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…]

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…]

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…]

Guest Blogger: Rev. Paul Beedle: Reflections: Selma

Today we welcome the Reverend Paul Beedle, parish minister for First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans, as a guest blogger on the UU Collective! Reflections: Selma by the Reverend Paul Beedle: Sometimes folks speak of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s as if it only belonged to that period of a [Read More…]

As the movement builds, let us remember

I learned in school that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. What I did not learn in school was that he had a vision and a clear sense of what it would take to get there. I was taught about how he worked to end racism, but not taught that he had [Read More…]

Religion: It’s What You Do

Seriously, No Joke Have you ever noticed how pointless it is to ask someone, “What’s your religion?” The answer is likely to be a proper noun, such as Baptist or Hindu. But what does that designation mean to the person answering the question? Does such an answer really tell us anything? Beyond, perhaps, an origin [Read More…]

The ‘Ol Heave Ho Ho

You’ve seen them spilling off the paved trail into the woods; you’ve seen them in parks; across sand dunes; wherever people go. There’s no standard English phrase for them. A couple of terms are “desire paths” and “goat trails.” In another era they were called bootleg trails. They are those paths that steadfastly ignore the [Read More…]


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