Building Your Own Ethics

CIS

I have posted previously about “Building Your Own Theology.” And this idea that you can “build your own theology” — as opposed to ascribing to a pre-existing theological system designed in the past or by someone else — is connected to what is meant when Unitarian Universalism is described as a theologically liberal religion. I should add that when we talk about Unitarian Universalism as a theologically liberal religion, that does not necessitate political liberalism. Irrespective of one’s politi … [Read more...]

“What You Say Next Will Change Your World”: Practicing Nonviolent Communication

Living

Each year at the annual Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, one of highlights is always the Ware Lecture, which has been given since 1922. Past Ware Lecturers include Reinhold Niebuhr, Howard Thurman, Saul Alinsky, Kurt Vonnegut, Elaine Pagels, Mary Oliver, Karen Armstrong, and many other luminaries. If you are interested, you can read most of the archived transcripts online on the UUA’s website. In 1966, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a Ware Lecture titled “Don't Sleep Thr … [Read more...]

Eve Was Framed, the Serpent Was Right!

Position

On August 13, 1971, the cover of LIFE Magazine featured an image of two women standing side-by-side. On the right, an classical painted image of a tall naked woman stands head-and-shoulders above a modern woman, who is fully dressed. The figure on the right is clearly the biblical figure of Eve, as she is covered only by a strategically-placed fig leaf and is holding an apple. The modern feminist beside her holds a sign that says, “EVE WAS FRAMED.” Eve was framed. But in this post, I would like t … [Read more...]

Zero Dark Thirty: Torture, Disavowal, and the Oscars

This is what should be done by those who are skilled in goodness, and who know the path of peace: Let them be able and upright, straightforward and gentle in speech, humble and not conceited, contented and easily satisfied, unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways, peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful, not proud and demanding in nature. Let them not do the slightest thing that the wise would later reprove. Wishing: in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease. Whatever living … [Read more...]

Politics of the Broken Hearted: Gun Rights and Gun Responsibilities

0102 Parker Palmer Healing the Heart of Democracy

“There are two ways for the heart to break: apart into many shards like a fragment grenade, or open into greater capacity so we can hold life’s inevitable tensions creatively, not destructively.” These words from educator and activist Parker Palmer point us toward a vision that he calls the “politics of the broken hearted.” Palmer continues: When we hold...tensions and we don't know how to hold them, the heart explodes like a hand grenade. And we sometimes want to throw that hand grenade at the … [Read more...]

En La Lucha: (Dis)covery, (Im)migration, and Social Justice

As a religious people who affirm human compassion, advocate for human rights, and seek justice, we must never make the mistake of confusing a legal right with a moral right. The forced removal of Native Americans from their land and onto reservations was legal. The importation and sale of African slaves was legal. South African apartheid was legal. The confiscation of the property of Jews at the beginning of the Nazi regime was legal. The Spanish Inquisition was legal. Crucifying Jesus was … [Read more...]


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