The Open and Shut (?) Case on Religious Thinking and Cognitive Closure

It isn’t news that there’s an inverse relation between religious piety and innovative thought. Religion is a handbrake—whether it stops humanity from going uphill or downhill is the real question. When a new study comes out telling us what we already know about secularity, my secular acquaintances do the I-told-you-so as the religious squint and [Read More...]

Sunny Side Up with a Side of Racism

Yesterday after church, my family and I stopped at a favorite cafe in Hartford. It’s a funky kind of place with a diverse clientele and a good Sunday brunch. I walked in while my spouse got the baby out of the car. I asked a white woman who was standing by the door whether she [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...]

An invitation to the party (haiku)

Your experience Bound with collective vision Shapes our work today Courage, friends! [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...]

Moses, Jesus, Paul and Sacred Soundbites

What ‘Ol Abe Saw Moses, Jesus, Paul, et. al. as motivator. Their words as marching orders for how to live and what is right to do. Sounds good. Yet, as he watched the bloody carnage justified on both sides by Christian theology, Abraham Lincoln perhaps said it best: “I know that the Lord is always [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...]

Because it is the Faithful Thing To Do

{Editor’s Note: Due to technical difficulties, this post, originally scheduled for August 19th, was delayed – posting now!} I spent two weeks out of state, mostly away from the internet, TV, and newspapers – enjoying some much needed study leave.  Returning to the news of the world on Thursday, August 14th was, I confess, quite [Read More...]


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