Adult Discussion Group

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston - Adult Discussion Group

During this time of isolation and worry, Adult Discussion Groups provide an especially comforting way to maintain human contact and participate in respectful, intelligent discussions with our invited speakers, presenters, guests, and members of our congregation.

Upcoming Discussion Topics

October 4
Activism of Black and White Athletes

Presented by Tony V.

To help come together as Americans in this time of highly polarized politics and media, it’s good to pause from the “chaos de jour” and look back at our inspiring heroes.  In 1945 white and black soldiers, who defeated Nazis and Fascists in WWII, returned home to find the USA still stuck in the evils of “Jim Crow” segregation.  Although President Harry S. Truman’s Executive Order 9981 abolished discrimination on July 26, 1948: "on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin " in the United States Armed Forces, it was just a start on the difficult road we’re still on to achieve the promise of our Constitution. A good example is the recent movie “42”. It's about the great American baseball player Jackie Robinson, who became the first black athlete to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1945.  This film stars the recently deceased Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, and Harrison Ford, as the courageous Brooklyn Dodgers’ owner who changed history by hiring and mentoring him and his team as they worked through the tough process of overcoming their own and societies’ prejudices.  

Film Review of “42”
Jackie Robinson and 10 Other African American Pioneers in Sports   

October 11
Economic Dignity by Gene Sperling
Presented by Ron M.

Governments set econometric targets like rates of inflation, unemployment, and GDP growth, which only indirectly affect public welfare. Instead—according to Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council under two Presidents—we should affirm core values, and then adapt policies that improve people’s lives as situations change. He summarizes these values as Economic Dignity: the capacity to care for family; the ability to pursue one’s potential and purpose; and respectful treatment in the workplace.. We’ll discuss these ideas and consider how they might inform various policy choices: a living wage, paid leave, continuing education, equal opportunity, workplace safety, harassment, work-life balance, gig work, and how we treat "essential workers".

 Excellent interview of Gene Sperling, "Economic Dignity" (with Samantha Power) Politics and Prose
Economic Dignity Book   Sperling Interview made May 2020

October 18
The Age of Entitlement by Christopher Caldwell
Facilitated by Jim S.

A major American intellectual makes the historical case that the reforms of the 1960s, reforms intended to make the nation more just and humane, instead left many Americans feeling alienated, despised, misled—and ready to put an adventurer in the White House.

Christopher Caldwell has spent years studying the liberal uprising of the 1960s and its unforeseen consequences. Even the reforms that Americans love best have come with costs that are staggeringly high—in wealth, freedom, and social stability—and that have been spread unevenly among classes and generations.

October 25
“Trick or Treat” Politics (with appreciation to Lindi) — Historical election shenanigans
Presented by Garna C.

Autumnal high jinks are not confined to Halloween, but apply also to American elections. We will discuss political shenanigans, legal, illegal, and just plain creative, as we await the November bounty.

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.” ― Pericles (Led Athens from 460–429 B.C., organized construction of the Parthenon and developed a democracy based on majority rule.)

“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.” – Plato (428-348 B.C.E)

CDC discourages Halloween masks and parties

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