I ramble on about my thoughts on the cost of becoming a UU minister and how it pretty much guarantees we can’t have poor people start the process to become ministers because they can’t even begin to afford it, but my ramblings pale in compassion to this amazing post by polity wonk which explains how it happened. The post stresses, I think rightly, that it was mostly well-intentioned steps that got us here. Not that we are on the road to hell, but isn’t that what they say sometimes? The road to hell is paved with good intentions? Or at least the road to an elite, white, middle-class church is. Polity Wonk will save it for another post about how we should address this set of problems. I will wait with bated breath because I really don’t have a good idea.
I have taken it upon myself to keep an eye on vegetarianism in the UU blogosphere. Two awesome new posts: one by Peacebang (aka Veggie Vicki) who writes about her first month as a vegetarian and one by Everyday Unitarian who blogs about October as vegetarian awareness month and has a little story about fishing as a child which I can relate to.
Happy Vegetarian Month!
I just can’t help reading the vegetarian or vegan posts that are out there. And then reposting them here. Peacebang watched Meet your Meat which I have never been able to bring myself to watch – for me it is sort of like a Saving Private Ryan sort of thing – I know it (war or raising animals for meat) is bad. You don’t need to show it to me in graphic detail. But many vegetarian advocates points out that this does actually work well in terms of helping people understand what goes into our meat production. So, if you are as brave as Peacebang, and braver than me, you can watch it to. Or else just read her commentary on it.
p.s. Why four blog posts in a row after months of almost silence? I don’t know. I guess it comes in waves.
Why vegans can eat road kill. I’m not sure I 100% agree with the definition of vegans given, but mostly I think it is an excellent point, although I can’t imagine many vegans eating road kill – or leftover chicken that would be thrown away anyway. For me it would turn into a slippery slope. But I like the point about how eating vegan food being cooked on the same grill as non-vegan food is perfectly fine – I always thought this “Don’t contaminate my food with your animal molecules” was not helpful to the cause and just made vegans look a big weirdish. Anyway, nice to see vegan posts out there.
I will be posting about this myself in the next day or two. In the meantime, while you breathlessly await one more opinion on this matter, you can read other takes on this issue at the following UU Blogs: Philocrities, Trustee Talk, UUA Politics, iMinister (and here), RadicalHapa, The Chaliceblog (here and here), the Yes Church, Boy in the Bands, Ministare, Transient and Permanent, and Making Chutney. Feel free to add posts I’ve missed. You can also read about it at UU World here and here. Finally, see the memo from UUA President William G. Sinkford, Moderator Gini Courter, and GA Planning Committee Chair Beth McGregor, where they respond to concerns about security checkpoints at the 2008 General Assembly here, and have your Frequently Asked Questions About Security in Fort Lauderdale answered on the UUA website.
It is time for the UU Blog nominations and awards! How about that. First, I just want to encourage bloggers to highlight their favorite posts of the year because I went to go nominate people and then it became a huge hassle to try to go back to my favorite blogs and find favorite posts. You are doing us all a favor by highlighting your favorite posts and what categories you think you might like to be nominated for in the all-around category. Don’t be shy!
As for this little blog, I won the best seminarian blog last year for which I am very grateful! I would say that since there isn’t a best UU vegetarianism/eco-friendly living writing category, this would again be the category that I would be most happy to be nominated for this year.
And I have two favorite posts, one of which I think has no chance of winning anything.
My favorite post is The Secret is Total Bunk about the ethical and theological problems with a philosophy/mindset/belief that if you believe that certain good things will happen to you, they will and if they don’t, it is because you didn’t believe enough as put forth by the best-selling book The Secret.
Second favorite is my response to the UU World Article on Ethical Eating although somehow I feel like this is not going to be a winner.
*There were also quite a few follow-up posts on this theme:
Anyway, that’s about it folks. Happy nominating and blogging – and really may I take a moment to say how blessed I feel to be able to learn so much from so many wonderful UU bloggers out there. Thanks to all of you. You are a bunch of smart, thoughtful cookies. I really appreciate what the world of UU blogging has brought into my life.
p.s. Late addition to favorite posts of the year: On the Fluidity of Sexuality; or My Coming Out Story
So there appears to be quite the discussion in the UU Blogosphere on polyamory – that is, people who are not so much into monogamy (one partner) but feel okay with or pulled toward having more than one romantic partner or loves – poly (many) amory (loves). I posted on this a little while back, but not in the context of the independent affiliates discussion, which you can read about here and here.
