A Gift, A Letter, and a Drowning Man: The Legacy of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

There’s an old Zen story that does like this:   Once there was a great warrior. He had never been defeated, and he continued to win every confrontation into old age. He was known far and wide as the only warrior who had never suffered a defeat. This of course was a challenge to younger [Read More...]

A Candle in the Window

As winter draws close around us here in the northern hemisphere, I find myself drawn ever more to the flame of candles. A couple of years ago, I spent the month of January in Oslo, Norway. Though the climate in Oslo is similar to my home in northern New York, the days are significantly shorter. [Read More...]

Unconditional Love: An Epiphany

Over winter solstice, I watched my father tending to KG, his first grandchild, with unconditional love. We had just celebrated her one year birthday and she was beginning to cruise around with increased confidence.  As she found herself standing in front of my mother’s highly breakable ceramic nativity scene, KG began to methodically hand each [Read More...]

Sometimes It Takes A Lie

Sometimes it takes a lie to keep a religion. “It’s merely a game,” they told the priests–”how we fast for days, then cut a tall pole to climb. How we costume and dance. It means nothing, how we chant in circles and bleed chickens. How we climb and fly round and around in air. Come, [Read More...]

Joy to the World!

As the Community Minister for the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalists, I spend a lot of my time immersed in the injustice of layers of oppression. New Orleanians still trying to get back into their homes over 8 years after they were flooded out, transgender women forced to be housed with and often abused by [Read More...]

For the Beauty of the Earth…

I was walking in City Park with a community organizer this week when suddenly we were only the width of the boardwalk away from a Great Egret, its fancy fringe plumes fluttering in the morning breeze. We paused, taking in the beauty, marveling at the unexpected joy of such a close encounter. A few minutes [Read More...]

The Real War on Christmas

I confess it all seems a bit silly to me, this whole notion of there being a “war on Christmas” because some institutions are wishing people “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” Does it really matter? OK, I admit that I, personally, am annoyed with the signs that declare that Jesus is the Reason for [Read More...]

Nelson Mandela

The great Nelson Mandela has died. Peacefully, after a long illness, surrounded by the love of his family, his nation, the world. To lose a hero is always an enormous grief, and yet Mandela was one hero who got to see his work through. This time we got the whole inspiring story – not just [Read More...]

Deep South

Planned Parenthood of Louisiana hosted a screening of deepsouth last night in honor of World AIDS Day. Filmmaker Lisa Biagiotti joined the panel after the screening and shared that it was the startling statistics of HIV/AIDS in the south, combined with the SILENCE about this reality – in stark contrast to the national story that [Read More...]

Tornados, Typhoons, and Straw Dogs: Giving Thanks With Some Thinking

Thanksgiving American style. The day declared a national holiday for the purpose of giving thanks. Despite the best efforts of those of a theocratic bent, who or what to thank remains open to interpretation. My thanks goes to the universe that just keeps cranking out good things. As the fifth chapter of the Daodejing puts [Read More...]


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