Reason is Dead; Long Live . . . Advanced Hindsight

JUSTICE IS A SNACK AWAY Justice. It may be a meal best served cold, but not on an empty stomach. Israeli Neuroscientist and business professor Shai Danziger studied the correlation between food and the likelihood that a judge will grant prisoners parole. In the morning, just after breakfast, the chances of parole are high—around sixty-five [Read More...]

#RFRA, Soapy Cilantro, and Tasty Gods

(Or: A Little Demonstration of What Religious Freedom Looks Like) POLARIZATION Cilantro. It’s a polarizing vegetable. Many love it. Many hate it. For some, it is just the fresh touch needed to make Mexican and Thai cuisine perfect. For others, cilantro tastes like Ivory Soap. An unbridgeable chasm, it would appear. Three genes have been [Read More...]

a love poem for a holy week

Happiness is this moment alive in the sunshine knowing I am Loved.   [Read more...]

Religious Arguments: Where Are the Grownups?

RABBITS In November of 1726 news reached London that a physician had assisted a woman named Mary Tofts as she gave birth to . . . a rabbit. The rabbit, unfortunately, died. Mary Tofts got quite a lot of attention. And even more attention when she gave birth to yet another rabbit—or, well, at least [Read More...]

The Transient, the Permanent, and the Stitching Horse: What Remains True in Religions

When I was a kid, I loved wandering in the barn on my grandfather’s farm. The barn had been built around a two-story log house. In the loft of the barn was a jumble of old farming equipment. My favorite piece of equipment there was what was known as a stitching horse. This was a [Read More...]

Closing the Faith Gap – Restoring the Voting Rights Act of 1965

“We all have two religions: the religion we talk about and the religion we live. It is our task to make the difference between the two as small as possible.” ~Elaine Gallagher Gehrmann Unitarian Universalism is a living faith tradition which does not insist upon exactly what you believe, but which demands that the life [Read More...]

Selma Plus Fifty: Time For an Eight-Lane Bridge

WHERE ONLY BLACK MEN JAYWALK We are rightly celebrating the bravery of people—both the famous and the forgotten—who contributed to the events at Selma, Alabama fifty years ago, events that led to a sea change in the civil rights of many US citizens. The anniversary has led inevitably to a question: Are things better now? [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...]

How Do We Interact on the Cyber-Commons?

I bet I’m not the only one whose Facebook page is lighting up right now with people arguing about vacccines, President Obama’s comments about Christian extremism, and other current events. Though there’s always something, and my Minnesota location could bias me—I think it’s partly just February. Our media comes out of the East Coast, where [Read More...]

The Bigness of our Littleness: Humanism and Individualism

  Late in his life the philosopher Richard Rorty—well known to be an atheist—was asked by an interviewer if he could define “holy.” I suppose the interlocutor thought Rorty would be stumped by the question, or even perhaps show some sympathy for one religion or another. Rorty was not stumped by the question. He responded, [Read More...]