A Summer Memory

for Maggie and Lewis   As the dimming fall welcomes me back, a summer memory feeds me still. We have risen with the sun, the smell of toaster waffles, and the demand that I read to you. Last night’s bedtime story put me to sleep too soon. So we clear legos from the couch, and [Read More...]

A Touch of Nature Makes the Whole World Kin: So What’s Our Excuse? (A Humanist “Theology” of Radical Welcome)

Mystical and Scientific The author of the Gospel of Matthew reports Jesus saying, “If you welcome your sisters and brothers only, what are you doing more than others? (5:47) Monk and mystic Thomas Merton wrote about one of his mystical experiences: “Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut, I suddenly realized that [Read More...]

It’s always 9/11 Now: Porous, Buffered, and the Search for Authentic

Authenticity or Bust From the First Great Awakening of the 1740s that energized the North American colonists and eventually led to the American Revolution to the Transcendentalists to the Beats, Hippies, and What-Have-Yous, a frequent cry of Americans has been “authenticity.” Americans want it to be real; genuine; visceral; heartfelt; roughhewn . . . something [Read More...]

The Courage for Compassion

Even After All this time The sun never says to the earth, “You owe Me.” Look What happens With a love like that, It lights the Whole Sky. ~Hafiz, 14th century Sufi poet “It may be that we have lost sight of our mission. Primarily, the church is not for social or political pronouncements, nor [Read More...]

When in doubt, choose the side of Compassion

The Thursday following the fundamentalist disruption of worship service at First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans, a Pro-Woman, Pro-LBGTQ, Pro-Religious Freedom rally was planned for City Hall. It may not surprise you that the Unitarian Universalists showed up. Dozens of Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts, signs, and stoles were vividly on display. [Read More...]

The Spiritual Practice of Agnosticism

Wolf! The Aesop fable about the boy who cried wolf has long been viewed as a cautionary tale about lying. The boy knowingly cried “wolf!” merely to disturb the villagers. The boy eventually pays the price in dead sheep when the villagers stop responding. There is another and more dangerous way of crying wolf, however: [Read More...]

The Rise of the Totally Awesome ‘Whatever’ God

“Moralistic therapeutic deism.” That’s the term sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton coined to describe the religious beliefs of the average North American. Rev. Robert Vinciguerra calls it “egonovism,” a neologism constructed of “ego” and “novo,” new. Rev. Rob claims that most Americans are Egonovists, even though most don’t know it. http://revrob.com/society-topmenu-49/223-continued-observations-on-the-egonovism-of-american-society-and-dialogs-with-egonovists Why are [Read More...]

Spiritual but not Superstitious (Mystical Without the Mumbling)

“Spirituality” is emotion. Sometimes the spiritual emotion springs from a consciously adopted attitude toward the world we see around us. Sometimes it hits us unexpectedly. A “spiritual experience” can be anything from the warm-fuzzy feeling we get singing a song we love to the inexpressible “mystical” experience of feeling one with all that is. Both [Read More...]

Reps of God: Christian Triumphalism and the DIY Future of Unitarian Universalism

LITE The future of Unitarian Universalism does not lie in Christianity Lite any more than the future of Anheuser-Busch lies in Bud Light. Oh, wait: Anheuser-Busch doesn’t have a future: it was bought out . . . by a European corporation that makes tasty beer. In our consumerist religious landscape, the mainstream Christian denominations are [Read More...]

House on Fire: Church Attendance in the US

There it is, yet another study indicating that the number of American Christians who attend churches regularly has dropped yet again. (see link below) Currently the number of those who attend church once a month or more has dropped to something on the order of eighteen percent, less than half of the number who claim [Read More...]


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