Showing posts with label National politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National politics. Show all posts

Monday, May 25, 2020

Should national service be a requirment for citizenship?

Should service learning be a requirement of coming of age programs in UU?

Thursday, January 30, 2020

How is partisan political party affiliation like religion?

In the book The Social Psychology of Morality: Exploring The Causes of Good and Evil" there is a chapter written by Jesse Graham and Jonathan Haidt entitled, "Sacred Values and Evil Adversaries: A Moral Foundations Approach" in which they describe the social -functiontionalist approach to describing moral systems and how they function in societies. As part ot this approach, they make a distinction, as much of sociology does, on the distinction between the sacred and the profane.

In describing this distinction between the sacried and the profane they write, "Shared emotions and practices related to sacred things bind people together in cults, churches, and communities. Sacredness does not require a God. Flags, national holidays, and other markers of collective solidarity are sacred in the same way - and serve the same group-binding function- as crosses and holy days." p.13

The MAGA people. the so called Trump base, have been called by media pundits a cult. In talking with people, and observing the jokes about family holiday get togethers being ruined by political discussions,  I get the idea that partisan party affiliation seems to be the same type of group identification as religious affilitation. Challenging a person's partisan political party affiliation seems the same as challenging their beliefs in their religion. The same can be said about die hard fans of a sports team or membership in fraternies, sororities, or civic groups like Rotary, Kiwanis, LIons, Elks, the Masons. I have seen the same identification to volunteer fire departments in rural communities.

At any rate this binding together with group values, beliefs, practices, traditions, rituals, symbols, is the foundational genesis for a moral orientation where the group insiders are good and the outsides are bad or at least suspect as not being "one of us."

Curious about what thoughts people might have about poltical party affiliation functioning for individuals and groups like religion. To what extent are these separation practices of "us and them" the basis of immorality?

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Religion In the public square -Christianity Today magazine calls for Trump to be removed from office.

Christianity Today, CT, a major evangelical Christian magazine opined on 12/19/19 that the Trump administration is immoral and that Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

For more click here.

Will other major religious press take similar stands?

Saturday, December 21, 2019

UU AWOL supports Charles Booker for the Senate in Kentucky against Mitch McConnell.

Click below to watch his inspiring launch video to see why, and rush a donation to support the movement he's building to take on McConnell.
Charles is Kentucky’s youngest black state lawmaker, and he is ready to ignite a movement across our great state. Unlike McConnell and McGrath, and unlike the Republican and Democratic establishment, Charles knows Kentuckians are tired of political games, and ready for change.
But Friend, we need your help. Charles is behind on his $50,000 goal for this month.
If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:
Amy McGrath has already raised millions in this race from out of state donors, but her voice isn’t speaking to the millions of working people in our state who deserve a candidate who will fight for a livable future. I’ve lived here my whole life and I know that McConnell won’t go down without a movement to stop him. Will you chip in today to support the only candidate ready to fight unapologetically for my people?
It wasn’t too long ago that Kentucky was a Democratic stronghold — back when the Democratic Party actually stood up for working people. We’re ripe for change again. Just this week, 140,000 Kentuckians had their right to vote restored after our newly elected Democratic Governor took office. Let’s give our people a candidate who will inspire us to the polls next year. A candidate who has stood with teachers at their strikes, who has stood with coal miners for their pensions, who has stood with young people for our futures.
We deserve a candidate who sees Kentucky’s worth — who knows we aren’t a “red state”or a “coal state,” but rather a state the establishment has left behind for too long.
As Charles says, “We’re not a joke, we’re not a tragedy. I know Kentucky is the future, and America should follow our lead.” I know Kentucky can be the future of the Green New Deal, and Charles Booker is ready to fight for that future.
Editor's note:
UU A Way Of Life is supporting Charles Booker and encourage you to do the same. It's time to clean up the immoral Republican Senate and bring people who affirm justice, equaity, and compassion in human relations.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Religion in the public square - Testimony from Nancy Pelosi

I was raised as a Catholic with a heart full of love and I don't hate anybody!

Editor's note:

As a Roman Catholic Unitarian Universalist I am very inspired by the witness and testimony of Nancy Pelosi, United States Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Great example of an incentivized informant.

The way to get away with crimes in America is to commit them with other people and then flip on them so the prosectuors can convict them with your help. The prosecutors now "owe you," and you will get reduced sentences which are in no way commensurate with the crimes you perpetrated.

