Here’s an interesting essay from The Times of London. A “confirmed atheist” says that Africa (location of some of the deepest and most persistent poverty in the world) doesn’t need secular aid – it needs Christian missionaries. Matthew Parris is a former Member of Parliament who grew up in South Africa and has seen much of the continent and its troubles first-hand.His basic argument is that tribal culture promotes maintenance of the status quo and stifles any entrepreneurial attempts to… Read more

image from the Robin Wood TarotOn very rare occasions, I have dreams I can only describe as prophetic. They are clearly different from nightly sorting and filing dreams and from messages from my subconscious, though I can’t say exactly how they’re different. Whatever their source, though, they’re never wrong.Several years ago I had a prophetic dream about a couple of good friends from Atlanta who are evangelical Christians (of the “live what Jesus taught” variety, not the “my way or… Read more

Ever since I got out of college I’ve been doing “year-end reviews.” I’ve found they help me see how far I’ve come in a year, and they help me to remember the good things in life as well as the bad. This was particularly important when I was in my 20s and struggling to figure out what I wanted in life. They’re more subtle now, for a variety of reasons, but I still find them helpful.As I finished up my… Read more

One of my frequent complaints is that there are very few serious books on Pagan theology. So I was very happy to find The Deities Are Many by Jordan Paper, which I read on our recent holiday trip. Jordan Paper is Professor Emeritus of Humanities at York University in Toronto. He grew up Jewish, became a Buddhist and then a Daoist, then had several experiences which led him to follow the practices of Native American and traditional Chinese religions (both… Read more

Cathy and I spent Christmas Eve with her mother, which included a Christmas Eve service at her mother’s Methodist church. The service itself was not unlike every other Christmas Eve candlelight service (including those at UU churches), but it did include Holy Communion. And I had to do some quick thinking to decide if I should receive it or not.Communion is not the centerpiece of Methodist worship the way it is in the Catholic and Episcopal churches – most offer… Read more

I’m off for a few days to a decidedly non-spiritual destination: the Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Several years ago, Cathy and I decided that instead of running around trying to buy each other a bunch of presents we didn’t much want and certainly didn’t need, we’d go somewhere fun instead.When we lived in Atlanta, we’d go to Biloxi a couple times a year. It’s a longer drive from Dallas so we haven’t been since 2001, and… Read more

I asked Rev. Diana for some book recommendations on contemporary liberal theology. Her first recommendation was Wishful Thinking – A Theological ABC by Frederick Buechner. It’s a miniature encyclopedia (only 100 pages), and when I opened it, my first thought was “I don’t need to read this – I already know what these terms mean.”But after reading just a few pages I realized that Buechner was explaining his theology through his definitions. Here are a few excerpts:Doubt: Whether your faith… Read more

Just got back from the Moonlady Winter SolstiCelebration. I’ll post pictures or links to them once they get them up on the EarthRhythms site.Here’s my part:I am Britannia,and by the Great Mother Anu and the Lord of the Animals,from the standing stones of the Salisbury plainand the sacred light and dark of Newgrange,I give you the spirit of Boudicca, Arthur, Elizabeth, and Churchill.I give you the power of the Earth, the Sky, and the Sea.I give you the wisdom of… Read more

When asked to precisely define my religious beliefs, I always say I am first and foremost a universalist – one who believes there are many paths to find God and Truth, and that no one will be condemned to eternal damnation. As I said in my first post on this blog, I grew up in a fundamentalist church, but I was unable reconcile the concept of hell with a God of Love.Now it appears that I’m far from the only… Read more

At this time of year we occasionally hear references to “the first Christmas.” Well, what about the first Solstice?! As part of a sermon I gave at DUUF in December 2005, I speculated on how the first Solstice might have come about…Paleontologists tell us that the cradle of humanity was most likely in East Africa, near the equator, where it’s almost always warm, and where the length of the days is very constant. We know that these earliest humans eventually… Read more

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