A Whole Heart: Remembering Pete Seeger

For the last couple of days my Facebook feed has been full of tributes to the late, great Pete Seeger—as well it should be. A genuinely remarkable man, Seeger spent his long life seeking justice, fighting oppression, telling the truth as he understood it, even in situations where the truth was most unwelcome. (If you [Read More...]

The Real War on Christmas

I confess it all seems a bit silly to me, this whole notion of there being a “war on Christmas” because some institutions are wishing people “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” Does it really matter? OK, I admit that I, personally, am annoyed with the signs that declare that Jesus is the Reason for [Read More...]

Who’s In and Who’s Out of Institutions (and the immigrants between)

The British social anthropologist Mary Douglas had this to say about institutions: Inside a religious body you get sects and hierarchies, inside an information network you get bazaars and cathedrals, it is the same, call them what you like. They survive by pointing the finger of blame at each other. That about sums it up, [Read More...]

A Prayer for those Whose Hearts are on Fire

A prayer after the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman Spirit of love and justice, Tonight I am angry. May my anger burn cleanly, Joining the light of so many hearts on fire. May we know anger as a source of strength, Anger that seeks to purify, Anger that has as its fuel the power [Read More...]

Courage

I expect by now you’ve heard the story: seen the pictures of the people bludgeoned by water cannons, the dog in a gas mask, the sufi dervish whirling in the street with deliberate disregard for the danger of his surroundings. It started simply enough. A group of people decided to sit in to protest a [Read More...]

For You Were a Stranger in Egypt

There are many biblical passages calling people to offer hospitality to the stranger. Here is one from the 19th chapter of the book of Leviticus: When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall do them no wrong, the strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as natives among you, and you [Read More...]

Before the Court

As I write, the Supreme Court is just finishing up oral arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act. Something, presumably, is going to be decided about same-sex marriage, although what exactly that might be is anybody’s guess. But the thing is, everyone knows the eventual outcome. Everyone—at least everyone who is honest—regardless of how they [Read More...]

Standing on Principle

As the budget sequestration looms, it seems that the government is caught in a stalemate as both sides “stand on principle,” unwilling to compromise on core values. Which would seem to be a good thing. After all, isn’t that what we ask of ourselves and our friends—that we stand up for what we believe in, [Read More...]

Salvation

I am a Unitarian Universalist who believes deeply that salvation is an inherent aspect of my faith. Not just my own personal salvation, though through this faith that has happened, but the salvation of the world. My faith is not about the salvation of individual souls for a perceived afterlife. I believe that whatever happens [Read More...]

In 1492…

In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue… So began the ditty that most of us (children in U.S. schools) learned about Christopher Columbus, who (we were taught) “discovered” America. I remember making little replicas of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria out of walnut shells, play dough, and toothpicks. This was [Read More...]


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