New Post at Humanistic Paganism: “The Mystic Demystified: Making theistic language serve the religious naturalist”

I have a new essay which analyzes how a poem by Don Marquis was modified for inclusion in the Unitarian Universalist hymnal. A comparison of poem and the hymn provides an interesting case study in the how religious naturalists use religious language. [Read more...]

The baby is the bathwater: Why I haven’t joined the Unitarian church

BabyandBathWater

It seems to me that, in religious matters, we just can’t throw out the bathwater without throwing out the baby too. Perhaps, in some sense, the baby is the bathwater. Because religion is a human endeavor and we humans are mixed bag, it seems there is no separating the good and the bad — at least not entirely. I wonder if it’s really possible to have the enthusiasm, the passion, and self-transcendence without at least risking dogmatism, literalism, and intolerance. [Read more...]

A Devotional Practice with the World at its Center

From my visit to Muir Woods

I realized that devotional practice is not limited to deity-centered religion. There can be an earth-centered or nature-centered kind of devotion too. What I needed was to develop a devotional religious practice, not toward gods, but toward the world. I needed to embrace the world as my Beloved, as my waiting lover. The world is that Divine Other I have been seeking who can draw me out of my ego. And I need a religious practice that will affirm, encourage, and sustain this embrace. [Read more...]

Who are we talking to anyway?: Humanistic Paganism and the gods

Over at The Wild Hunt, Brendan Myers has posted a guest article about whether Humanist Paganism is on the rise.  It has stirred up some controversy in the comments section. Old Gods and New Orthodoxy What was most interesting to me were the comments of several polytheists that Paganism and atheism are incompatible because Paganism [Read More...]

Praise for Pagan Humanists

I like to see whenever Humanistic Pagans or Pagan Atheists get mentioned by more polytheistic or deity-centered Pagans — especially when it is positive.  Most recently I read Teo Bishop’s post where he mentions “Pagan Humanists”.  He writes: “Sometimes I think the Pagan Humanists have it right in their approach to their practice. They see [Read More...]

Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason. – Novalis My wife hates poetry.  I think she feels intimidated by it, like it’s a secret someone is keeping from her.  I like poetry.  Now I am no T.S. Elliot fan, but I love Rilke and Mary Oliver.  The first poet I fell in love with was [Read More...]


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