Like-Hearted People

  “You need not think alike to love alike.” This was the wisdom of Francis David, spiritual advisor to King John Sigismund of Transylvania, the Unitarian king who pronounced the first edict of religious toleration in the year 1568. You need not think alike to love alike. At Unitarian Universalist gatherings, I sometimes hear “it is so nice to [Read More...]

A Place in the Family

I pretty much only listen to radio in the car, which explains how I stumbled on just a few minutes of a call-in show which featured an evolutionary biologist. I suppose it shouldn’t have been surprising that the question I heard as I was pulling into my driveway went something like this: “Scientists have looked [Read More...]

Joyful Epiphany

 Sunday, January 6th, marks the celebration of Epiphany – a.k.a. Twelfth Night, Three Kings Day, la Fiesta de Reyes.   Epiphany honors many sacred events within Christian traditions – the day the child Jesus was visited by the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, his first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding . In New [Read More...]

For So the Children Come

For each child that’s born A morning star rises and sings to the universe who we are On November 12th of this year, three congregations co-ordained me, giving me a new name –  Reverend Deanna Vandiver. On the morning of December 21st, Katherine Grace was born and I received another name – Aunt De! Beloveds, [Read More...]

“Guns Don’t Kill People”

OK, so what if we accepted that “guns don’t kill people, people do”? Just for the record, I don’t happen to accept that premise, since guns kill people a whole lot more efficiently than, say, knives or fists, but never mind. Let’s just take it as a starting place. Isn’t it just possible that our [Read More...]

What God Intends

Let’s be fair, here. I’m sure that Richard Mourdock did not in any way mean to defend rape when he said that he thinks that God intends for babies to be born who are conceived through rape. I would hope that no one could believe in a God who intends for women to be raped. [Read More...]

All In This Together

Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches about something he calls interbeing. “If you are a poet,” he writes about a sheet of paper, “you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without [Read More...]

Run for Your Life!

I have always been fairly athletic, and I enjoy playing a good game that gets my blood pumping.  But I loathe exercise.  I’ll run all day long if I’m on a court or a playing field, but ask me to run to get or stay in shape and I’ll kindly decline.  I’ve tried several times [Read More...]

Hating Hateful Haters

Last week, advertisements began appearing at commuter train stations in the county where I live that, it would seem, blame all of Islam for the actions of violent extremists who are Muslim. Debate over the ads here in Westchester, including in the congregation I serve as minister, has centered on the question of “hate speech.” [Read More...]

Legitimacy

The furor over Rep. Todd Akin’s astonishingly irresponsible and oft-quoted remarks this week has once again thrown a complex moral, religious, legal and personal controversy in our country into stark relief, the question of abortion. It seems to me that the burning question about abortion in the United States is not primarily about whether or [Read More...]


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