues, “Please hear me: I don’t want us to sit on our hands or stay silent about what we believe. I feel so blessed to be part of a movement with brave people willing to put themselves on the line for justice. I just hope we can practice with humility, ~read more~

identity exercise

Choose an identity that has been alive for you recently…What has been good about that identity? What’s been hard about it? What is something you’d like us to know/remember about that identity in your life?

Thanks to Toniann Read, the Director of Ministry with Children and Youth at UU Metro Atlanta North, for sharing the above questions, which they use as a check-in at their monthly RE Council meetings.

I have a hard time with ~read more~

$0.02 on GA’12

Dear UUA Trustees,

Thank you for asking my input about GA12.

If we are to ask UUs of color, and UUs with green cards, to risk their safety and their freedom by going to Arizona, then we must make it worth that risk: let us do real work in Phoenix. Even if SB1070 has been wholly repealed by June of 2012, we made a commitment in Minneapolis to focus on justice work. Let us do ~read more~

48 into 1070

Many of those arrested at the Phoenix protests have had their day in court. Most UUs protesting the inherent racism in the anti-immigrant SB 1070 have been sentenced to community service.  (I don’t know if non-UUs got different sentences; it is at least plausible.  That’s for another post).

Some of us donated money toward the bail fund, to help the protestors get out of jail; might we not also stand in solidarity by doing some ~read more~

parka culture

Trying to inform worship in our “UU culture” with practices and aesthetics from other cultures is like exchanging a white parka for a colored parka, when I want to dance naked in the summer sun. A point of religion is to liberate ourselves and each other from the received and imposed identities that diminish our full humanity.

Of course, liberation can be a slow process. When you’ve worn a green parka all your life, a ~read more~