Mansplaining, Whitesplaning, and the Power of Listening

Totally unprepared are you To face a world of men Timid and shy and scared are you Of things beyond your ken The composition date is 1959, the composers Rogers and Hammerstein, the musical The Sound of Music. “You are Sixteen Going on Seventeen” is perhaps the epitome of mansplaining. Mansplaining. It’s about speaking from [Read More...]

Five Reasons to Congregate in a Congregation

Why bother joining a congregation rather than, oh, say, a bowling league? 1. To meet people. OK, yes it’s true that you will meet new people by joining a bowling league as well, but by joining a particular sort of congregation, you will find a particular sort of people. In Unitarian Universalist congregations, and particularly [Read More...]

Reason is Dead; Long Live . . . Advanced Hindsight

JUSTICE IS A SNACK AWAY Justice. It may be a meal best served cold, but not on an empty stomach. Israeli Neuroscientist and business professor Shai Danziger studied the correlation between food and the likelihood that a judge will grant prisoners parole. In the morning, just after breakfast, the chances of parole are high—around sixty-five [Read More...]

Greenery Without People: The Future of Post-Religious Community

I don’t get it about the natural world. Like, greenery, without people in it, is supposed to do what? ~Charles Smith   How to do religious community in a post-religious world . . . . As a senior minister in an urban congregation, it’s something I think about every day. For most urban North Americans, [Read More...]

How Do We Interact on the Cyber-Commons?

I bet I’m not the only one whose Facebook page is lighting up right now with people arguing about vacccines, President Obama’s comments about Christian extremism, and other current events. Though there’s always something, and my Minnesota location could bias me—I think it’s partly just February. Our media comes out of the East Coast, where [Read More...]

Eight Virtues for Generous Living

Patheos generously sent me a copy of The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living, written by Lisa M. Hendey (founder and editor of, to read and review in this space. While appearing to lack an analysis of race and class, Hendey offers truly useful tools for living a faithful life in this [Read More...]

Blinding and Beheading: One Path, Many Mountains

  “I have been Don Quixote, always creating a world of my own.” ~Anais Nin Science is that which is the same for everyone. Everywhere. Gravity, for example: call it what you will; describe it’s origin as gods or fairies—still, it’s results are the same and describable everywhere for everyone. Science: oxygen and its effects—the [Read More...]

Be Still

My daughter is learning to nap. Again. Not on a shoulder or on a lap. But in her crib, with a stuffed wolf and a pacifier. To fall asleep on her own; To quiet her mind and her body and her mouth – practicing, practicing, ready to talk; To turn away for a few moments [Read More...]

Who Do You Listen To?

Who do you let in? These days we have lots of options for who and what we listen to. We can opt to experience constant input at every moment, via the television, radio, internet, cable, social media, on our phones, in our cars, even–yes, I confess, I’ve done it more than once–glancing at things online [Read More...]

Razor Blades and Ebola: Processing Fear

Recently we have had a front row seat to observe low-level panic and smoldering fear. The headlines have been shrill: “Ebola Spread to the US Inevitable.” “Why America is Not Ready for an Ebola Outbreak.” “My Daughter’s Ebola Scare.” Polls show that forty-percent of Americans believe there will be an Ebola outbreak in the next [Read More...]