America…Where Do We Begin?

I can’t sleep. Again. Tonight I’m thinking about how, in the city where I live, the police shot and killed a 34-year-old unarmed woman today, with her 1-year-old in the back seat of her 2-door sedan. I’m thinking about how I’ve driven those very streets, gotten stuck in tourist traffic on those avenues, turned around [Read More...]

Who’s In and Who’s Out of Institutions (and the immigrants between)

The British social anthropologist Mary Douglas had this to say about institutions: Inside a religious body you get sects and hierarchies, inside an information network you get bazaars and cathedrals, it is the same, call them what you like. They survive by pointing the finger of blame at each other. That about sums it up, [Read More...]

Season of Forgiveness

Reflecting on his experience as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, the International Military Tribunal established at the end of WWII, Bernard Meltzer wrote, “When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” The spiritual practice of atonement, asking and offering forgiveness, is a practice that [Read More...]

Bombing Again? But It’ll Work This Time!

There’s really no need to refer to specifics. When you’ve been a citizen of the United States as long as I have, you’ve heard it all before: national security; stopping this or that madman; ending drugs or terror or Communism; honor. Whatever. The point is always the same: now, in this situation, violence will actually [Read More...]

None of the Above

As I write, the President and Congress are discussing how to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Not surprisingly, the blogosphere is full of strong opinions: that we must respond to the wanton abuse of citizens with chemical weapons, that bombing Syria would be a huge mistake, that force is the only [Read More...]

Today

  Today I am going to try and live into the simplicity and struggle of this covenant (co-created by junior high UU youth at camp this summer): Respect, Kindness, Forgiveness, Focus. Today I am going to aspire to be the human being I wish others would be to me and my neighbors. Maybe tomorrow  too.  So much [Read More...]

Heroes

Perhaps you have heard about Antoinette Tuff, who this week single-handedly prevented a massacre at an elementary school outside of Atlanta. When a man bearing an AK-47 and a variety of other weapons came into the school where Ms. Tuff works as a clerk she did not pull out a gun and shoot him, fulfilling [Read More...]

Culture Shift

There is an old and often told story of a child walking along a beach, picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the ocean. In this story, an adult encounters the child and proclaims, “you can’t save them all. Your work doesn’t make a difference.” Replies the child, continuing in her labor “I [Read More...]

UU Verbs

I had the honor of spending this week with a dozen youth who chose to spend the first week of August in New Orleans. So you already know that they are brave. You should also know that they are leaders and followers, conveners and collaborators, organizers and educators. But this isn’t a note about nouns. [Read More...]

Keep the Faith!

In his story of a man with a sneering wife, Sufi master Rumi begins: A special guest was coming to visit and the man worked 200 days to earn the price for the quality lamb kabob he wished to serve this guest. On the appointed day, the man bought the meat and brought it home [Read More...]


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