The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), our leadership organization, announced last week on March 24 that it was renewing ties with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that restores the relationship after, as the related UU World article put it, "a years-long split over gay scouts and God". The split was 17 years, to be precise, and the reconcilliation was prompted by the changes in BSA policy last summer that removed the ban on gay scouts and adults. Read more about An Update on the UUA / Boy Scouts Agreement and the "God Issue" »
By Daniel Braga-Lawlor
Sunday Assembly is a negotiated community, a network of secular congregations across the world, primarily in Western Europe, North America, South Africa, and Australia. The dominant, though occasionally debated, ethos in Sunday Assembly is faith-neutral secularism ("Let's celebrate the one life we have! We don't do deity, but we won't tell you you're wrong if you do!").
Sunday Assemblies organize a monthly celebration, have no official text, no clergy (we rotate hosts for our Sunday celebrations), and each community has great latitude in selecting its speakers, songs and readings, as well as defining the local service work. The songs we sing are not hymns, but come from across pop music - in Northern California, we've sung "Superstition," by Stevie Wonder, "Lean On Me," by Bill Whithers, "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, "Time after Time," by Cyndi Lauper, and many others. We operate from the premise that knowledge from across the fields (arts, sciences, economics, ethics) offers insights, and that all people, as believers and non- believers alike, matter. Read more about Humanists Doing Good »
The following is the question I asked at the “Meet the Muslims” panel discussion that was sponsored by our church. My aim was to see how they would answer the question but also to raise their consciousness about the presence of a substantial constituency of non believers in the general population and to face them with the implications of their scripture for that constituency.
A QUESTION FOR THE RELIGION OF PEACE
My name is David Miller and I am Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester. We are sponsoring this panel discussion in the spirit of the verse in Quran 49:13 that says “…we…made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other).” (Abdullah Yussuf Ali translation)
This winter I have been re-reading the Holy Quran to refresh my memory about its contents. Read more about A Question for the Religion of Peace »
Small Humanist groups are popping up and organizing around the US, some as independent groups, some as interest groups within larger Unitarian Universalist congregations. This movement has drawn some interesting reactions . . .
I know these reactions well, because one of the oddities about my position as a minister at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis is that many people I meet know up front that I’m a Humanist. Often I get asked to speak various places because I’m a Humanist, but sometimes I meet up with a hostility that surprises me. I’ve even had people say out of the blue, “I KNOW there’s a God!” To which I don’t have much of a response . . . “That’s nice for you”? Or should I take the time to explain that Humanism isn’t really much about that question?
There seems to be a fear that Humanism is a corrosive force that must be contained, a genie in a lamp that must be kept bottled up at all costs. Now, sure, I know that there are those in the freethought community, especially among newly-converted atheists, who do wield reason like a sharp razor. But I’m not one of those, and most Humanists aren’t. Read more about Relax: #Humanism Is Not Mack the Knife »