Humanism and a Theology of Liberation (Without Strangling Priests)

Humanism does not require the death of God. All it requires is the affirmation of human freedom. William R. Jones ONE OF THOSE VICIOUS CIRCLES The French philosopher Denis Diderot, an Enlightenment era humanist, gets my vote for the most succinct summary of the connection between government, religion, and oppression: “People will never be free [Read More...]

Closing the Faith Gap – Restoring the Voting Rights Act of 1965

“We all have two religions: the religion we talk about and the religion we live. It is our task to make the difference between the two as small as possible.” ~Elaine Gallagher Gehrmann Unitarian Universalism is a living faith tradition which does not insist upon exactly what you believe, but which demands that the life [Read More...]

Selma Plus Fifty: Time For an Eight-Lane Bridge

WHERE ONLY BLACK MEN JAYWALK We are rightly celebrating the bravery of people—both the famous and the forgotten—who contributed to the events at Selma, Alabama fifty years ago, events that led to a sea change in the civil rights of many US citizens. The anniversary has led inevitably to a question: Are things better now? [Read More...]

Religious Humanism: What Was Old is New Again

Church Attendance Free Fall The Barna Group, a research group that keeps up with trends in religion, estimates that 48% of Millennials (born 1984-2002) are “post-Christian.” Forty-eight percent. “Post-Christian” means that they have heard of Christianity; know its claims; swim in its assumptions; and have little to no interest in it as a method for [Read More...]

Apocalypse: What Death Cults Really Want

The recent Atlantic article by Graeme Wood, “What Isis Really Wants,” examines the Isis phenomenon from the vantage point of apocalyptic movements. It’s an insightful article. I’m just a bit confused at the reaction. We’ve had apocalyptic thinking living in our midst here in the US for some time. I grew up Pentecostal. Now that’s [Read More...]

Greenery Without People: The Future of Post-Religious Community

I don’t get it about the natural world. Like, greenery, without people in it, is supposed to do what? ~Charles Smith   How to do religious community in a post-religious world . . . . As a senior minister in an urban congregation, it’s something I think about every day. For most urban North Americans, [Read More...]

Is Sex Necessary?

My colleagues in Unitarian Universalist ministry are blogging this month under the hashtag #SexUUality. Sex is a good topic for us liberal ministers. We have something important to say: that sex is fine, that pleasure is good, that consenting adults should be free to make their own decisions about what they do in private. We [Read More...]

How Do We Interact on the Cyber-Commons?

I bet I’m not the only one whose Facebook page is lighting up right now with people arguing about vacccines, President Obama’s comments about Christian extremism, and other current events. Though there’s always something, and my Minnesota location could bias me—I think it’s partly just February. Our media comes out of the East Coast, where [Read More...]

The Bigness of our Littleness: Humanism and Individualism

  Late in his life the philosopher Richard Rorty—well known to be an atheist—was asked by an interviewer if he could define “holy.” I suppose the interlocutor thought Rorty would be stumped by the question, or even perhaps show some sympathy for one religion or another. Rorty was not stumped by the question. He responded, [Read More...]

Selma: Death of a Meta-narrative

OK, I admit it—I love it when postmodernism calls it right. And the screeches and whines that have emanated over media since the film appeared are the sound of metanarratives dying. It was the French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard who postulated that the essence of postmodernism is “incredulity toward metanarratives.” A metanarrative is a big overarching myth [Read More...]


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