Over breakfast this morning, my husband told me about an interesting NY Times article that I should read, "It mentions your UU Humanist organization," he added. I was skeptical, but I thought perhaps I had missed something since I had been busy all day yesterday at a memorial for a cousin and hadn't even glanced at social media. After a quick scan of my Facebook news feed, I concluded he meant this article, "Wanted: A Theology of Atheism", by Molly Worthen. After reading it, I could see why he thought that it had something to do with UU Humanism. Worthen writes, "Humanist fellowships have often imitated the practices of traditional worship. Sunday Assembly’s close relative, the Society for Ethical Culture, has featured rousing music and a lecture at Sunday meetings since 1876." When one encounters the phrase "Humanist fellowships", free association usually causes the phrase "Unitarian Universalism" to come to mind to the initiated. Read more about Why Are UU Humanists Overlooked? »
Have you ever felt like you go through the motions every day but it all seems meaningless? Did you know that you can use science to help you find a sense of life purpose? Wait, but science can’t answer life’s big questions – that’s the job of religion, right? Well, a wave of recent research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and other disciplines has explored how we find meaning and purpose in life, with or without belief in a deity!
I wish I knew that when I was growing up. I struggled with gaining a sense of life meaning and purpose throughout my teenage years and young adulthood. I remember experiencing the sense of meaninglessness as an emptiness deep in the pit of my stomach. Read more about A Humanist Take on Meaning and Purpose »
There’s an all-too common view in the United States that religion and science are in conflict. While this conflict takes many forms, none is more prevalent than that associated with the evolution/creation debate. Simply put, there are some who proclaim loudly and often that one can’t be truly religious if evolution is accepted. The basic premise of this position is that people must choose between their religion and modern science; that it is impossible to embrace both.
In fact, however, despite the volume of these claims, this position is very much at odds with what a huge majority of devout individuals understand. In an attempt to share this message as broadly as possible, I created a grassroots organization that has grown to more than 15,000 clergy members. This organization, The Clergy Letter Project, has three clear and simple goals: Read more about The Clergy Letter Project: Demonstrating the Compatibility of Religion and Science »
When a distinguished scientist and an eminent theologian agree on what is meant by God we should take notice. The scientist is complexity theorist Stuart Kauffman whose recent book is entitled Reinventing the Sacred. Like many he has left traditional religion behind, but he wants to retain a sense of the sacred nature of life, and he finds that sacred quality in creativity. Creativity, he suggests, is at the heart of things and in the very nature of the universe. In fact he identifies creativity with God, suggesting that what he means by God is simply creativity. He writes: “God is our chosen name for the ceaseless creativity in the natural universe, biosphere, and human cultures.” He comes to this conclusion because “This creativity is stunning, awesome and worthy of reverence.” Read more about “God” as Creativity »
I am a humanist. That’s not something I always share with others, especially here in South Carolina, where the first question people generally ask upon meeting you is, “So where do you go to church?”; where people regularly talk about God as their co-pilot and Jesus as their fishing buddy; where prayer is considered a viable solution to every problem, from ending drought to finding a parking place. Publicly admitting that you are a humanist – or an atheist, agnostic, skeptic, free thinker, or any other variety of nonbeliever – anywhere in America is about as risky as burning a flag in an American Legion hall. Where I live, being a nonbeliever can get you denied a promotion and fired from your job. It can get you disowned by your family and deserted by your friends. It can get your house or car vandalized, and it can get you physically harmed. Prejudice against nonbelievers may be the last socially acceptable bigotry. Read more about Coming Out as a Humanist »
Walt Whitman sang The Body Electric. Let us sing The Mind Electric for its soaring imagination. Nothing distinguishes our species more than our creative capacity and need for story telling. Stories can be grounded in fact and history or wildly fantastical. Both avenues define our culture, our selves, and our species. They are tools for passing down learning and expressing our hopes, desires, needs and are the major source of entertainment. For millennia, they were told person to person, or person to persons, especially around campfires and hearths in the evening. The invention of writing not only aided their spread but also their saving. In the modern world, story telling is the staple of radio, movies, television, and the internet. Read more about The Story Telling Animal »
NoelieTREX does a great job of explaining Unitarian Universalism on her YouTube channel, as well as why she, an atheist, chose a UU church. Check out her videos below!
What is Unitarian Universalist?
Atheist and Unitarian Universalist
A few years ago the so-called “new atheists” made headlines attacking belief in God and questioning the value of religion. Some of the books by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens even made best seller lists. There is much to commend these works. They have managed quite well to tear down the edifice of traditional supernatural religious belief, but they have failed to offer anything to take its place. They have lumped all religious perspectives together and denounced them all as intellectually invalid and morally reprehensible. Read more about The Third Way »
[Editor's note: Mike Werner, author of Regaining Balance: The Evolution of the UUA, recently taught a class for SecularActivism.org called "Humanism and Unitarianism". Here are his "final words" to the class as it wrapped up. What are your thoughts?] Read more about Humanism and Unitarianism: Final Class Words »