A Touch of Nature Makes the Whole World Kin: So What’s Our Excuse? (A Humanist “Theology” of Radical Welcome)

Mystical and Scientific The author of the Gospel of Matthew reports Jesus saying, “If you welcome your sisters and brothers only, what are you doing more than others? (5:47) Monk and mystic Thomas Merton wrote about one of his mystical experiences: “Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut, I suddenly realized that [Read More...]

The Courage for Compassion

Even After All this time The sun never says to the earth, “You owe Me.” Look What happens With a love like that, It lights the Whole Sky. ~Hafiz, 14th century Sufi poet “It may be that we have lost sight of our mission. Primarily, the church is not for social or political pronouncements, nor [Read More...]

Moses, Jesus, Paul and Sacred Soundbites

What ‘Ol Abe Saw Moses, Jesus, Paul, et. al. as motivator. Their words as marching orders for how to live and what is right to do. Sounds good. Yet, as he watched the bloody carnage justified on both sides by Christian theology, Abraham Lincoln perhaps said it best: “I know that the Lord is always [Read More...]

When in doubt, choose the side of Compassion

The Thursday following the fundamentalist disruption of worship service at First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans, a Pro-Woman, Pro-LBGTQ, Pro-Religious Freedom rally was planned for City Hall. It may not surprise you that the Unitarian Universalists showed up. Dozens of Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts, signs, and stoles were vividly on display. [Read More...]

Ferguson: Cynicism and a Smartphone

I have to admit that the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have triggered mostly cynicism for me. In the US we have periodic paroxysms of piety triggered by events that happen every day but occasionally “go viral” in the media. Then, the outrage subsides . . . and nothing changes. Allow me to relate an [Read More...]

Close to Home

It seems to me that the outpouring of emotion on the death of Robin Williams was not only for a beloved celebrity, although goodness knows he was that and more. His struggle with mental illness and addiction became an opportunity for the rest of us to talk about our struggles—with our own illness, or the [Read More...]

The Rise of the Totally Awesome ‘Whatever’ God

“Moralistic therapeutic deism.” That’s the term sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton coined to describe the religious beliefs of the average North American. Rev. Robert Vinciguerra calls it “egonovism,” a neologism constructed of “ego” and “novo,” new. Rev. Rob claims that most Americans are Egonovists, even though most don’t know it. http://revrob.com/society-topmenu-49/223-continued-observations-on-the-egonovism-of-american-society-and-dialogs-with-egonovists Why are [Read More...]

Reps of God: Christian Triumphalism and the DIY Future of Unitarian Universalism

LITE The future of Unitarian Universalism does not lie in Christianity Lite any more than the future of Anheuser-Busch lies in Bud Light. Oh, wait: Anheuser-Busch doesn’t have a future: it was bought out . . . by a European corporation that makes tasty beer. In our consumerist religious landscape, the mainstream Christian denominations are [Read More...]

Circle Round for Freedom

The opposite of liberal religion is not conservative religion. It is fundamentalism – the deep certainty that there is only one truth and only one way of knowing that truth. As a liberal religion, Unitarian Universalism acknowledges a plurality of possibilities; lifts up that the Dominant Culture may dominate – but that it is dominating [Read More...]

Martian Sleeper Cells and A-Model Tism

Since I’m both a minister and a humanist, I’m asked—often in rather shocked terms—if I am an atheist. Many humanists use that label as a way to use a description that is positive rather than negative. After all, being labeled an a-theist implies that theism is somehow normative and that being outside that norm is [Read More...]


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