Outsourced Morality

True confession: I understand Trump voters. I come from that place. We’re the same people who voted for Andrew Jackson—duel-fighter, bigamist, slaveholder, and native-killer. As a matter of fact, when I was a kid, we would go to his plantation in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday afternoons. The Hermitage. The story of Jackson told us that—no [Read More…]

You should start a meme, they said…

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#Terrorism: Religion and Nationalism Aren’t Fixing It

Nothing like a crisis to clarify values. If the terrorist attacks in Paris have clarified the dominant values of Western civilization, those appear to be such things as self-absorption, border restrictions, and violence. These are the values of nationalism, not Humanism. Sure, it’s true that Paris is the world’s number one tourist destination, so lots [Read More…]

People Who Have Come ALIVE!

  What makes you come alive my friend? This week I grateful to bear witness to people coming alive in the world: The Swarm, our affectionate nickname for the group of Unitarian Universalists from two congregations in Massachusetts who have been coming to New Orleans for service every November since Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood [Read More…]

It’s a Both/And kind of world

There is a lot of either/or thinking in the common narrative today…and I think the world is a little more complex than that. We celebrate the liberty of gay and lesbian Americans to marry – AND we continue to struggle for the rights of black, trans*, immigrants, and formerly incarcerated people to have truly just access to [Read More…]

Black Churches, Black Lives, the Legacy of Whiteness

Nation Building The United States government has failed at nation-building and democracy-creating more often than not. And never so badly as in the case of the defeated Confederate States of America. I’m an outcome of that failure, as is the white terrorist who recently murdered people in their own church. We are an old and [Read More…]

Apocalypse: What Death Cults Really Want

The recent Atlantic article by Graeme Wood, “What Isis Really Wants,” examines the Isis phenomenon from the vantage point of apocalyptic movements. It’s an insightful article. I’m just a bit confused at the reaction. We’ve had apocalyptic thinking living in our midst here in the US for some time. I grew up Pentecostal. Now that’s [Read More…]

Don’t Let the Light Go Out

The Feast of Hanukkah, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in particular and the resistance of a religious people to eradication and assimilation in general, begins at sundown today, to be celebrated for 8 days (as it has for over 2000 years) until sundown on Wednesday, the 24th. In the classic textbook A History of [Read More…]

Just Yesterday I Got the Call

Just yesterday I got the call. “Reverend Maginn,” declares Chaplain Jason Dipinto who has faithfully called me Reverend Maginn through three months of countless emails and phone calls. “Reverend Maginn, you have been accepted into the Navy Chaplain Corps!” There are so few of us Unitarian Universalist ministers serving in military chaplaincy; I thought I [Read More…]

Remembrance Day

In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1915) In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, [Read More…]