Nature, Nurture, Murder: The Lessons of the Eugenics Craze

In the world of super heroes, it’s called an “origin story,” that trauma that led to the super hero being super. Poor little Bruce Wayne watches helplessly as his parents are murdered. Superman rockets off the planet Krypton, sent away by his father moments before the planet explodes, only to find himself in Kansas where [Read More...]

All the Rage

Apparently it is all the rage these days for state legislatures to introduce “religious freedom” bills that would allow people to refuse to do business with someone if it would go against their sincerely held religious beliefs. Clearly we are to understand these bills as a means for people who disapprove of same-sex weddings to [Read More...]

How Unitarian Universalists Do Church

I suppose everybody has a favorite founding document for a religion or a nation. Mine is “Farewell at Delfshaven,” a sermon given by Rev. John Robinson to a group of his Separatist congregation who were taking ship for the Western Hemisphere. Part of the sermon goes like this:   I Charge you before God and [Read More...]

Remember? #NeverLovedUs

“By not finding Dunn guilty of murder, the jury could not unanimously conclude that one white man’s imagination was worth more than one black teen’s life.” -Aura Bogado, Jordan Davis: What We’ve Come to Expect, http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/02/what_weve_come_to_expect.html   “Colorlines publisher and executive director of Race Forward, Rinku Sen, was a guest on the Melissa Harris-Perry show [Read More...]

The Harvest Comes

On a blazingly sunny January morning, I marched into a sanctuary outside of Denver, Colorado behind three huge paper maché puppets. They were elaborately fashioned, built on backpacks so they could be carried on the backs of their puppeteers: A brown skinned grandmother, two white braids and a kerchief, a coat hanger twisted into a [Read More...]

Apocalypse Never (and what we can do about it)

I grew up in the Pentecostal church. When I was ten, I knew just how the world would end: “the fire next time.” Tribulations. Seven seals. The four horsemen. Rainstorms of blood and fire. And what was more, this was coming any day now: the present terrible state of the world had been precisely prophesied [Read More...]

A Scream and a Theory: Natural Selection and the Higher Moral Order

Scientific theories do not occur in a vacuum. Like poems or paintings, theories reflect the times and characters or their authors. Darwin’s theory of natural selection, far from being a stark and cold scientific theory, was—and continues to be—an impassioned cry for equality and justice. A cry far more grounded and stirring than anything available [Read More...]

A Whole Heart: Remembering Pete Seeger

For the last couple of days my Facebook feed has been full of tributes to the late, great Pete Seeger—as well it should be. A genuinely remarkable man, Seeger spent his long life seeking justice, fighting oppression, telling the truth as he understood it, even in situations where the truth was most unwelcome. (If you [Read More...]

Take Good Care

I was taught in seminary to do ministry with sacred texts in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Our theological and ethical musings are of no consequence if they cannot be applied to what is happening outside the walls of our congregations, if they do not speak to people’s lives. As the Affordable [Read More...]

Flying Over the Squares (for small farmers)

The little towns in their squares light up, as do the scattered lights of farmyards in the tilting, fuzzy squares they’re locked in.   I balance a Chilian red on a bumpy flight out to one of those squares.   The West is red too, after we bump to a cruising altitude through clouds threatening [Read More...]


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