The following blog post is a word-for-word aka verbatim* recycling of a follow-up comment that I just posted to the '
' post of Alaskan UU blogger Heather Christensen, who is the editor/producer of the UU World magazine/blog's "weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism" known as '
Getting back to the digital literacy theme I *do* have some things to say about that.
I will say a few things now and may come back to say some more things later.
:Visitors no longer discover a new faith community by driving by a building. They find it online, and if we’re digitally invisible, how can we hope to grow?
Regrettably Unitarian Universalists
are not all that digitally invisible Heather. All too often UUs
are quite visible on the internet
in a rather unflattering negative context. Then UUs
wonder why they’re not growing in numbers. . . Besides my own prolific output of critical blog posts and comments about UU
injustices, abuses & hypocrisy, I have seen a considerable number of people quite justifiably griping about the various failings of individual UU
congregations and Unitarian Universalism more generally. Wondertwisted's
"Dear John letter" blog post being a notable recent *example* of this. . .
:I think it’s worth figuring out just what percentage of UU
clergy are developing their digital skills.
Well, as you may have observed from
reading various UU
clergy blogs, *some* of them are quite skilled at giving people the finger on the internet
. . . I cannot prove
it beyond any reasonable doubt at this point in time but I have very reasonable grounds to believe, and some digital "hard evidence" which strongly
suggests. . . that at least two "less than perfect" UU
ministers are responsible for the Robin Edgar Sucks blog
. Is *that* what UU
clergy want to do with their digital skills?
:I also think 100% digital literacy is a worthy and necessary goal.
Oh I don't know Heather. I think that 50-80% digital literacy is probably more than adequate for what most UU
clergy need to do in terms of working with the interconnected web of the internet
. I do not consider myself to have 100% digital literacy, far from it, but look what *I* can do in terms of ever so digitally giving "less than perfect" U*Us a "Trudeau Salute"
. . . ;-) I will spare you the links to what UU
"clergy image" looks like after I put a "less than perfect" UU
preacher on my "Eat Your Words" diet, but you and other UUs
*might* want to run a Google Image search for things Unitarian Universalist
to see with your own eyes just how U*Us look online these days.
:So here’s my radical proposal: let’s make digital literacy required for all UU
ministers––not just those seeking preliminary or final fellowship.**
Here’s my radical proposal: let’s make internet
etiquette (to say nothing of "real world"etiquette) required for all UU
ministers. At present the UUA
allow "less than polite" UU
clergy say absolutely anything that they want to say as long as they do so under the cowardly cover of internet
anonymity and pseudonymity
. . . Yes, you read that correctly. If you have any doubts about my testimony just get digitally literate and Google -
Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris
and then enter into a free and *responsible* search for the shameful Truth and meaning of the following ruling that she made on behalf of the UUA
"It is the case that in this situation the minister’s blog is anonymous ( though you were able to identify the individual) and that she is free to express her opinions and to do so outside of her professional role as a minister serving a congregation."
When I contested that incredibly unprincipled and outright foolish UUA
ruling, which flagrantly disregards UUMA
Guidelines regarding how UU
ministers should conduct themselves in *public* (to say nothing of The Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism. . .) Rev. Dr. Robinson-Harris brushed off my objection and MFC
Executive Secretary Rev. Beth Miller endorsed the decision. To this day the UUA
has not reopened and re-examined that decision and responsibly overturned it, indeed when I personally asked UUA
President Peter Morales while I was at "the place that reeks of privilege and hierarchy" aka 25 Beacon Street during the April 2010 UUA
Board of Trustees meetings he obstinately refused to do so by bluntly saying -
"We're not going to reopen something that's years and years and years old."
So much for justice, equity and compassion in human relations, to say nothing of good old fashioned Unitarian Reason and common sense which seems to be a rare commodity in The Uncommon Denomination. . .
:A recent post on the MediaShift
blog quoted media scholar Henry Jenkins: “Traditionally we wouldn
’t consider someone literate if they could read but not write. And today we shouldn
’t consider someone literate if they can consume but not produce media.”
I guess that makes me quite literate then in that, besides producing blog posts and comments etc. I can and do produce digital images and even U*UTube
videos of U*Us behaving badly. . . I must get around to uploading some of the more recent videos in which U*Us preach quite loudly with their digitally recorded poorly behaved lives rather than their hypocritical lips.
:It’s no longer enough for clergy to know how to check their email and surf the web. If we want our congregations to be digitally visible, our clergy need to be both spiritually literate and digitally literate.
One can't help but wonder just how "spiritually literate" some more or less "digitally literate" Pernicious U*U Pastors aka Wolves In Shepherd's Clothing really are. . .
:Here’s the bare minimum, as I see it: every UU
minister needs to have a blog, Facebook
and Twitter accounts, and a willingness to stay digitally current.***
The horror... The horror. . .
Have you *seen* some of the blogs and Twitter accounts of UU
ministers, including top level UUA
leaders like UUA
President Peter Morales?!!
Wait. Yes you have...
Honestly. *Before* you insist that ALL U*U ministers *must* have a significant online
presence you should ensure that they really are "digitally literate" in the broadest sense of that term.
:I suspect that we’re letting a lot of clergy off the hook at the moment. We’re allowing ourselves to think of Facebook
and Twitter (and other social media) as toys, as entertainment, and not as essential tools for a new way of being in community.
The proof of *that* pudding is readily found in UUA
President Peter Morales' incredibly lame sporadic Tweets on his unremarkable Twitter account. . .
:We hide behind concerns about privacy, about too much screen time, rather than jumping in and helping solve these problems from the inside out. We make excuses for our illiteracy, claiming we’re “just not computer people,” rather than acknowledging our fears and our reluctance to do the hard work of learning something new.****
Wow! This sounds so-o-o-o much like how U*Us respond to clergy misconduct complaints. What an amazing coincidence! ;-)
:Unitarian Universalism has so much to offer, particularly to those without a spiritual home. We are not what everyone needs, but we are uniquely positioned to be ”a religion for our time.”
That's what President Morales and other U*U religious leaders keep saying, but there is not a whole lot of evidence backing up that rather questionable UUA
propaganda, especially when Rev. Morales crows about how The Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™ *can* be THE "religion for our time". I dare say that President Morales will be eating crow about his over-the-top "prophecy" in the coming years. . . Why does Thomas Jefferson's "false prophesy" about Unitarianism come to mind here?
:But we can’t be a religion for the digital age if those who have embraced digital media have no idea that we exist.
Have no fear Heather, The Emerson Avenger's web stats make it abundantly clear that those who have embraced digital media know that Unitarian Universalism *exists*...
Google searches like -
anti-Christian Unitarians (get visitors from this kind of Google search quite a lot...)
full of shit (from a week ago or so)
Is Standing on the Side of Love a cult? (just had a peek at today's stats. . .)
reverend bill sinkford polyamory
(Gotta stand on the side of LOVE for that one eh U*Us? :-) From last night.)
Prove that point.
* With a typo or two corrected and a few hyperlinks added. . .