The Lively Tradition has been the main poster (here too), with Boy in the Bands, Chalice Chick, Never Say Never to Your Traveling Self, Liberal Faith Development chiming in, and Philocrites referring us some of his older posts.
A lot has been said. I guess I just want to highlight the need for a parsing of two separate issues. One is if Unitarian Universalists should, as a movement, support legal rights for polyamorous folks, and/or should we spend our time and energy thinking and talking about the importance of this as a legal question.
The other issue is if it is possible for consenting adults to love and/or relate intimately to more than one other person at a time with honesty and integrity, and without causing harm to children involved in that relationship, and without somehow threatening the minimal social framework that keeps the universe as stable as it is (which is not very, but it could be worse). You get the idea – is polyamory just weird and bad and something to be avoided, or at the very least kept quiet, or can it be a reasonably normal, okay thing that is certainly not going to become the norm, but isn’t scary or weird or messing up kids.
As you can see, I am trying to move away from an ultra-careful phrasing of this, as so many people have taken a lot of time to do in the comments sections on some of the other postings. I’m trying to de-dramatize this a little bit, I suppose, but also I’ve never been one for treatises arguing super-logically, and rationally on every point because I don’t think this is how most people think.
Anyway, so what I’m trying to say is that I think folks on all sides of this need to be clearer about what they are talking about. The UUPA (Unitarian Universalist for Polyamorous Awareness) claims that their thing is about just that – awareness. The recognition that there are people in partnerships with more than one other person in our congregations, so we need to figure out a way to minister to these folks with love and care. I, naively, often take people at their word, it seems that there is actually a bit of a bigger agenda at least in parts of the UUPA. I am not all that familiar with how this bigger agenda has been communicated, but it seems like a lot of people are aware of it, and it has something to do with sort of taking the marriage/legal rights thing on in a similar way that the UUs did with same-sex marriage. That said, it seems like some who are not so pro-polyamory are conflating the moral/ethical questions related to polyamory automatically with whether or not this should result in legal recognition of marriage and/or whether or not UUs should take this on as a project.
So, in sum, all I am saying at this point is that this is a sticky issue, and it makes a lot of sense for everyone to be clearer about what they are talking about:
1) legal-rights/marriage/UUA-as-a-lobbying-organization/UUism-as-a-platform-for-political causes OR
2) the potential/reality of polyamory/multiple-partner-relationships to be ethical and just (and how, if at all, this relates to theological questions).
To me, these are separate issues because even if you think that poly relationships can be just lovely for all involved, it is another question whether you think that should be a legally recognized entity, and another one whether you think it is wise for our movement to somehow take this on as one of our “things”.
I have opinions on all of this, but I don’t feel like I have the patience to articulate it in a way that would suit anyone. Maybe another time.
I just hope everyone can be respectful and nice about this whole thing. I hate it when people get mean about things like this.
Much peace, Elizabeth
A friend recently pointed out a great blog to me – Take Action for a Better World. The blog deals with a range of issues (click here to see his list – includes Unitarian Universalism!) but I was especially excited to read some of his postings on vegetarianism/veganism/animals issues. In his description he writes, “This site was created knowing that our role as advocates is not to judge, condemn, or punish, but to inspire, encourage, and uplift.” I especially appreciate the idea that he is not out to judge or condemn but to inspire, encourage and uplift. Yay for friendly vegetarians. He is also a trainer for the Institute for Humane Education which I think is a great group.
Hey folks. Exciting stuff over at the UU Blog Awards. This little blog won first place in the seminarian blog category, but was nominated with several other seminarian blogs that are quite deserving of the award as well. So yay for all the nominees and winners. And thank you for those who voted for this little blog. Its been a fun year and amazing to read all the wonderful other thinkers and writers out there in this faith of ours. I’ve loved getting to know the blogging community and learned so much. And had some great laughs as well. Off to the library – I’m taking Explorations in the Colonial and Post-Colonial History of the Veil, and continuing three whole-year classes – a colloquium on religion and gender, my thesis writing (which counts as a class), and Early Christianities and the body. Exciting stuff. But lots of reading.
So the UU blog awards are going on here and I would just like to humbly ask for some votes – I don’t actually feel like Elizabeth’s Little Blog needs to WIN but my goal is not to come in very last or with, like, seven votes when the winning entry gets, say, 100 or so votes. Let’s go for fifth place people! Of course, vote with your heart. If you think that another blog deserves the vote (even if it means total humiliation coming in last place), well, follow your conscience. I can take it.
(you can only vote one time from your particular computer, as if you would ever try to cheat in the UU blog awards by voting two times)