Why I don’t trust the gods (at least not if I’m alone with one)

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I think it’s a mistake to assume the gods are benign. The word “worship” derives from the Old English word for “worthy”. I wonder then, why have I rarely seen the question asked whether the Pagan gods are worthy of worship. To put it another way, why should we assume the gods can be trusted? If the gods are paragons of virtue, are they not also paragons of vice? The polytheistic gods, as I understand them, are not necessarily good and they are not omni-benevolent. If the myths are to be believed on any level, the gods are just as flawed as human beings — they just have more power. Why bow down to power, if it is not paired with virtue? One answer perhaps is that the gods should be worshiped because they are — just as nature can be worshiped because it is. Nature is not moral or virtuous, but worship (or reverence) is a natural human response to it. But worshiping something and trusting it are two different things. I don’t ever assume that nature is benign or trustworthy. Why should we assume the gods are trustworthy? [Read more...]

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

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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...]

The Grass is Always Greener: What Unitarianism is and what I wish it were

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Sometimes, going to my Unitarian church on Sundays feels like an act of “spiritual suicide.” I am grateful for what Unitarianism is, even while I wish it could be more. [Read more...]

“Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.” — Friedrich Schiller

Controversy has broken loose on the Pagan blogosphere again.  This time over the suggestion that pop culture icons, like comic book superheroes, are equivalent to polytheistic deities.  It began on May 13th with a post by Sunweaver at Patheos titled “Making Light: Hero Worship” in which she compares contemporary superheroes to ancient Hellenic heroes and [Read More...]

“One needful thing”, Part 1: What’s missing from Unitarianism

This is a mutli-part series.  In this part, I discuss the history of Unitarianism, including the Transcendentalist revolt, the humanist revolution, and the search for a language of reverence. A few weeks ago, a married couple who are friends of mine joined the Unitarian Universalist congregation that I attend.  They have been attending for about [Read More...]


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