This is a great example of the games "one or other," and "what about him/her?" It has nothing to do with truth, justice, equity, and compassion and everything to do with escaping culpability, and accountability. President Donald Trump and his companions are masters at this game and a good example of one of the most corrupt presidential administrations in American history.

This kind of behavior is in violation of several Unitarian Univeralist principles such as princples 2, 4, 5, and 6.

Friday, December 6, 2019

UU priniples can be a help in this time of political turmoil on the United States.

The impeachment of Donald Trump is long overdue. As Unitarian Universalists we convenant together to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Donald Trump's behavior does not fit the definition of just, equitable, and compassionate. What is a good Unitarian Universalist to do?

Campaign and vote for  elected officials who enact our values and principles. We also covenant together to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, but often good people do bad things and benefit from being held accountable by the group of which they are a part.

Accountability is an important part of this second principle asking us to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. How do your elected officials behave when their behavior is evaluated against our UU standards? If it meets with our standards, their behavior warrants acknowledgement and gratitude, if not, then the problem needs to be identified, described, and rectified.

As Unitarian Univerasalists we also covenant together to affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. In this time of political turmoil and discord we have a lot of opporunities to manifest our principles by holding people accountable to the standards set forth in our principles which we covenant together to affirm and promote..

Saturday, August 11, 2018

What is a Unitarian Universalist Republican supporter of Donald Trump to do?

One of the questions that underlie human behavior concerns what sociologist call "reference groups." To what groups does an individual aspire to belong? With what groups do they feel bonded and secure? Who will be there for me when I am in need and/or distress?

The primary reference group is the family. Beyond the family comes the peer group, work group, community, church and other organizations. It is from these groups that we create our identity. We say, "I am one of them." "I want to be like them." "They are my people and I am there for them and they are there for me."

How strong is your identity with Unitarian Universalism. How strong is your identity with a political party? How strong is your identity with a sports team? Sometimes our identification with groups can create dissonance, conflict, distress. For example, what is more important to you being a Republican or a Democrat or a Unitarian Universalist? How do you resolve the conflict when your identification with a political party comes into conflict with your covenant to affirm and promote Unitarian Univeralism's seven principles. Which identification takes precedence. Are you first and foremost a UU or a Republican?

This dilemna comes immediately to light with the Presidency of Donald Trump. Donald Trump's values, opinions, beliefs, and practices conflict highly with the principles of Unitarian Univeralism. Can a person be both a Unitarian Universalist and a Republican? How does the individual and the church resolve such dissonance and conflict?

Jesus tells us that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. Jesus also tells us to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's. And so what is a Unitarian Universalist Republican supporter of Donald Trump to do?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

UU witness is needed to redeem the U.S. from the sin of Trumpism

Trumpism manifests the dark underbelly of American culture characterized by sexism, racism, religious intolerance, xenophobia, and fear mongering intimidation. This shadow side of American culture is partially hidden most of the time even though it erupts continuously in pockets of subjugated and oppressed subcultures where victims are powerless to combat it. The majority of the population politely ignores these manifestations of injustice with excuses such as "I didn't want to get into it," "there was nothing I could do anyway," and "it has nothing to do with me." Now, Trumpism is rubbing our proverbial noses in it with a societal drama that is a caricature of what has been present all along, but which we, as a society, have preferred to ignore and deny. Americans and people around the world have been woken from their slumber by the wolf at the door threatening the stability and well being of a whole nation and people around the world.

Unitarian Universalists have a far different view of the world that the one presented by Trumpism. UUs with their seven principles affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person not just the wealthy, the beautiful, and the powerful. UUs with their seven principles affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations not predation, unequal treatment, and contempt and disdain for those unwilling or unable to comply with the requirements and expectations of the more powerful. UUs affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning not lying, manipulation, and blaming and shaming of those who would disagree or question the assumed righteousness of the powerful. UUs affirm and promote the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all not the "pay to play" "give to get" mentality that characterizes Trumpism.

If there is a modern example of sin one need look no farther than the statements and behavior of those who espouse Trumpism  where assault is encouraged at rallies and disrespect for others is cheered with vicious emotional arousal bordering on riot.

