Humanist Ritual, Part One

God must be replaced with a symbol capable of generating a different and more productive response and organizational pattern to life. Anthony B. Pinn, The End of God Talk: an African American Humanist Theology I. One thing we know about ritual is that we can’t escape it. From shaking hands to respectful calm in the [Read More…]

Guarding the Family Treasure

This week, I’m spending three days in Georgetown, DC, as part of the post-graduate program at The Bowen Center for the Family.  The program is to deepen understanding in Bowen Family Systems Thinking.  Today, I heard a presentation that made me think, so I’m passing it on, in case it might spark some thoughts for [Read More…]

#Humanism: Who We Are; What We Do; Why It Matters

I. Who We Are Religions and philosophies serve as heuristic devices for life, providing shape and meaning to what otherwise may seem a shapeless, chaotic rush. For some, religious views are chosen by birth or circumstance, for others religions are a matter of passing indifference in the rush toward the goals of a given social [Read More…]

Leading from the Airship

This week’s New Yorker had an article about the resurgence of airships.  Sure, we’ve seen blimps floating over football games.  But, after the Hindenburg crashed in flames (New Jersey, 1937), the world moved on to airplanes, and then rockets.  Still, the romance and the usefulness of airships maintained their appeal among a very few.  Now–against the [Read More…]

Omnipotence Paradox: What’s the Real Question?

In Divinity School, it became clear early on that I’m much more a pastor than a theologian.  Yes, in part, it’s because of the dim, flickering bulb of my brain.  But it’s also that I was drawn to ponder the questions under the questions. When someone asks about the efficacy of prayer, maybe it’s to [Read More…]

Self-Differentiation in 3 Puzzle Pieces

Systems thinking is not like memorizing the periodic table.  It’s like learning how to play violin.  The concepts are not difficult, but the application can take a lifetime to master.  Of Murray Bowen’s 8 inter-locking concepts, perhaps the most well-known is “triangles,” for which people often use the word “triangulation.”  Maybe the second most familiar is [Read More…]

Humanist Jesus

The changing religious landscape in the US is a bit hard to get one’s head around. For the sake of clarity, let’s imagine ourselves in the midst of something I’ll call the Average Christian Church, ACC. On a Sunday morning. We find ourselves repeating the Apostles’ Creed— I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy [Read More…]

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…]