Cisgender and Transgender


Most people are more familiar with the term transgender than with the term cisgender. The term transgender came first, adding the Latin prefix “trans-” (meaning, “across from” or “on the other side of”) to the word gender to indicate a person, whose gender identity or gender expression does not match their biological sex.Cisgender was coined as a complementary term from the Latin prefix cis-, (meaning “on this side of”), indicating a person, whose gender identity and gender expression for the … [Read more...]

Interspirituality: Experiencing the Heart of the World’s Religions

I believe the future of religion is a spirituality that is interfaith at its core..... The good news is that people, at least in the developed world, are rejecting cultural and religious exceptionalism. By religious exceptionalism I mean the conviction that my religion possesses the truth and, by extension, yours is false.... Religions are not all the same, of course. Yet certain common themes and core values emerge in all of them. Among these are compassion, community, the practice of a … [Read more...]

Why “Spiritual And Religious” Is More Radical Than “Spiritual But Not Religious”


Almost two years ago Lillian Daniel, the Senior Minister of First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, wrote a short blog for the Huffington Post — a mere 374 words — titled, “Spiritual But Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me.” For whatever confluence of reasons, that blog post went viral and was expanded into a book she published this past year titled When "Spiritual but Not Religious" Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church.This past summer, the Unitarian … [Read more...]

Embracing Pluralism, Building Bridges, and “Common Action for the Common Good”


“I am large, I contain multitudes.”  (Walt Whitman)“Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah.” (Rumi) —Epigraphs to Eboo Patel’s Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim,  the Struggle for the Soul of a GenerationM. Scott Peck in his bestselling book The Road Less Traveled writes that one “somewhat oversimplified” definition of sanity is the ability to be in touch with and to cope with reality. Conversely, one definition of insanity is being out of touch with or being unable to co … [Read more...]

Do We Need a Moratorium on the Word “God”?


I have been trying to find a way of being religious that’s still possible (or maybe the word is “decent”) for us. What would it be like to be religious without fudging our best thoughts, without repressing anything we have learned...? What would it be like to be religious when we can’t really believe any of that glorious stuff — creation ex nihilo, virgin birth, bodily resurrection — we used to believe? It’s not decent, I think, to pretend to believe it, or to do a fancy philosophical number on “ … [Read more...]

Native American Spiritualities: Appropriation and Reciprocity


The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka , and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made … [Read more...]