From the Blog

The UU Humanists' Blog is a curated blog -- this means we highly encourage members and those with an interest in Humanism within the Unitarian Universalist tradition to submit articles for publication. The blog is curated so we may negotiate edits for clarity or length and we reserve the right to not publish every submitted article.

This means that the blog's content reflects the diversity of the opinions of the authors and is not just the "official party line" of the Association. As Humanists, we welcome diversity of opinion and encourage civil discourse through comments on these posts and on our social media pages.

Welcoming the Closeted

[Editor's note: this is the first of a new monthly column that Rev. David J. Miller is writing for the UU Church of Worcester, MA, where he is Minister Emeritus.]

If we truly wish to make people, and especially minorities, feel welcome in our congregation, it is not enough to sloganize “All Are Welcome!”  People will feel welcomed when we greet them by name as Pope Francis did in the course of his recent speech in Washington, when he asked his audience to pray for him and added, "And those who are not believers and cannot pray, please send me your good wishes."

Many non-believers hunger for the kind of recognition and inclusion represented by Pope Francis’ words.

In contrast, not so long ago a family member said to us in reference to our Humanism: “You are the kind of people who are ruining our nation.”

And I know a young man who was thrown out of his family home while still a teenager when he told his parents that he no longer believed in God.

And I know a person who was fired from his job when it became known that he was a non-believer. Read more about Welcoming the Closeted »

Humanism, Like Mushrooms

When primates began to look at the stars in wonder, humanism was born. Far from the cliche of superstitious creatures huddled in caves, Homo Sapiens have from the beginning been engineers and artists, philosophers and scientists discovering how to adapt to our environment and make the most of our brief time on the planet.

Humanists then and now ask a question: What are we to do with the life that we have? The Humanist difference is that we do not accept ready-made answers. The ideas and ideals of humanism have sprouted in many times and places.

Among animals, human beings are unique in that we have developed methods to conceptualize time and ways to preserve and communicate knowledge and culture across generations. Humanity evolved complex social relationships and unique solutions to complex challenges, yet we are also prone to superstitions and hatreds—aspects of ourselves that must be transcended. Read more about Humanism, Like Mushrooms »

On Not Flying Away: Humanism and the Afterlife

When I was a kid we sang on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights—church night—and at revivals and camp meetings, “Some bright morning when this life is o’er . . . I’ll fly away.”

It’s an upbeat and happy song, by design. The song was written by Albert Edward Brumley back in 1929 and is the most recorded song in gospel music . . .

Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away
To a land where joy will never end,
I'll fly away

I'll fly away, oh glory,
I'll fly away
When I die, hallelujah by and by,
I'll fly away.

The Tide of History Flows Left

One of my history-minded friends has a long-range political view summed up in three words: Liberals always win. Complex social struggles may take centuries or decades, he says, but they eventually bring victory for human rights, more democratic liberties and other progressive goals.

Look how long it took to end slavery. Generations of agitation and the horrible Civil War finally brought triumph for liberal abolitionists and defeat for conservative slavery supporters.

Look how long it took for women to gain the right to vote. In the end, liberal suffragettes prevailed, conservative opponents lost. Read more about The Tide of History Flows Left »

“The Light in my Life and the Fire in my Soul” – Bette Chambers

[Editor's note: the title of this post by Michael Werner is a quote from Bette Chambers, who is a past president of the American Humanist Association.]

For all the talk about reason and science, humanism is really about a passionate love affair. It is a love affair with life, not a mythical hereafter. Humanism is a love affair with a progressive vision of civilization where each of us can add to our growing library of wisdom, our evolving knowledge of what there is, and what is truly important. None of the great achievements in history would have been possible without a love of the adventure of learning and of creating a better life. We have great cultural achievements in science, art, music, literature, philosophy, history, psychology, and political thought that all inform each other that have been borne of that long humanist tradition. Read more about “The Light in my Life and the Fire in my Soul” – Bette Chambers »


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