After taking a year off from attending GA (Fort Lauderdale was too far to drive our RV in the summer heat and humidity), I feel unprepared this year. I haven't read anything about the two candidates for President, for instance. I am ready to buckle down and listen now, though.
What little prep I've done is look for other blogs and Twitter streams to follow. Unfortunately, I haven't been particularly successful. I am following @SideofLove, a brand new website and account. Time to step up my efforts to hear more voices.
And speaking of voices, Side of Love posted a video of Sonia Sanchez answering the question, "What does standing on the side of love mean to you?" I am unfamiliar with Ms. Sanchez, so I don't know if this is her standard persona/voice. She is described as a poet/activist. My gut reaction to this clip was embarrassment and hope that the main stream religious community in Salt Lake doesn't see it. It's really flaky and "woo woo." UUs already suffer from a cliched image of being fringe and strange, so having a kerchief-ed lady sing/chant "love love love" struck me as not helpful to our cause. She gave the keynote address to the UU Ministers Association. Will that address be publicized? Was the whole speech like this? I don't know.
I did like it when she said, "Put on the sleeves of love, put on the feet of love..." I believe we must, indeed, use our bodies to do the hard work of building love, tolerance and justice in the world. Roll up our sleeves, set our feet to marching and our voices to protesting when others take a position of hate. But don't hand the opposition something to mock mercilessly, because they will.
The other piece I saw lately was this one in the Salt Lake Tribune. Hallman and Morales wrote eloquently of the need to challenge hate speech and hate actions in our world. The comments were very discouraging, effectively calling UUs "chicken little" and hypocrites. If such a reasoned printed discourse can be viewed so negatively, New Agey sing-song chants will not be received well...