We mourn the victims of mass murder at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. As people of faith, we publicly declare our love for LGBTQ people, especially Latinx and Black queer folk. We embrace our Muslim friends, family and neighbors and wish them a Blessed Ramadan. As we pray for peace, we also recommit ourselves to working for a world without violence and oppression.

We acknowledge that this shooting is part of a larger culture of hostility toward transgender, gender nonconforming, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. We reject the use of religion to promote judgment or violence toward LGBTQ people. We disavow rhetoric that seeks to devalue and dehumanize Latinx people. We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community against Islamophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, and the scapegoating of Islam for this act of violence.

As people of faith, we long for a world where love triumphs over hate and fear. Our faith calls us to seek justice. We commit to working so that all people can flourish and live whole, authentic lives. #LoveForOrlando

What Is Wrong With the Modern Man?

Further Thoughts on Oppression

by Salome Chimuku, Ainsworth UCC

This is not an anti-male question. It is about taking a sober look at men and their needs, the oppression that men suffer. This is a hard concept for some, because we often do not see men as victim. “Hegemonic” is the normative ideal of masculinity to which men are supposed to aim. `Hegemonic Masculinity` is not necessarily the most prevalent masculinity, but rather the most socially endorsed. Some characteristics that come to mind are that men drink, are self-reliant, and so on.  Hegemonic masculinity is a problem. Feminism has made leaps and bounds to advance women in their struggle for equality, but it hasn’t yet changed the hegemonic male. We have been trying to build a new society with the same old tools.

Some may find this untrue. But I ask, Why?  Isn’t your belief that men are incapable of being the victim of society an assertion of this term? John Stuart Mill said, “And this, indeed, is what makes it strange to ordinary ears, to hear it asserted that the inequalities of rights between men and women has no other source than the law of the strongest.” In the United States the ratio of suicide between men and women is 4 to 1. Three out of four people who die of heart attacks under the age of 65 are men. Men are more likely to kill themselves in a violent way, such as with a gun or jumping off of a public place. To think men are not victims of a hegemonic masculinity is to ignore these facts.