To Whom It May Concern: the Humanist/Theist Split in Unitarian Universalism

Since I’m an out-there Humanist, I get asked fairly often how Unitarian Universalists might go about healing the theist/humanist divide. My first response is quite simple: There isn’t a theist/humanist divide. Many humanists are theists and vice versa. Fact is, “humanist” isn’t merely a nice word for “atheist.” Rather, the “divide” is a leftover from [Read More…]

The heartwork of coming alive

“Under all the harsh noise of the world coming in on us, this is how the things that last move: a small wave from the deep moves us on and the more we’re moved, the more we bend and bow and reach for each other. Our very life is the ground of practice by which [Read More…]

On Prayer

Emily Dickinson wrote, Of Course I prayed And did God Care? He cared as much as on the Air A Bird had stampd her foot And cried “Give Me” (#376) I grew up in a praying family. My parents both got on their knees at bedtime and earnestly prayed. We prayed before each meal: a [Read More…]

Love Thy Neighbor As . . . 

There’s an old Buddhist story that goes like this: Once a mother found her baby extremely ill. She was afraid it would die. She had heard that the Buddha was teaching nearby, so she grabbed up her baby and rushed to the Buddha to ask that her baby be healed. “Why do you want your [Read More…]

Carnival Redux, epiphanies too!

While revelation is ever unfolding, sometimes it is worth looking back through the transience for some permanent epiphanies, such as those embedded here: http://admin.patheos.com/blogs/uucollective/2014/01/epiphany-continues during an earlier Epiphany Season. And wherever you live, whatever your faith tradition, know that in New Orleans, it is a time of collective creative celebration, culminating in Mardi Gras on Feb. 9th!  [Read More…]

A Shared Life in a Shared World: #Humanist Economics

Grim Numbers Rising economic inequality. We live in a world in which sixty two human beings at the top own more than the bottom 3.5 billion people. We live in a nation in which—even factoring in the slaves, who owned nothing—the inequality gap today is worse than it was in 1774, two years before the [Read More…]

Relax: #Humanism Is Not Mack the Knife 

Small Humanist groups are popping up and organizing around the US, some as independent groups, some as interest groups within larger Unitarian Universalist congregations. This movement has drawn some interesting reactions . . . I know these reactions well, because one of the oddities about my position as a minister at First Unitarian Society of [Read More…]

Some Accumulated Wisdom for Seminarians 

One of the best aspects of being a senior minister is working with ministers-in-training. I have learned far more from seminarians than they have learned from me. Here are some things I’ve gleaned over the years: #1. Hear the wisdom of the congregation. (#hivemind) #2. Be you . . . but be getting better. (#cultured) [Read More…]

#Apatheism

This year First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis is celebrating a century of humanism. Rev. John Dietrich, often called the father of religious humanism, was called as minister to the congregation in 1916. Dietrich had already been tried for heresy and had declared himself humanist in his previous congregation, so the folks in Minneapolis knew what [Read More…]

The Lure of Our Worst Natures

I think you could argue that if we characterized candidates for the presidency in Freudian terms, that Hillary Clinton would come out as the ego—rational, measured, pragmatic—and Bernie Sanders as the superego—idealistic, moralistic, principled. But there can be no doubt as to who perfectly plays the role of the id, the instinctual, passionate, utterly self-centered [Read More…]


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