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

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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”

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“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...]

Conscience, Civil Disobedience, and Holy Obedience

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In 1973, Gene Sharp, who is now in his 80s, published a trilogy of books on The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Volume 2 includes a list of “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action,” outlines each method, and gives information about its historical use. The intent is to inspire the imaginations of future activists seeking to use nonviolence to transform our word for the better.The New York Times, writing about Sharp’s influence, has said: Few Americans have heard of Mr. Sharp. But for decades, his pr … [Read more...]

“Who’s In Charge Here?”: The Dance between Shared Ministry and Authority

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Unitarian Universalists are heirs to a proud tradition of heretics bucking unjust authority. As in the ancient adage often attributed to Augustine, “An unjust law is no law at all.” Americans also have historic anti-authoritarian roots. As a nation we recently celebrated the 237 anniversary of our Independence Day, when we commemorate bucking the authority of the British monarchy: the slogan “No taxation without representation” is rooted in the same idea that, “An unjust law is no law at all.” As … [Read more...]

The Sacred Masculine

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Most of us, irrespective of our biological sex, have some masculine aspects of ourselves, as well as some feminine aspects. In Jungian psychology, our inner masculine is called our animus and our inner feminine our anima. And one of the most common examples is that in Jungian dream analysis, irrespective of your biological sex, if you see a female figure in your dreams, that female figure represents both someone in the external world and some aspect of your anima, the feminine aspect of your … [Read more...]

We Are All Weird: What You Can Do To Stop Bullying

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My kids are thirteen and ten, and I'm never sure I'm getting any of this right. Lately I’ve taken to letting my older son walk or bike by himself to a friend’s house — it’s exactly six blocks away. I’ve also let him have limited email privacy while talking to him about what he’s writing and to whom. (By limited, I meant that I promised not to read message to a particular close friend if he asked me not to.) I’m feeling my way here like everyone else. But I am as concerned about doing too much as … [Read more...]


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