Preventing Gun Violence


Consider the following sampling of gun violence in the U.S., drawn only from the weekend of March 2-3, 2013:The 4-year-old son of a Jackson County, Mich., Sheriff’s Deputy accidentally shot and killed himself Saturday night...around 5 p.m. at the deputy’s home.  A 61-year-old man is dead after his gun apparently accidentally discharged, striking him once in the upper body, at the St. Charles Sportsman’s Club in Waldorf, Md. Officers were called Saturday at 9:23 a.m.  Toni Voss, 27, was s … [Read more...]

Why Is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Does the universe have a purpose? I am not sure. Anyone who expresses a more definitive response to the question is claiming access to knowledge not based on empirical foundations.... To assert that the universe has a purpose implies the universe has intent. And intent implies a desired outcome. But who would do the desiring? And what would a desired outcome be? That carbon-based life is inevitable? Or that sentient primates are life's neurological pinnacle? Are answers to these questions even … [Read more...]

Another World Is Possible: Repealing the Death Penalty

Collage at UU Cherry Hill, NJ

Inconsistency: Since 1978, less than 1% of Maryland’s 13,000+ murders resulted in a death sentence. Are those individuals truly the “worst of the worst” or simply those with the worst lawyers, wrong skin color or wrong geographic location? Most capital prosecutions occur in Baltimore County, which is more than 13 times more likely to seek the death penalty than Baltimore City. However, only 6% of Maryland’s homicides occur in Baltimore County.Racism: Blacks charged with killing a white victi … [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...]

Giving Up Lent (for Lent?!)

One of the most interesting parts of my transition from being a pastor in a Progressive Christian church to being the minister of a Unitarian Universalist congregation is the shift from the Christian tradition being the central point of reference to Christianity being one among many sources of authority.Unitarian Universalism explicitly draws from Six Sources:Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit … [Read more...]

A Single Garment of Destiny: MLK and Savoring the Victories for the Dream Act and Marriage Equality


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland, where I am the minister, recently hosted a celebration for the recent victories in Maryland for Marriage Equality and Immigration Justice. We were grateful that almost 200 people attended, and that the event was covered by both the  also fortunate that both the local paper and a local TV station. This post is an annotated version of my remarks for the occasion.As a religious people who affirm human compassion, advocate for human … [Read more...]