Free Will, Fate, and Destiny: A Humanist Perspective

Human religions have always been built upon foundations of the best available science of the time. Sometimes that science said that the middle earth sat in a large tree. Sometimes science said the earth sat on a turtle’s back. Ezekiel knew that the earth had four corners and was held up by pillars–heavens above, Sheol [Read More...]

Freedom . . . for Which?

I subscribe to the notion that separating out religion from other meaning-making systems is valid only for the sake of convenience. I agree with anthropologist Jonathan Z. Smith who says, Religion is solely the creation of the scholar’s study. It is created for the scholar’s analytic purposes by his imaginative acts of comparison and generalization. [Read More...]

Arguing Over the Light

All religions, all this singing, 
one song. Rumi
 1. A poet I met once, Leslie Scalapino, said “stay in continual conceptual rebellion.” She thought we must “re-form” our minds, “make it new, every day,” as Pound put it, or fall for the snake oil routines of all the drummers and askers around us. “No” to [Read More...]

Softballing with Spinoza

If a triangle could speak, it would say . . . that God is eminently triangular, while a circle would say that the divine nature is eminently circular. Thus each would ascribe to God its own attributes, would assume itself to be like God, and look on everything else as ill-shaped. ~ Baruch Spinoza I [Read More...]

Bodhidharma Proposes to the Wall

Bodhidharma sat there, they say, nine years, but you know how they talk. Bodhidharma there to wonder why he thinks this could be different from that. To wonder what it might have been we think differentiates one depth from another. Isn’t that the secret? Bodhidharma said to the wall. You won’t know your self until [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...]

Prejudice is Part of Human Nature

We human beings have many times many different prejudices. I’m not trying to make a value statement in saying that, just naming something that I believe is an inherent aspect of human nature. We are deeply prejudiced beings.  The primary difference I have seen among human beings was whether or not they were aware of [Read More...]

Violence Begets Violence

I’m sure you’ve heard the aphorism, that violence never solves anything.  It is a good line, one I have previously used myself.  In the long view it even has some truth to it… violence often does lead to more and more complicated problems over time. The problem with it is that in the short view [Read More...]

Run for Your Life!

I have always been fairly athletic, and I enjoy playing a good game that gets my blood pumping.  But I loathe exercise.  I’ll run all day long if I’m on a court or a playing field, but ask me to run to get or stay in shape and I’ll kindly decline.  I’ve tried several times [Read More...]

Worship as Emotive Experience

This past Sunday, I became emotional in the pulpit… again. Ok, truth to be told, I’m always emotional in the pulpit. It’s part of why I never schedule anything for Sunday afternoon, because preaching a good UU sermon will wipe me out, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I usually maintain enough reserves to make it through [Read More...]