Ta-Nehisi Coates: Essential Summer Reading (and why freedom of the press was invented)

Though the idea had been around for millennia, the 1662 book Natural and Political Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality by John Graunt generally gets credit for awakening European governments (and insurance companies) to the usefulness of aggregating data. We don’t think much about it nowadays when we hear how many Americans will die [Read More...]

BLACK LIVES MATTER

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 2015 General Assembly recognizes that the fight for civil rights and equality is as real today as it was decades ago and urges member congregations to take initiative in collaboration with local and national organizations fighting for racial justice against the harsh racist practices to which many black people [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...]

Black Churches Burning White Supremacy Burning

  “The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are involved in the investigation into the incidents — though the FBI says it’s too soon to tell if they’re at all connected. The churches targeted have majority black congregations. “They’re being investigated to determine who is responsible and what [Read More...]

News Flash: Banana Cream Pie Eats Planet

Time Share Proposition: The Earth is a time-share condo. Like a time-share condo, each of us gets just so much of the Earth and just so much time on it. As with a time-share condo, we are dependent upon the last ones to occupy the space; we are responsible to the next ones who will [Read More...]

Choose Love

After years filled with state sanctioned violence and murder against people of color, the #BlackLivesMatter movement is calling out to each of us to resist the oppressive power of fear, hate, and greed; calling out to each of us to be persistent in our insistence on the power of love. We exist within particular (and [Read More...]

The Myth of Science Versus Religion

Getting the Metaphor Right It was the German writer Heinrich Heine who imagined a battle of Hebrews versus Hellenes. Soon it began to be imagined as Jerusalem versus Athens. Nowadays we endlessly tease at the science / religion chasm. Endlessly we ask: is it a chasm? A great divide? Is it reconcilable? Heine was looking [Read More...]

Anti-racism is essential for social change movements

From criminal justice majors at a university in Iowa, to Unitarian Universalist youth groups from North Carolina and Maine, to high school students from an exclusive private school in New York, my colleagues and I have had a seemingly never ending dialogue about systemic racism with hundreds of dear soul lights traveling to New Orleans [Read More...]

The Olympics of a Reflective Life

The Nose On Your Face I often find it best to start out by stating the obvious, and this is what I think is obvious, anyway, about those of us who choose our philosophy or religious tradition: We pick one (or pick elements of various ones) because we find those suggested practices and commitments useful [Read More...]


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