On the Right to Take Up Space

(homily for a prayer vigil for those murdered at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina) I. Power is about controlling space. Fundamentally, power is about controlling space. Governments do it with borders. Governments do it with armies and navies and air forces. Governments do it with police. Power is about controlling space. In [Read More...]


“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...]

Informed Eclecticism: Why Unitarian Universalism Needs Wing Nuts

The Very Hungry Syncretism Orthodox Unitarian Universalism is syncretic, in theologian-lingo. In philosophy and the arts it’s called eclecticism, and I prefer that term because it’s a bit closer to common English usage. UUs are often eclectic in religious orientation—mindfulness, yoga, perhaps a nod toward reincarnation, some awareness of Jungian psychology, a bit of Process [Read More...]

Guest Blogger Maria Greene asks, Why is Humanism So Scary for the UUA?

In the late 1960s—like so many other liberal movements—Humanism lost its way. Understandably, many Universalist and Unitarian congregations held onto Humanism long after the philosophy had grown moribund. The cultural currents shifted toward an eclectic mix of Christian liturgy, Buddhist practice, yoga and “spiritual but not religious.” Humanism did not adapt. Many of us held [Read More...]

Unitarian Humanism, That Peculiar Animal

Integrity. The word comes from the Latin, integer, “intact.” Related words include integer, a “whole number,” and integrate, “to put together.” When a boat has “watertight integrity” it doesn’t leak . . . much. Integrity is a feeling of psychological wholeness we get when our moral ideals matche our actions. It is the wholeness of [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...]

Welcome To The Age of Practice

It’s Been a While The first person to doubt. Did she or he doubt because of oppression; because of terror or grief; or just the opposite—because of some heady freedom; because of safety and joy? Was perhaps the first person to doubt also the first to believe? What is it in human consciousness that causes [Read More...]

Crying Together

Maybe we could just sit down and cry together first. In the presence of Black rage. In the presence of white shame. In the presence of grief and despair and the overwhelming knowledge that white men with guns just keep killing people. In the devastating remembrance that this is not the first time that a [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...]