Love the Hell Out of This World

Why Universalism? “Loving the Hell Out of the World?”

Last week I posted my response to the question “Why Unitarianism?” This week, I will explore the related question, “Why Universalism?” Comparing these two philosophically liberal religious traditions, the most famous quote comes from Thomas Appleton, who said, “The Universalists think that God is too good to damn them forever, the Unitarians think that they are too good to be damned forever” (Buehrens 228). More constructively, the Rev. Forrest Church said, “In a sweeping answer to creeds tha … [Read More...]

Comparing

Scientific Rigor and Spiritual Evolution: The Work of Jeffrey Kripal

This post is part of a summer-long Patheos series on 2014 Religious Trends. This week, the focus is the Spirituality Channel on “Is the Veil Thinning? Time, Consciousness, and Spiritual Evolution” This topic is timely for me because last week, I began teaching a 6-session course in my congregation based on Jeffrey Kripal’s new book "Comparing Religions: Coming to Terms." I have posted about Kripal previously (“Religious Mystic & Rational Humanist: The Mystical Humanism of Jeffrey Kripal”), … [Read More...]

WeAreAllOne_350

Why Unitarianism?

This post is the first in a two-part series reflecting on Unitarian Universalism. Next week, I plan to write about "Why Universalism?" For me, the move from Liberal Christianity to Unitarianism Universalism has been an important paradigm shift in our multi-religious, multi-polar, postmodern world. Before the advent of modern technology, which has made us increasingly globalized and interconnected, it was easier to justify a belief that there is One, Unchanging, Right Way of Believing and Being … [Read More...]

Providence

“Find Out How Much Love the World Can Hold”

The singer-songwriter Dar Williams has a song called “After All.” (If you aren’t familiar with Williams, I recommend her album Out There Live.) The opening lyrics are, “Go ahead, push your luck / Find out how much love the world can hold.” She continues: Once upon a time I had controlAnd reined my soul in tight…So I stopped the tideFroze it up from insideAnd it felt like a winter machineThat you go through and thenYou catch your breath and winter starts againAnd every … [Read More...]

Greeley

“Bringing the Spiritual to Its Senses”

Incense fills the nostrils of a Krishna devotee in a temple in Vrindavan, India, letting him know he is in a sacred place; Muslim worshipers heed the muezzin’s amplified call to prayer from the minaret of a Moroccan mosque; a girl tastes bitter herbs at a Passover Seder in Brooklyn, reminding her of the harshness of her ancestors’ slavery in Egypt; a Greek Orthodox woman gazes reverently upon an icon of Jesus Christ and sees the gaze returned, knowing she is blessed; a Zen Buddhist acolyte str … [Read More...]

Fast

“Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World”

“Seventh-Generation Thinking” means considering the longterm impact of our actions even to the seventh generation to follow. Or I have sometimes heard this perspective phrased: seeing yourself as in the midpoint of a seven-generation span — such that ethical decisions should try to honor the wisdom of the three generations that preceded you (back to your great-grandparents) and to consider the legacy you are leaving for the three generations that will follow you (your great-grand child … [Read More...]

Katie

Margaret Fuller: The Stories We Tell Matter

The stories we tell matter. The stories that we choose to tell can be used to empower ourselves and others or they can be used to belittle and diminish. The stories we choose to tell can inspire us, expanding our minds and opening our hearts, or they can instill fear, scapegoating and demonizing others. And when I say that the stories we choose to tell matter, I use that word ‘choose’ intentionally. Because we can choose to tell a different story than the one we have inherited or have learned to … [Read More...]

fault

“Feminist Masculinity and Father’s Day” #EachEveryWoman #AllMenCan

Three weeks ago, devastating news began to break about a mass shooting in Isla Vista, California, near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Seven people died, including the shooter, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger. Thirteen more people were injured. As details began to emerge, word spread about a misogynistic manifesto Rodger had posted to YouTube regarding his motivations.To counter the hateful myths and half-truths in Rodger’s online rants, the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen w … [Read More...]

Soul-Repair

The Right of Conscience and the Crystallization of Conscience

“Crystallization of conscience” is the term the military uses for determining if a Conscientious Objector application is legitimate. I first heard that term when I was near the beginning of the seven-year period in which I served as the associate pastor and youth minister of a progressive Christian congregation in northeast Louisiana. Still early in my transition from seminary to full-time minister, I was reflecting a lot on how myself and the congregation were called to form the young people in … [Read More...]

Mamas

Mother’s Day for All

Julia Ward Howe is most famous for writing the Battle Hymn of the Republic in 1862. She was also a Unitarian, and the author in 1870 a proclamation calling for the first Mothers’ Day, which she envisioned as an International Day of Peace. How might Howe’s words from the late-19th century, inform our celebrate of Mother’s Day in the early twenty-first century? Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears! Say firmly: "We will not … [Read More...]


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