The Duality Fallacy

The Methodist Church across the street from my church has a large lighted sign that reads, “It Will All Be OK!” Having been raised a Christian, I know what they mean by that. It’s a reassuring message. Perhaps those who put those words out there even believe it. It is, however, a myopic view and [Read More...]

On the Right to Take Up Space

(homily for a prayer vigil for those murdered at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina) I. Power is about controlling space. Fundamentally, power is about controlling space. Governments do it with borders. Governments do it with armies and navies and air forces. Governments do it with police. Power is about controlling space. In [Read More...]

Guest Blogger Maria Greene asks, Why is Humanism So Scary for the UUA?

In the late 1960s—like so many other liberal movements—Humanism lost its way. Understandably, many Universalist and Unitarian congregations held onto Humanism long after the philosophy had grown moribund. The cultural currents shifted toward an eclectic mix of Christian liturgy, Buddhist practice, yoga and “spiritual but not religious.” Humanism did not adapt. Many of us held [Read More...]

News Flash: Banana Cream Pie Eats Planet

Time Share Proposition: The Earth is a time-share condo. Like a time-share condo, each of us gets just so much of the Earth and just so much time on it. As with a time-share condo, we are dependent upon the last ones to occupy the space; we are responsible to the next ones who will [Read More...]

Hate and Homo Sapiens

STAR LOG Had space aliens stopped by planet Earth a hundred thousand years ago, as homo sapiens first began to migrate north out of Africa, I suspect they would have noted in their star log that these evolving creatures had a very serious challenge before them: tribalism. Yes, the aliens would have noted, homo sapiens [Read More...]

#Baltimore and the Failure of Human Flourishing

HONESTY DOESN’T RULE Huffington Post called the president’s remarks on the Baltimore uprising “the most honest fifteen minutes of Obama’s presidency.” What did Obama get honest about? He said, In those environments, if we think that we’re just gonna send the police to do the dirty work of containing the problems that arise there, without [Read More...]

Reason is Dead; Long Live . . . Advanced Hindsight

JUSTICE IS A SNACK AWAY Justice. It may be a meal best served cold, but not on an empty stomach. Israeli Neuroscientist and business professor Shai Danziger studied the correlation between food and the likelihood that a judge will grant prisoners parole. In the morning, just after breakfast, the chances of parole are high—around sixty-five [Read More...]

The Transient, the Permanent, and the Stitching Horse: What Remains True in Religions

When I was a kid, I loved wandering in the barn on my grandfather’s farm. The barn had been built around a two-story log house. In the loft of the barn was a jumble of old farming equipment. My favorite piece of equipment there was what was known as a stitching horse. This was a [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...]


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