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The Answer to Our Humanistic Prayers

Humanists tend not to believe in prayer.  Humanists believe in human ability and choice in a natural universe.  Miracles are either impossible or explainable.  Working material and social reality by merely thinking something fervently just doesn’t happen.  Scientific evidence for the effect of prayer is scant.  But personal experience of many is profound.   Prayer may not be humanistic, but is human.  Many humans in all sorts of cultures pray.  They talk as with ancestors, saints, gods, or God.  Healing is an act of both…

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A Saint’s Call

I once got to meet The Blind Saint of Vrindivan, India.  He was the guru of my guru, Dr. Vasavada.  Dr. Vasavada, of Bombay, India, was fresh in Chicago from having been trained with Carl Jung as an analyst.  I was at the University of Chicago in seminary and took to helping Dr. Vasavada get around town while learning about Jungian psychology and eastern religion from him.  When the chance to meet his guru in India came up in the summer of 1972, I went. …

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The Mandate of Heaven

The eastern version of our western divine right of kings was the Chinese Mandate of Heaven.  Let us consider its framework and apply it to our current king of sorts, King George.  I do this, not in a partisan way, but towards loving our country, all humanity, and earth. The Chou, a somewhat crude but ambitious crew, defeated the Shang in 1115 B.C., beginning one of the longest dynasties in Chinese history (1115-221 B.C.)   In order to convince their subject peoples, especially the nobles, of…

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Women, Wonder, and War

From Texas to Tehran, societies scurry to placate the power of those posing as pious – instead of affirming and advancing inherent intelligence and integrity.   Modernity fears its own success.  Instead of claiming and furthering the steady progress of science and the Enlightenment, it falls prey to those resentful of both.  Fundamentalist advices to “have faith” or to “submit” turn us from knowledge, freedom, and responsibility, towards gullibility and obeisance.  Decent souls, questing for what is good, flock to church and mosque only to be…

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The Problem of Religion and the Promise of Creation

Have you noticed that the three great monotheistic religions of the world are also the three great problem makers in the world? Is God the problem? Does God want these vast forces to wage war with the others? We’re told lately that society has gotten too secular, too wayward, and that we should return to our religions and have more faith. But should we? Haven’t religions often been the source of problems – from stifling knowledge to torturing non-believers? Haven’t religions insisted on preposterous claims…

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Labor and Mysticism

A personal message from founder, Brad Carrier, regarding labor: I’ve built dry-stack rock retaining walls for ten years and owned the business for eight. On one level, it’s just work for pay. I can work by the hour, or by the bid. But I’d rather work on creative projects that serve the general betterment of persons or society, taking whatever compensation it brings me. Like any job, it is work for money, but such labor is not my main calling – ministry (Unitarian Universalist and…

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The Purpose of Life is to Give Life Purpose

  When I met Shri Bhagwan Rajneesh in a posh hotel in Bombay I wanted to punch him in the nose.  I had gone to India sick of the west’s view of earth as merely a place for a divine drama that leads to an afterlife.  In India I found its counterpart: a yearning for an instead-of life.  Rajneesh sported a Rolex as he knocked the communists for wanting worldly improvements.  He assured us the body isn’t real and neither is this world; they’re merely…

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The Infinite Ocean

I have a small scar on my hip, a little reminder: “You can’t toy with the ocean.”  I was body surfing in Laguna Beach, riding the big waves in, using my chest as if a surfboard.  I had a wonderful day.  What fun!  I wanted it to go on.  The waves seemed to be changing, as if to say, “Go in,” but I was greedy for one more ride.  I got that ride and then some.  A huge wave sped me towards shore, but it…

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Nude Sermon

Nude Sermon: Deeper than Shame is Glory Intro This sermon comes in response to Ashland’s recent ban on nudity in public places. Thanks to Eric Navickas and Carol Voisin for trying to defend nudity, difficult and edgy though that cause was. Eric’s reasoning and passion inspired me to contribute my art to this event. Thanks to Amy Godard for opening MAda Shell Gallery for nude art, music, and sermon. Though I came to Ashland in 1986 to be the first minister of the RVUUF (for…

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God’s Goods and the So-called Goods and Evils

God’s Goods is not primarily about God. God’s Goods is about the goods “God” “created” and called “good,” and it is about the violation of those goods by the three theistic religions. God’s Goods is not a Christian religion, nor even primarily theistic. It is a humanistic, naturalistic, deistic religious perspective that seeks to reconnect humanity to its natural origin, home, responsibilities, and possibilities. God, for Better or Worse Cultures generate god-images which then orient and guide those cultures. Humans may be seen as the…

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