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...]

What To Do With Privilege After Ferguson

When I went to Ferguson I thought I had something to offer. I was wrong. There was nothing for me to offer. When I was immersed in hundreds of voices chanting “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” I raised my white hands. I raised my white voice. But all the while I knew that the pain 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...]

Recipe

Amidst the din of global news and professional things-to-do, one of my great joys and daily forms of calming-my-soul-and-mind the past several weeks has been the recipe. What a wonderful meditative act it is to read someone else’s orderly list of instructions, to follow them as closely as possible while personalizing them as appropriate and [Read More...]

Security

I remember, in the days that followed the 9/11 attack, hearing the endless trope from news reporters, who declared that “nothing would be the same again.” And I confess that my reaction to that repeated phrase was pretty much one of annoyance. Terrible things happen over and over I thought, and people just get on [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...]


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