At this time, more than ever, the UU witness is needed in America to counteract the toxic poison of Trumpism. UUs need to call the nation to repentance with the goal of redeeming our nation from the scourge of the hell being envisioned and the Trumpists are attempting to create.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

All UUs must reject Trumpism and promote and affirm the inherent worth and dignity of very person

Donald Trump's lewd conversation with Billy Bush on the Access Hollywood bus is not locker room talk. It is the talk of a sexual predator. Rudy Guliani trying to normalize sexual predation saying on the Sunday morning talk shows that "all men talk like that" is sadly mistaken. The men I associate with do not talk like that, think like that, or behave like Trump described himself as doing "I moved on her like a bitch."

Trump's attempt at normalizing sexually assaultive talk, thoughts, and behavior is antithetical to UU principles and should be identified and rejected by all courageous men and women of UU faith. Donald Trump's vision of making America great again where men are men and women are the targets of their lustful assaults is a vision of a hell on earth which all  UUs must reject as they continue to work on building a world where the inherent worth and dignity of every person is affirmed and promoted.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The effect of Trumpism in our nation's schools

From a Southern Poverty Law Center report:

"Our report found that the campaign is producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. Many students worry about being deported."

Trumpism violates many Unitarian Universalism principles and is causing harm to children in our nation according to a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. We haven't seen this kind of dynamic in our society since the time of McCarthyism in the 1950s when lives were ruined with the accusation that targeted people were communist.

The covenanting of Unitarian Universalists to affirm and promote very different kind of values in our society offers an antidote to Trumpism. The time is ripe for UUs to offer sanctuary of love and compassion for our brothers and sisters being targeted. It is also time for UUs to bear witness to the evil of Trumpism and to offer more positive beliefs in justice, equity, compassion and truth.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Donald Trump in violation of the ninth commandment and many of UUs principles

People are taught in our Judeo Christian society that it is wrong to lie. It is the ninth of the ten commandments, "One shall not bear false witness against one's neighbor." Donald Trump has born false witness repeatedly when he accused Barack Obama of not being in the presidency legitimately because he was not born in the United states when it has been well established that Barack Obama is an American citizen having been born in Hawaii from a mother who was an American citizen.

Why would Donald Trump lie about Barack Obama's birthplace over the course of many years? He benefited from the lie politically as polls show that as many as 72% of Republicans believe this lie which is called "birtherism." Trump's lies have been fueled by cable news stations so often that people skeptical have come to believe the lies because of the the repetition.

Donald Trump birther lie is not only in violation of the ninth commandment, it is also in violation of the second and fourth principles of Unitarian Universalism. UUs covenant to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations and the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

Since it is one of UUs principles to engage in the free and responsible search for truth and meaning, it is incumbent upon us as UUs to witness to the truth and to denounce falsehood especially when it is manipulatively disseminated for personal gain of obtaining personal power over others at the expense of truth, equity, and compassion. The birther lie in and off itself has been disproved and can be put behind us, but what about the character of the person who has promoted such harm? Has he taken responsibility? Has he apologized? Has he done anything to repair the years of harm that has been done to the President and to the American people?

As is stated by Mark Hertsgaard in his article in the October 10, 2016 issue of The Nation entitled, "Trump's Media Enablers," "The birther issue goes beyond mere partisanship and the strong differences between Trump and Clinton on specific policy matters like climate change and Obamacare. It raises fundamental questions of democratic governance and national identity: Is the United States still a nation of laws or, as many Trump supporters apparently believe, a tyranny of stealth?" It may be that Hertsgaard meant "deceit" instead of "stealth?"

As UUs we also covenant together to affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. Democracy does not work well when people lie to one another especially its aspiring leaders. Democracy breaks down when such egregious lying is not recognized, acknowledged, and repaired.

It is necessary for UUs to bear witness to the harmful behavior that has been engaged in and to work, as each as able, to repair the harm that has been done not only to the President but to the citizens who lawfully elected him by participating in their democratic franchise of voting for him. It is apparent that harm has been done to our democracy by the lies perpetrated by Donald Trump and his failure to take responsibility for his lies and apologize makes him unfit for the Presidency.

While Jesus told us to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's, there is an overlap rather than a clean dichotomy, and it is clear that liars do not engage in God's work and should not be given positions of leadership.

For more on the Hertsgaard article in The Nation click here.
Print Friendly and PDF