With The Death Of One Of The Last Three Shakers, An American Religious Tradition TakesA Step Closer To Extinction

The Shakers, in their pious oddity and their strange holiness remain, however small, a crack in the wall that divides us in this increasingly insular, hierarchical, and oppressive era. They rejected the apparatus of state, economy, industry and military. Theirs was a pacifist army against Moloch’s minions. In offering us difference they enacted the possibility and promise of that difference.

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Power Play: What You Can Do Inauguration Day

by Sarah Anderson

Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power.” I think one look back at 2016 would confirm that. Power, it would seem, as much as we may want it, sometimes turns us into people we never thought we would be.
History tells us this is true.

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Puppet Masters of Media Propaganda – Part I

In this day and age of vast amounts of news and media that bombard and compete for public attention fewer and fewer are able to discriminate fact from fiction. Shocking tabloid headlines, once reserved for amusement at grocery store line checkout, are now used by the mainstream press to bait the hook to get the consumer to bite and read/watch more. Journalists and reporters, if you can now call them such, are woefully compromised in the bias they take in propagandizing issues that ultimately serve the agenda of the media giants and hidden elite (owners of these media conglomerates) for whom they work and shape the perceptional lens of the masses.

Is there a intentional agenda behind all this and if so, whose masterminding it and for what purpose? The answer, I believe, is YES.

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Fear is a Villain

Video Sermon with Rev. Dr. Roger Ray

Noam Chomsky offers two dire warnings following the election of Donald Trump: The first is an accelerated use of carbon based fuels that will bring the human race to extinction and the other is a renewed nuclear arms race leading quickly to a nuclear war. As real as these threats are, this sermon speaks to the ways in which fear is a villain that pushes us to make the worst decisions in response to these global threats.

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Wisdom Does Not Change: Sages, Saints and Science Share the Way – Part 3

Part 3 of 6-Part Series: Tapping the Quiet Mind

Tapping the Quiet Mind might be as simple as stepping back from a situation to take a few deep breaths, just zoning out, or the practice of meditation. But one way or another we all need to escape from demands, distractions and disturbances. A Quiet Mind lets us pause to enjoy some peace and quiet. In quietude we become detached from outward thinking to be ‘here’, and relinquish the past and future in favor of ‘now’.

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The Power of Nonviolence

Hope-giving Stories from Public Radio

As we approach Martin Luther King Day – our annual time to honor the tradition of nonviolent social change – I wanted to let you know that our full Humankind public radio series on this theme is now available free online.

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The Peace of Wild Things

Last week, I sent my friend Alexis a poem. She sent this one back to me. I love it.

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Reflections: Theological Memoirs #8

Reflection Number 8: Who am I?

Not to be overly dramatic, but we are simply a speck of stardust floating on the infinite sea of the universe, hitching a temporary ride on the train of evolution. The underpinnings of our existence are bizarre antics of elementary particles, and we are surrounded by the unexplained suffering that ensues when the whole system seemingly goes awry. We create our own world, divorcing ourselves from reality, even as we occasionally bump into something that seemingly transcends the everydayness of our existence.(See earlier reflections). Who are we, anyway? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life?

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The Call to Celibacy

I distinguish between the “gift” of celibacy and the “call” to celibacy, which I will come to later in this post.

The gift of celibacy is a debatable proposition. Is someone “blessed” with that gift or simply avoiding intimate relationships? Is it a rejection of God’s gift of sexuality and more broadly sensuality and embodiment, or a prioritizing of one’s energy and involvement and commitment?

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Beyond my Wants, Beyond my Fears: The Soul’s Journey into the Heartland

There is no one single way the soul travels into the deep heartland that is Being itself, yet her pilgrimage of realizing the truth of who she is is the Wisdom path itself, the way of being a Christic gem. We are being called home, but this calling is not to some outward sojourn. The calling is an invitation to commence the inner journey of the soul. The calling is a love-song of the heart, which is a harmonic chorus nuanced and enhanced by different times, cultures, and disciplines, intermingling in a continual counterpoint of completely whole, yet mutually enriching, melodic lines. This love-song leaves traces on our heart, like footprints on a path, which run like a golden thread through the history of spiritual seeking.

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How “conventional wisdom” hurts churches: part 2

People assume the “conventional wisdom” is actually wise. In the church world, as I wrote last week, that means the belief that churches must have facilities, must worship on Sunday morning, and must have ordained clergy.

But as economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, the “conventional wisdom” is likely to be wrong. Acceptable, yes, and comfortable, but running counter to facts, ideas, emerging constituencies and new needs.

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I Am One with the Force; The Force Is with Me — a Star Wars Theology

What can the new Star Wars movie teach us about prayer? You might be surprised.

  Warning: Minor spoilers ahead! I say “minor” because there’s no plot points given away here, I’m just discussing an aspect of a character in the film, but I know some people (like me) don’t like to …

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Unicorns, Fairies, and Market-Based Health Care

A real “market-based” healthcare system is one in which people with the greatest need for medical attention will be the least likely to get it. It means people will be left on the streets to suffer and die from treatable conditions. It means that if you cannot afford insurance, and cannot pay cash for medical care, you cannot get into an emergency room if you have a life-threatening condition. It means that if you have no money to see a doctor, you have to beg. But if you have to beg, the people you know are probably not the ones who can come up with the cash to help you.

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The Wisdom of Winona LaDuke “We have to fight”

We Are PowerShift 2012 presents The Wisdom of Winona LaDuke: “We have to fight”

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Why We Hate the Poor (It’s Not What You Think)

We know, deep down in our being, that we are all connected. We have this fundamental knowledge. It’s instinctive. It’s just something that is just known in the universe.

We know all humans are brothers and sisters. It follows that we have a responsibility to each other that stems from that relationship.

When we see someone suffering, we instinctively feel it, too. We know they are a part of us. We feel their pain, too. Their pain is our pain. Despite the unjust world we see before us, with its patterns of death, decay and misery, in ways we are at a total loss to explain, despite all evidence to the contrary, we know deep in our bones that nobody wins unless everybody wins, and that this is a fundamental law written into the very fabric of the universe.

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FE(joy)AR

You might be scared.
In many ways, it is a scary time.
The future is uncertain. It feels very uncertain right now.

I don’t need to convince you of how turbulent the world seems.
You know that.

What I want to talk to you about is our need to find joy amidst the fear.

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Wisdom Does Not Change: Sages, Saints and Science Share the Way – Part 2

Part 2 of 6-Part Series: Conscious effort alone does not fulfill us

Our conscious thoughts seek to make sense of life, analyze problems and reach decisions. And they affect how we act: we transfer what we think to those around us. Angry thoughts, for example produce angry interactions. Peaceful minds, however develop peaceful attitudes; and these bring greater fulfillment. But peace cannot be achieved by its conscious pursuit; it is found in a Quiet Mind. Unlike conscious, intellectual thinking that asserts self-interest, the Quiet Mind is a source of ‘Not Self’. Not Self really means Not as Selfish; to think less of yourself and about yourself. And this can bring us fulfillment in ways that transcend intellectualization.

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Extraordinary times call for extraordinary churches

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary churches.

In America and in much of Europe, right-wing politicians backed by screaming mobs of white nationalists are taking power. The anger, fear and hatred are so strong that democracy itself might not survive.

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