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

fault

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...]

The Right of Conscience and the Crystallization of Conscience

Soul-Repair

“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...]

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...]

Brené Brown and the Gifts of Imperfection

brown

Laila Ibrahim, the Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, California testifies that even the best, healthiest, most empowering communities are also messy, imperfect, and flawed: I have been going to the same church for a very long time. For nearly thirty years most Sundays I have walked through our beautiful redwood doors. In all those years I have filled a variety of leadership positions, from [teaching the “Our Whole Lives” Sexuality curriculum] to … [Read more...]

Ehrman’s “How Did Jesus Become God?” and What Does Resurrection Mean Today?

Ehrman

I suspect that some people might be surprised to learn that in many Unitarian Universalist congregations both Christmas Eve candlelight services and Easter Sunday services are some of the highest attendance Sundays of the year. Admittedly, Easter could seem like an odd time to attend a Unitarian Universalist congregation. After all, the Unitarian half of our heritage arises from the heretica" view of affirming the humanity of Jesus and rejecting his divinity — or saying that any way in which Jesu … [Read more...]

Aronofsky’s Noah: from “Hope in Heaven” to “Hope in Grandchildren”

Friedman

You know the city Shurrupak, it stands on the banks of Euphrates? that city grew old and the gods that were in it were old.... In those days the world teemed, the people multiplied, the world bellowed like a wild bull, and the great god was aroused by the clamor. Enlil heard the clamor and he said to the gods in council, “The uproar of humankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible by reason of the babel.” So the gods agreed to exterminate humanity. Enlil did that, but Ea because of his … [Read more...]

Religious Mystic & Rational Humanist: The Mystical Humanism of Jeffrey Kripal

William James

For days, I had been participating in the annual Bengali celebration of the goddess Kali in the streets and temples of Calcutta (now Kolkata). One morning I woke up asleep, that is, I woke up, but my body did not. I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed, like a corpse, more or less exactly like the Hindu god Shiva as he is traditionally portrayed in Tantric art, lying prostrate beneath Kali’s feet. Then those “feet” touched me. An incredibly subtle, immensely pleasurable, and terrifyingly powerful energ … [Read more...]

The Life Tradition versus the Death Tradition in Christianity

ashes

A man died. The people who knew him gathered to share memories. Finally, a portrait was commissioned. But as generations passed, the painting did not seem fine enough. The heirs of the portrait, who had become wealthy, created a new golden frame, immense, carved with motifs from the portrait and encrusted with jewels. People began to feel that the old portrait of that dark fellow with the haunting eyes pulled the effect down. As it began to peel from age, they extended the frame inward. One day … [Read more...]

Becoming a Buddha, not a Buddhist

Dharma

This post is the second in a four-part series on “A Journey with Four Spiritual Guides: Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Ramakrishna.” Looking ahead briefly to the next post, liberals sometimes get anxious when Jesus is mentioned because of the many ways his message has been manipulated, abused, and used to harm others. As the old exasperated prayer goes, “Jesus, save me from your followers!” However, in my next post I hope to offer some different, potentially surprising angles on Jesus — "Rabbi Yeshu … [Read more...]

A Journey with Four Spiritual Guides: Krishna

Hindus

The Rigveda from the Hindu tradition is the oldest religious text still in continuous use, dating to more than 3,000 years ago. One of its well-known passages proclaims, “The wise speak of what is One in many ways.” In that spirit, the Indologist Wendy Doniger has joked that the only way to briefly answer the question, “Are Hindus monotheists or polytheists?” is to say yes “(which is actually the answer to most either/or questions about Hinduism.)” On one hand, there are lots of gods (which suppo … [Read more...]


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