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…]

The Stories We Listen To; the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Our elders teach us things. Sometimes, later, we change our minds about those teachings, sometimes not. Sometimes we take those teachings lightly, only to realize the depth of the wisdom later. My father told a story about the family just up the road. It was the Great Depression, and the farmer and his wife had [Read More…]

Murder and What’s in a Story

Why do we kill each other? I have to admit that when I walk along a street and look at the apartments and houses, I don’t wonder what evil lurks in the hearts of the neighbors. Instead I wonder why so many people go day after day, year after year, without killing anybody. It’s not [Read More…]

An Improvisational People

True confession: I don’t know a chancel from a narthex. This can become a liability when one is, as I am, employed as a Unitarian Universalist minister. When I visit places, I’ll get an instruction such as “sit to the right on the cancel.” Or the narthex. I don’t rememberer. Anyway, it’s a liability. I’m [Read More…]

On Knowing What We Don’t Know

Knowing that you don’t know what you don’t know. Socrates declared that supreme knowledge a long time ago. Even earlier, a Hindu scribe had penned, One believes in existence; Another says, “There is nothing!” Rare is the one who believes in neither. That one is free from confusion. (Ashtavakra Gita 18:42)  Apparently, the hardest lesson [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…]

Could It Get Better? The Problem of Progressivism 

I am writing this morning at a McDonalds in a small farm town near my family farm in the Ohio River Valley. I go to McDonalds for the wifi, not available in the mom and pop cafes. The customers in the restaurant this morning are farmers rushing in for a sandwich and coffee before they [Read More…]

Savoring The Milquetoast: Why This Humanist Remains a Unitarian Universalist

Why would a Humanist want to be a Unitarian Universalist? As the president of the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association, I get that question a lot. And, to be frank, I ask that question of myself a lot. The recent Easter holiday merely underlined the point. For those of us who don’t fit into the Christian [Read More…]

Getting It Right Like the BCE

There was an important question that the older Greek and Roman philosophies asked that stopped being asked after the rise of Christianity. That question is this: Is the search for god and the search for truth the same thing? Is the search for god and the search for truth the same thing? I spend a [Read More…]

Hey, UU, Time For a Redo

Fear. Anxiety. It’s free-floating among those of a liberal bent these days. This week has seen more turmoil in the Unitarian Universalist Association. It’s time to do some breathing. Let’s go back a bit in time: When our evolutionary forebears crawled out of the warm, salty sea and set out to make a go of it [Read More…]