Showing posts from December, 2015

Theological Reflection

You may be here because of the commentary that arose from one of my more flippant Facebook posts.

I said: "I'm in that kind of mood when I want to tell people caught up in the spiritual significance of today being the shortest day and this the darkest time of the year to just turn on the lights and get on with their life." 

And I posted a picture of a light switch.  I would have labeled "Darkness Dispersal Device" but that would have been too much work, and probably overkill in explaining the joke. 

Anyway, much commentary ensued -- some silly, some very serious, but all missing my point, which I will now over-explain. Bear with me, please. 

We do theological reflection. It's our main duty as ministers. We think about the events and circumstances of the lives around us and draw out the connection between them and the conceptions of our highest values and ultimate realities of our religious tradition.

We have to be aware of the direction of the flow of meaning t…

The Fear of Death

Events that vividly remind us of our mortality push people into extreme stances.

The attacks in Paris and San Bernadino inflame Islamaphobic bigotry, because people have been reminded that there is the possibility that might die at the hands of a radicalized Muslim militant. The vividness of the reminder overwhelms empirical risk assessment. We have a far greater chance of being killed by a lightening than being killed in a terrorist attack.

From what I read and hear, it appears that the energy of the Black Lives Matter movement is being driven by the constant reminders that any black person may be killed by police in any situation. I have read people who sum up their demand as simply "Stop Killing Us."

And what about the random, mass shooters? Every time we see another on the news, we are reminded of the possibility of our own death. It is one thing to think of one dying some far off day of old age or disease. It is another to think that it could come today because you were…

White, Angry, Male and Old

OK, the base of the Donald seems to be old, angry, white, and male. Not exclusively, but still.

And not everybody who is old, angry, white, and male. Me, for example, and a lot of my friends and acquaintances.

So why not?

I have to believe that my faith formation has made a huge difference.

I grew up in a UU household; my parents had converted from a liberal, social gospel oriented Baptist faith just before I was born.

I grew up in UU churches, attending UU Sunday schools, daydreaming and squirming through UU worship services and sermons.

I grew up being taught, and learning again and again, that the world was not fair, but should be, that every person should count, but does not, and that it is simply wonderful when people came together to change life for the better. These were not just my conclusions from observing events; I was instructed in them by my parents and my faith community. They were taught to me; you could say that I was catechized in them as articles of faith.

I was disi…