A review of Why God? Explaining Religious Phenomena by Rodney Stark 

Before I say anything else, I should say: Read this book. Whether you agree or disagree with the central point, this is a valuable book in the ongoing discussion of religion in the US. What is Stark’s central point? “Only religion can make existence meaningful.” A sociologist of religion, Dr. Stark falls into (or perhaps [Read More…]

The Lesson of Sunday School Cards

My dad was out of work a lot when I was a kid, so we traveled from town to town in the Southeast. Consequently, I attended all sorts of churches, from strip mall storefronts to white wooden boxes with a steeple on top. The churches were always in the Pentecostal / Apostolic range, which in [Read More…]

I’m an Atheist! Now What?

As I mentioned in my last blog post, unlike progressive traditions such as the United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalism, and Humanism—all of which stick closely to the college-educated demographic—atheism crosses all lines, from race to class to gender, et cetera. Some people never believe in a god; some realize one day that they have [Read More…]

Ganesha, Nietzsche, Truth, Consequences

  The story goes that Shiva—one of the chief manifestations of divinity in Hinduism—and his wife Parvati had two sons: One was Ganesha, perhaps the most recognizable  of the Hindu gods because he has the head of an elephant. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and the god of creativity in the arts and sciences. [Read More…]

Humanism: Without God, Not Anti-God 

The September 2016 Atlantic features an article about new Humanist communities titled “A Less Lonely Way to Lose Your Faith.” The article describes the burgeoning crop of secular communities as if they were a new phenomenon. This is particularly ironic since this autumn First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis is celebrating one hundred years as a [Read More…]

The Mindfulness of Stoicism, Part Three  

Last week I continued a discussion of the seven Stoic methods of inner-discipline (what’s popularly called spiritual practice nowadays). http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uucollective/2016/08/stoic-mindfulness/ Number one is “Write and Reflect in the Morning.” The second is 2. Focus on Your Goals. The list continues: 3. Take the Long View and Practice Letting Go 4. Visualize Catastrophe and Practice Letting [Read More…]

Black Lives Matter more than White Fear

Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. In Louisiana In Minnesota In Texas Black Lives Matter. When we commit to undoing the systemic racism that sets black people up for harassed and penalized existence, that sets police up for fearful lives, that sets us all up to be dehumanized – only then can the news change. [Read More…]

A Review of Grace Without God: the Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age by Katherine Ozment.

By Rev. Dr. David Breeden A question from one of her children sends Ozment on a five year quest. As they watch an Eastern Orthodox procession, one of her kid’s asks, “What are we?” The question brings her up short. Ozment long ago lost any attachment to her childhood Presbyterianism, and her husband is a [Read More…]

They Ain’t Heavy: UU Pluralism and Its Discontents 

One of the most serious issues for a tradition such as Unitarian Universalism that has embraced pluralism as a central doctrine is how to navigate the fraught waters of pluralism itself. Furthermore, when a collection of congregations with very different traditions join together—as is the case for General Assemblies—the chance of odd and jolting disjunctions [Read More…]

You should start a meme, they said…

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