Category Archives: Service and Social Action
Over 200 residents, mainly from western suburbs of Milwaukee, rallied Saturday night to discuss the proposed construction of a mosque in Brookfield, WI. My home congregation is located in Brookfield, and as such I believe this is a perfect opportunity to stand up with our Muslim brothers and sisters to respond to this explicit discrimination against them.
People of progressive faith must be more willing to stand up in the public square to advocate and work against religious discrimination. It is far too easy for religious communities who have withstood their moment of religious discrimination (i.e., Catholics, Jews, etc.) to become self-absorbed and not recognize the cyclical nature of this trend. Read the rest of this entry →
I am not Trayvon Martin. I never was nor will be. Neither will my children. We could wear hoodies, pop some Skittles, down some ice cold tea, and stroll down a suburban neighborhood block without fear of reprisal or harm. But, what I am is a person of faith dedicated to the eradication of injustice in my ministry work as a Unitarian Universalist.
I am a white ally, a person who has been given unearned privilege and a better chance to survive in a world where death and violence is sometimes more prevalent than the harmonious living we are all called to foster. Read the rest of this entry →
Over the last two weeks, two controversial short-documentary films have been released to the public that have raised a lot of questions in millions of hearts regarding the nature and purpose of being human. The first video is a component of the KONY 2012 campaign orchestrated by the organization Invisible Children. The video, as with the campaign, focuses on the ruthless leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, Joseph Kony. Kony has been charged by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Specifically, the draconian rebel leader has been known to use horrible tactics, including abducting children: the boys to be trained for war and the women for sexual pleasure.
The video in just the last two weeks has had estimates of over 100 million views between YouTube and Vimeo social media sites alone. The video has gone viral on Facebook, Twitter, national and international television channels, and pretty much any other public medium. However, as KONY 2012 exploded into global consciousness, countless individuals, organizations, and news channels have made arguments pointing out the oversimplification and complete-bias of the filmmakers’ product. Clearly, Invisible Children has taken these critiques to heart as they have created a page on their website responding to these concerns. Read the rest of this entry →
This cannot be the epitaph of the Religious Left. If anything it must be a passionate rallying cry to recommit to our ideals of justice and service in the world. In recent months, as the religious rhetoric of more conservative strains of this country force their way into the spotlight of the public sphere (take the controversial birth control/healthcare debate, as an example), many are wondering: where are those who represent more progressive religious and political ideals?
There are two reasons why this perceived silence of the Religious Left exists. Certainly, this is a perception because in reality the Religious Left is very active and present throughout countless areas of society, related to numerous social issues, including education, health, poverty, hunger, and public policy. The first reason is that the Religious Right, and by that I mean people who are more conservative and traditional in their moral convictions, are louder and more ear-catching than the Religious Left. We are not silent as much as we are being drowned out by the screams of ignorance and acts of arrogance that surround our daily acts of compassion and mercy. Read the rest of this entry →
“This article was originally published on the DePaul Interfaith website in January 2010″
Friday night Bridget Liddell (a fellow scholar) and I, along with two other DePaul students, traveled down to the First Unitarian Church in Hyde Park. We were joining the Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Campus Ministry that is affiliated with the University of Chicago. The group gathered to prepare dinner for homeless people in cooperation with The Night Ministry, a non-denominational, non-profit organization, dedicated to serving the needs of “Chicago’s most vulnerable”. We boiled hotdogs, bagged chips and cookies, and loaded them into three cars along with sodas, bananas and a handful of college students ready to help make the world a better place.
We headed down to the service site, unloaded the food and began serving dozens of cold and hungry men, women and children. As we reached the end of the line people were invited to come back for another helping. It became evident that these people were really vulnerable when we began handing out two hotdogs at a time, even three, to these starving people. Towards the end, when the population was waning, for those who remained, we began filling empty hotdog bun bags with numerous helpings. There seemed to be nothing that could fill the emptiness in these good people. Read the rest of this entry →