shaktinah's blog

Free Hawaii!

Whenever the subject of Tibetan independence from China comes up, my father almost invariably says that if Americans think that China should free Tibet, then the U.S. should free Hawaii.  The first time I heard him say it, I laughed.  "But Dad," I protested, "Hawaiians don't want to be independent from the U.S."  I very soon found out that asumption was not necessarily true.

A little history about our 50th state that you may or may not know (summarized from the mighty wiki):

American missionaries arrived in Hawaii in 1820. In 1887, a group of primarily American and European businessmen forced King Kalakaua to sign the "Bayonet Constitution," which stripped the king of administrative authority, eliminated voting rights for Asians and essentially limited the electorate to wealthy elite Americans, Europeans and native Hawaiians.

Do UU Congregations Support Us?

Such is this digital age that there are people whom I've never met in real life of whom I'm nonetheless fond.  They are people I've interacted with in online forums and such on a regular enough basis that I think I know just a little about them and they about me.  And I want for them to be happy as much as I want that for anyone.

It's also the case that one of my motivations for going onto these forums is to evangelize Unitarian Universalism.  That doesn't mean preaching at people that UU is the right faith and that everyone should come.  Of course not.  But I am mindful of being "out there" openly as a Unitarian Universalist, to (hopefully) make a good impression, and to answer any questions that might arise.  Every now and then someone tells me that they are going to check out their local UU congregation and I say, great!  (If it turns out that it's not for them, that's fine too.)

Miley Cyrus

The first I heard of the controversy over 15 year old Miley Cyrus posing topless in Vanity Fair was when a colleague blogged about it.  I thought Grace's piece was well written and kinda took it for granted that most people would agree that the picture was indicative of our culture, which sexualizes our youth in order to sell products.  So I was rather surprised when later, I came across a slew of comments in blogs and online news articles where people thought that the picture was "no big deal."  Mothers of daughters wrote in to say that they found nothing wrong with the photo, that girls expose more with their daily fashions, and that those of us who thought the photo was sexually suggestive were either prudes or had sex on the brain. 

Boo, Burger King

Well this ought to make the company look really good PR-wise.

Burger King VP Stephen Grover used his daughters email address from behind which to slander the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group trying to gain fairer wages for migrant farm workers.

A Religious Tourist in St. Louie

Miao's Last Judgement

After Sunday morning worship ended the Central MidWest District meeting, I played tourist until my evening flight.  It was rainy when I arrived on Friday, sunny and bright yesterday as I spent the entire day indoors, and rainy and cold again today.

Rob had told me to visit the City Museum, and someday I will, but in the little time I had left in St. Louis, I chose to visit the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA) on the campus of the University of St. Louis, a Jesuit school, and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the finest example of Byzantine architecture in North America.  Religion and Art, one can see where my priorities lie.  Art and religion, two paths to the same spirit.

March for Women’s Lives Remembered

Four years ago, when I was still relatively new to DC and All Souls Church Unitarian, an amazing thing happened. UUs from all over the country converged on Washington DC to participate in the March for Women’s Lives, a demonstration in support of women’s rights. I mean literally – almost every state was represented. Many important events have happened in DC and at All Souls since then, but still nothing like that. After a Sunday worship service with Dr. Rebecca Parker giving the sermon, we spilled out on to the streets and made our way to the National Mall to join other demonstrators.

For Earth Day...

Tip #1 on saving the world:

Stop buying bottled water.

First of all, there's the plastic bottles that the water comes in.  Don't let the idea that it's recyclable lull you into thinking it's environmentally friendly.  Only bottles labeled #1 and #2 have any chance of being recycled, and the production of new plastic still outpaces recycling several times over.  Most of it still ends up in landfills.  Not to mention the fact that both the production and recycling of plastic produces toxic fumes containg such carcinogens as benzine and vinyl chloride, which impact those living around the plants.

Don't Forget to Save the World

I used to have in my email signature:

P.S. Don't forget to save the world.

followed by a link to some form of online activism. For example, the Hunger Site, where the click of a mouse can donate a cup of grain.

Occasionally I would get comments from people about my signature. Perhaps they thought it was too glib. Or they thought that donating a cup of rice was not going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps they thought the challenge of "saving the world" was just too daunting a task to ponder, let alone as an afterthought in an email.

Free Will, Meaning and Morality

An interesting discussion came up on one of the online discussion forums. Someone posted the results of an fMRI study where researchers found patterns of brain activity that predict people's decisions up to 10 seconds before they're aware they've made a choice. The poster then asked the question whether this was the end of the belief in free will.

The study itself does prove there's no free will. But it does highlight how disassociated our "consciousnesses" are. We perceive ourselves as an integrated whole when in reality, different parts of the brain attend to different things. We are, as Buddhism teaches us, collections of aggregates.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - shaktinah's blog

Latest Wizduum Blog Posts

06/08/2018 - 11:54
04/24/2018 - 11:09
02/07/2018 - 12:21

Forum Activity

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 08:11
Mon, 06/16/2014 - 07:09
Tue, 10/01/2013 - 22:01

Acknowledgments

wizdUUm.net is made possible in part by generous support from the Fahs Collaborative