me working and singing
  • uu_mom

"Faith of an Agnostic Activist in Loving Community" & Justice GA '12

I know everyone in this community is not a UU and does not live in the U.S., but I thought some here might appreciate my recent posts.

"Faith of an Agnostic Activist in Loving Community" talks about my experience of "spiritual" and "sacred" and why I, as an agnostic, choose to belong to a UU community. The post is here:

For those who are UUs or interested in social justice work, especially human rights and immigration, you might be interested in my previous post, "Immigration & UU activism":

- Joyce
Sister Broadsword of Reasoned Discussion
Ommm, Second Life, Howitzer

Feed Your Head: Desiderata

Reading my friends list this morning, I saw one post that immediately made me think of responding with lines from Max Ehrmann's famous poem.

And then I saw another.

And another.

And I realized that I could use a reminder, myself.

Max Ehrmann, 1927

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

I know that when YouTube has videos available, I usually post them, but, oh my stars and garters, Les Crane's 1972 recording is Pure Concentrate of 1970s Badness. Can't we get Leonard Cohen or someone to do their version?
Please don't link to the parody in the comments.

defiance, Tiananmen Rebel

The Revolution is being DIGITZED.

One of the tags in my list is "The Revolution Will Be DIGITIZED". It's a play, of course, on the title of the song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. I first used the phrase as the title of a PoliSci paper I wrote around '92 or '93, concerning the role of new communications technologies in the fall of the Soviet Union and the sociopolitical implications of the then-emerging internet.

I've used the tag for a variety of reasons since I introduced it a couple of years ago, some overtly political and some ... less than revolutionary. Yesterday's Writer's Block post was the first time I really felt that I was using it in the sense I originally intended, back when I first wrote that paper.

Yes. The Internet, the cell phone, GPS/GIS, desktop publishing and 3D printing ... this is world-changing technology. It has changed the world. If you're reading this, it has changed your everyday life, the things that you consider "normal" and "routine".

And it is poised to change it even more. It's facilitating real revolution, producing "regime change" more deep-seated than invasion, occupation, and installation of "reliable" puppets ever could.

Mightier than the sword indeed, my friends.

  • Current Mood
    optimistic optimistic
me working and singing
  • uu_mom

What's wrong with peace?

There's a Facebook event encouraging people to act civilly for a given day. There are many rude remarks on the bulletin board for that event, though. Some people say they do it every day, which is great and that, I think, is what is being encouraged.

It's not the first time people have tried this. There's World Peace Day, Nov. 17. There's International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 - I think this is the most official one, but there doesn't need to be just one.

Some people believe it's not possible and it is hard to believe, given human nature as it is, but it will never happen if we can't at least try to believe it. It's about how we think about and treat each other. If we weren't born with it, and most weren't, it can be hard to change, but what could be more worthwhile? Here's my response:

If We Live With. . .
adapted from "If A Child Lives With..." by Dorothy Law Nolte

If we live with criticism. . . . . . . .we learn to condemn.
If we live with hostility. . . . . . . . we learn to fight.
If we live with fear. . . . . . . .we learn to be apprehensive.
If we live with jealousy. . . . . . . .we learn to feel guilt.
If we live with tolerance. . . . . . . .we learn to be patient.
If we live with encouragement . . . . . . . .we learn to be confident.
If we live with praise. . . . . . . .we learn to be appreciative.
If we live with acceptance. . . . . . . .we learn to love.
If we live with approval. . . . . . . .we learn to like ourselves.
If we live with recognition . . . . . . . .we learn that it is good to have a goal.
If we live with honesty. . . . . . . .we learn what truth is.
If we live with fairness. . . . . . . .we learn justice.
If we live with security. . . . . . . .we learn to trust in ourselves and others .
If we live with friendliness. . . . . . . .we learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Let's be tolerant, encouraging, praising, accepting, approving, recognizing, honest, fair, providing safety, and friendly; and try not to be critical, hostile, fearful, and jealous.

(Reposted from my personal LJ.)
Eye of the Dragon

The Widening Gyre?

Over in another forum, someone posted something about "the first step in the total collapse of civilization appearing in the same place civilization first started"—that is, Egypt.

Here's my response:

Now, that's interesting.

The ground-level news that's leaking through the blackout—and NOT getting on the Big Mass Media—suggests that, while PROTEST is widespread, actual RIOTING is fairly limited.

I'm not sure I can see a popular uprising against a dictator, Muslims uniting to defend Christians against sectarian violence, or peaceful protesters linking arms to keep looters out of museums, as "the end of civilization".

Unless, of course, you define "civilization" as "a rigid, hierarchical society where everyone knows his place". This is an entirely valid definition, and most certainly had its roots in Egypt, Babylon, and the other prototypical agricultural societies. Cities and Kings emerged hand-in-hand, and so did the tendency to equate "disobedience" with "wickedness".

If you subscribe to other definitions, rooted more in human rights and decency, this doesn't look so much like the END of civilization as the BEGINNING.
  • rhonan

No one expects the Unitarian Jihad!

Texas Skateboarder Stops Christian Extremist From Burning The Qur’an

As news that Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove Outreach Center planned to publicly burn a Qur’an — an operation which appears to have been called off, for now — raced around the world, many in the Muslim world reacted with angry protests, feeling that Jones’ actions were indicative of an America that was indifferent to the sensitivities of the Islamic faith.

Yet on Saturday, the day that Jones had dubbed “International Burn a Qur’an Day,” one American stepped forward to fight back against the rising tide of Islamophobia among the far-right.

In Amarillo, Texas, David Grisham, director of Repent Amarillo, “which aims to deter promiscuity, homosexuality and non-Christian worship practices through confrontation and prayer,” planned to burn the Islamic holy text at a public gathering. But before he could set the book ablaze, a 23 year-old skateboarder named Jacob Isom swooped in and grabbed it:

A planned Quran burning Saturday in Amarillo was thwarted by a 23-year-old carrying a skateboard and wearing a T-shirt with “I’m in Repent Amarillo No Joke” scrawled by hand on the back.

Jacob Isom, 23, grabbed David Grisham’s Quran when he became distracted while arguing with several residents at Sam Houston Park about the merits of burning the Islamic holy book. “You’re just trying to start Holy Wars,” Isom said of Grisham after he gave the book to a religious leader from the Islamic Center of Amarillo.

Local news station News Channel 10 covered the event and interviewed Isom. Isom told News Channel 10 that “he heard something about burning the Qur’an. Then I snuck up behind [Grisham] and told him, ‘Dude, you have no Qur’an,’ and took off.” Watch it:


As Amarillo Citizens Against Repent Amarillo’s Facebook page shows, Isom made sure the book made it into the safe hands of a smiling local Muslim leader.
me working and singing
  • uu_mom

Atheist marginalized

I don't believe that people should be prejudiced against. If there's good reason to have a feeling toward them due to an bad experience with them, that's another story (like known hate groups). Most atheists in my experience are not members of hate groups - most are not members of any groups - they just don't believe in God.

I just wrote a post on my journal that you might be interested in; "Atheist" red flagged, but not "Agnostic" or "Humanist"