The Unitarian Universalist covenant on the wall includes:
the goal of world community, with peace, liberty and justice for all.
but there is a conflict there: If there’s justice for all, doesn’t that mean some people will have to be punished, with a bottom line punishment of jail. But if some have to go to jail that means that there would not be liberty for all. And our goal would be nonsense? Continue reading Does New Zealand put too many people into jail?→
I recently finished a fantasy novel. I used to think the genre met my needs for escape literature. Sometimes it does but often it invites me into nearly obsessive theological reflection. This particular novel did the latter. It had the prerequisite number of dragons, warlocks, mythical characters to capture my imagination. There were super villains and great heroes. As the novelist is a woman, there were at least as many women heroes as men — a refreshing change. There was another unexpected feature to the characters. The heroes were flawed and some had done horrible deeds in their past. The villains, on the other hand, were at times unexpectedly noble and self-sacrificing. Continue reading Seeking Shalom: An ancient spiritual quest→
In 1964 I was 15, living in a remote community high in the Colorado Rockies. It had a been a tough year. We were still in grief over the assassination of JFK. We were beginning to grow more concerned about our increasing involvement in Vietnam’s civil war. But we had our diversions. The Beatles had just taken the US by storm. We just wanted to hold their hand and forget our troubles. Where I lived we were pretty isolated. We could almost ignore the rest of the world. But as we were preparing to get ready for the local fall college and high school football seasons, even our two TV channels couldn’t leave us in peace. September 1, we began getting news reports of student unrest at the University of California, Berkeley. This was something new. As both my parents had attended Berkeley, it caught our attention. News media and general public opinion were not positive. The students were demanding free speech. Of all the nerve! They must be unpatriotic trouble-making communists. General support was with the university’s efforts to stop their efforts to organise political demonstrations outside the gates of the university. They were accused of irresponsible free speech and not following the rules of those in power.
I read recently that 96% of Unitarians in America now identify as Democrats. I’m not sure how reliable that figure is, but it sounds about right, especially after the last election. Those who were repelled by candidate Trump were stunned that he was now their president. They sought to make sense of this outcome and to find comfort with others wanting to live in denial of the reality of a President Trump. So, attendance at Unitarian churches shot up in the aftermath of the election. I blame their shock on their Facebook newsfeeds. All their friends agreed with them that Americans would never elect him. The people who supported him weren’t numbered amongst their Facebook friends. How could they take seriously anyone who watched Fox News and quoted Sean Hannity?