Spiritual but not Superstitious (Mystical Without the Mumbling)

“Spirituality” is emotion. Sometimes the spiritual emotion springs from a consciously adopted attitude toward the world we see around us. Sometimes it hits us unexpectedly. A “spiritual experience” can be anything from the warm-fuzzy feeling we get singing a song we love to the inexpressible “mystical” experience of feeling one with all that is. Both [Read More...]

Reps of God: Christian Triumphalism and the DIY Future of Unitarian Universalism

LITE The future of Unitarian Universalism does not lie in Christianity Lite any more than the future of Anheuser-Busch lies in Bud Light. Oh, wait: Anheuser-Busch doesn’t have a future: it was bought out . . . by a European corporation that makes tasty beer. In our consumerist religious landscape, the mainstream Christian denominations are [Read More...]

Circle Round for Freedom

The opposite of liberal religion is not conservative religion. It is fundamentalism – the deep certainty that there is only one truth and only one way of knowing that truth. As a liberal religion, Unitarian Universalism acknowledges a plurality of possibilities; lifts up that the Dominant Culture may dominate – but that it is dominating [Read More...]

Martian Sleeper Cells and A-Model Tism

Since I’m both a minister and a humanist, I’m asked—often in rather shocked terms—if I am an atheist. Many humanists use that label as a way to use a description that is positive rather than negative. After all, being labeled an a-theist implies that theism is somehow normative and that being outside that norm is [Read More...]

Keep the Faith

    This morning I tended to my garden and that of an elder neighbor. Walking back into my home for a second cup of coffee, I realized that I felt more like a grounded, alive human being than I have in a while. In the past few weeks, the phone has rung repeatedly, bearing [Read More...]

Way to Go, Supreme Court: Another #facepalm

A Primo #Facepalm Moment To be a citizen of the United States is to experience many face palm moments. And recent Supreme Court decisions have provided some spectacular face palm moments. Full disclosure: I take oppression of workers a bit personally. I escaped wage slavery only by luck. And my mother worked in the sort [Read More...]

In Prayerful Solidarity with Dr. Ersula Ore

This morning I am sitting in prayer after watching a video of Dr. Ersula Ore, a Professor at Arizona State University, get thrown to the ground by a violent cop after he demands that she produce identification and she does not immediately do so. She was jaywalking. Jaywalking Arrest for Professor in AZ You can [Read More...]

Roadmaps for the Soul (or: Hunting, Gathering, Singing)

In “Tombstone Blues,” a song released in 1965, Bob Dylan sang, “The National Bank at a profit sells roadmaps for the soul / To the old folks home and the college.” In the context of the song, Bob clearly doesn’t think this is a good thing. Commodifying the meaning of life? Yes, well . . [Read More...]

Making Sense of Life (or: Three Decorating Ideas for the Mind)

Wallace Stevens once said, “How full of trifles everything is! It is only one’s thoughts that fill a room with something more than furniture.” At first glance, this perhaps sounds like a Disneyesque reflection on the uses of a hearty imaginal life. Or—since Stevens was a poet—a reflection on the power of metaphor to set [Read More...]

The Proof’s in the Pudding (or What’s Churchy about Church?)

Imagine I’m sometimes asked how humanists can have “church” without invoking god. Here’s how I think about it: Imagine this scenario: When Imhotep in ancient Egypt invoked the great god Ra, he was invoking the human consciousness, not Ra Almighty. Imagine this: When Zadok, son of Ahitub, entered the holy of holies of Solomon’s brand [Read More...]


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