“Voting is irrational.” This jarring statement comes from Paul Woodruff, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin, in his wise book, REVERENCE: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue. Paul came to USC a few months ago, hosted by my office, to give a series of talks. He’s a person who emanates the virtue that he teaches, speaking with a calm, reflective demeanor. Woodruff posits that unless we understand voting as a ritual, we’ll miss the point of it, and continue to see a decline in voter participation.read more
No matter how different someone is from us, they are part of the human family, one of God’s children to be valued and treated with dignity.
ALL: All of life is connected in an interdependent web.
A typical interpretation when reading the Book of Revelation is John’s attempt to answer the interminable question: How exactly will God, once and for all, set things right? When will the “sorrow and weeping be no more,” and the “tear wiped from every eye?” After reinterpreting over and over again the imminent end that has been repeatedly put on indefinite hold, it merely begs the question, why the postponement?
When Revelation is instead understood to be political commentary spun in the form of a fantastic allegorical tale that can be reinterpreted and applied again and again, the question in each succeeding era has more to do with asking the question: Who is the Whore of Babylon, and all she represents? How can we be so easily seduced? And have the words and life of the Galilean sage been lost, even from the time John had his nightmarish vision to our own succumbing today? Read more.read more
Generous affection is my inspiration for whole relationships. May my narrow mind arise above all limiting expectations; my fearful heart stir with certainties of compassion; and my actions witness to peace.read more
Are you disillusioned by some aspects of Christianity, like having to believe the right things to “get saved”? Like the idea that an all-loving God would sentence anyone to hell? Like understanding an often contradictory Bible? Then meet CLEAR FAITH. Clear away those stumbling blocks to uncover a faith of your own that makes sense. Meet the Jesus we can truly call “brother.” By seeing with new eyes, through a clear lens, we can experience and live with a simple, straightforward faith that is globally inclusive, open, and compatible with a progressive, scientific worldview.read more
I blamed it on my brother, I blamed it on my sister, I blamed it on my father, I blamed it on my mother. Forgot about my individuality.
Release the fear, the beginning is near. Reflect peace, joy, happiness and bliss.
Find your spirit, find your gods.
In demand for equality. Hold your fist up high, right now is the time to unify.
I know the cure is being pure.
Feel the force, earth wind water fire, gonna take you higher.
Our prison in Guantanamo Bay, Gitmo, is an example of power run amok. Like the Biblical narrative about the Tower of Babel, our faith tradition is rich in anti-empire imagery assuring the faith community that God holds the hubris of empire in contempt. Nations are never really that good as estimating their relative importance in the world. Like the Hebrews when our nation began, we had a fresh memory of what it was like to be bullied by an empire. We sought to create a nation whose moral force was much larger than our military force.read more
The media does not question the deaths of the poor when profit is the motive behind their deaths but cannot tell us enough about Mosques in Boston and Islam in Russia. But who owned the plant in West, Texas? Where did the owners go to church? How were they so radicalized in their lust for money that they would place an entire town at risk? And why do we accept the deaths of the poor in indifference and silence?read more
In So You Think You’re Not Religious, James Adams sets himself a formidable task: asserting the value of Christian faith and practice to skeptics, and overcoming their very reasonable objections. It’s perhaps in his favor that he’s an extremely reasonable man, and that many of these objections were his own, at other times in his life. A powerful and practical introduction to the church for newcomers and old-timers alike. Topics include belief, the creed, sacraments, prayer, and belonging.read more
I am a child of the Universe. Everyone is a child of the Universe. We are all one, no matter what our race, colour or creed,. The wondrous evolving Universe has created dust, stars, galaxies, sun, earth and all creatures upon it. We are from the earth; self-conscious creatures; the Universe experiencing and reflecting upon itself. The Universe Story is our primary story.read more
Native Spirit Ah Nee Mahread more
As progressive Christians in the 21st century, we are uncomfortable with rigid statements of belief, as we recognise our understandings are shaped by life experiences within cultural and environmental contexts. Yet, there are some common understandings which continue to shape our lives, both individually and in community with others. These we seek to affirm and celebrateread more
If creeds and statements of faith turn into prisons for an Infinite Mystery, is there a way to express our current beliefs that does not end dialogue and the ability to change as our information changes?read more
While adherents claim to feel more Christian, or Buddhist, or Jewish than ever, they are finding more solidarity with one another than ever before.
They seem to be moving toward a similar “sweet spot,” one that integrates similar core values within the differing beliefs that frame those values.
The last book of the Bible, that bizarre and nightmarish Book of Revelation, is often found to be most popular among those religious nut jobs who are constantly interpreting the universal themes found in the battle of good and evil as signs of some certain apocalyptic end time; and differentiating the tribes of those who will be saved from those who will be lost, left behind and damned. However, given the obvious fact such end-time predictions have been re-scheduled over and over again for nearly two thousand years (so far), we might better consider those recurrent, universal themes to be found in this allegorical tale; and look with fresh eyes and see Revelation as more about this world of ours that continues to self-implode upon itself over and over again. How might we be open to being encountered in another, revelatory view of the polis in which we all inextricably dwell? This commentary begins a two-part reflection, based on Elaine Pagel’s newest book, Revelations: Visions, Prophecy & Politics in the Book of Revelation; and in light of the latest terrorist attacks, bombings and global violence among our tribal warring factions. You can find the latest commentary here.read more
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) created the Fact Not Fiction campaign to help people of faith share the message that torture is immoral, illegal, never justifiable, and counterproductive. The campaign seeks to empower people of faith to …read more
One of the problems of being a professional academic is that generally when you have to write articles they have to be heavy, well-researched pieces that connect with the on-going academic debate in one’s field. Well I don’t really want to do that here. In this short piece I want to try and dream a little, to set out some ways of how we might imagine religious faith that represent an alternative to credal forms of Christianity.read more
The Swedes and the Hawaiians have something in common besides enjoying fish. They both have a deep understanding of the idea of “enough.”read more