Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I've often questioned why we even have a UUA Washington Office

Given what's going on right now in Iran, and that the top three posts on their blog are about:


Gay Pride


Finding the right "Dr. Seuss Metaphor" for our movement.

I'm asking again.

Now, in the past, I have criticized the UUA Washington Office for focusing on events in a foreign country that doesn't give a damn what they think while there was legislation that adversely effected UU World that they hadn't commented on that a small religion could actually have made a difference by speaking about since it wasn't particularly well-known or politicized legislation.

But it would be nice to hear their take on Iran, for well, obvious reasons.

And seriously? Dr. Seuss?

who notes that the Dr. Seuss post got more comments than anything else I've ever seen on the UUA Washington office blog get.


Bill Baar said...

There are very few options with Iran and what's happening now is the best hope.

Everyone needs to express their support for those in the streets througout Iran.

It would be a very different world and a huge step forward towards peace if the opposition there succeeds.

Obama weilds such soft power and now is exactly the time to us it.

I fear there will not be another chance.

We've got to break out of our local issues (at that's what you see on the UUA Wash site..they're stuck in their own world) and inspire the world in the right direction.

Obama can do it.

Anonymous said...

also, they spell Seuss incorrectly a few times :)

ogre said...

Bill and I are in agreement here.

There's almost no one outside Iran with the power to influence the government in a positive direction. That said, the fervent attention of those on the outside and gentle--and firm--expressions of concern and care... keep them on their toes, reminded that this isn't something that they can just brutally slaughter and get away with.

The shadow of Tiananmen is present. They know that Iran will be fearfully isolated--including within the Islamic world--if they're seen as bloody handed tyrants. And that Iran will slip from their grasp if they go there. Not immediately, but inescapably, if they do.

But pushing them hard... from the outside... will have the same effect as having McCain singing "Bomb, bomb, bomb/ Bomb bomb Iran" again in public.

The Washington office is the Washington office--not the Tehran office. And it's not as if the Shiite (or Sunni) hardline is going to much care what the UUA says, or thinks. A statement of care and concern, of paying fervent attention to this important matter, this issue of supreme concern to our Iranian brothers and sisters, of the need for legitimate power to rest on the will of the people, on peace...

that can help.

I'd expect an expression--delicate and careful, and attentive--from Sinkford (better still, from Sinkford, Morales and Hallman jointly). Not from the D.C. office. Not their portfolio, really.

Chalicechick said...

Still, Oprah and Dr. Seuss?


Bill Baar said...

(better still, from Sinkford, Morales and Hallman jointly).\

Yes for sure!

As for...

Still, Oprah and Dr. Seuss?

They've started down the path to irrelevance... History, if they make it to the Historian's radar, will judge.

Robin Edgar said...

Even better still. . .

Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman and Rev. Peter Morales jointly.

President Bill Sinkford would do well to keep a low profile on this in light of his rather questionable meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the delegation from Iran last fall.

ogre said...

Nah, Robin. Sinkford could no doubt manage to eat a little crow over it and use the earlier contact as grounds for something along the line of "I expected better than this...".

Oprah's mention is reference to her magazine featuring OWL, I'm sure. That's a big deal. The society desperately needs more good sex ed.

Seuss? < shrug > I'm really not worried that they've tooted that horn; Geisel was one of us. Perhaps if we'd been a bit more proactive, Sen. Starr King wouldn't have been forgotten and shunted off to somewhere obscure to make a place for the Great Performer. (I don't object to Reagan getting any attention, but for crying out loud, they've named the airport and other stuff for him.)

Again, it's the D.C. office. Its job (in my mind) doesn't include making statements on foreign elections. That's something for Boston--HQ, remember?

Chalicechick said...

I tend to agree that Sinkford should give the statement, but it seemed to me more likely that the Washington office would do it. While I agree that it isn't directly "on mission" for them, I fail to see how Oprah magazine or Dr. Seuss is either.

As neither Hallman nor Morales has been elected, I don't expect them to.


Robin Edgar said...

"Nah, Robin. Sinkford could no doubt manage to eat a little crow"

When was the last time you saw Rev. William G. Sinkford actually eat any crow Ogre? Do tell. I have never seen this U*U hypocrite eat the tiniest morsel of crow to date. Not that I haven't presented him with plenty of crow to eat over the last few years. . .

Bill Baar said...

For what its worth...I've had 2000 hits this am on my blog. 7000 yesterday...same story on my other blog.

If UUA wanted to do a little outreach... this is an issue. A Clerical dictatorship. What an opportunity to reach out beyond our traditional base. Hits coming from all over the world. In fact most from outside the US.

Needless to say, my UU blog has hits in the dozen per day. Half from Robin maybe... the other half my mom?

fausto said...

The UUAWO office has a new post up this morining. Unfortunately, it's not about suggesting ways for indidividual UUs or UU congregations to witness effectively for democracy and truth in Iran without making the situation any worse than it already is. It's not even about what's going on in Iran. Instead, it's only a You Tube video of a local UU pastor speaking at a local Washington-area interfaith rally for immigration reform: "Look! They gave one of us a podium! How cool is that!"

At least it knocks Dr. Seuss off the last-three list, though. The principalities and powers must be trembling in their boots just a little more right now.

Anonymous said...

The question really is, what can a handful of unsupervised interns really do to effect policy change of the United States. Don't we have the UUUN for that? How does the UUA Washington Office do to directly help congregations.

The office is there so the UUA can say that they have an office that pays lip service to policy lobbying.

In this cash strapped time the UUA needs to close the UUAWA office and use those resources to directly help congregations. Not to make themselves feel better.