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Showing posts from July, 2013

For every child born yesterday

For every child born in Britain yesterday, I wish them a happy, long and meaningful life. I wish them the right to grow up with all the joys of childhood and a stable and happy family life. I wish them the right to privacy as a child and as an adult. I wish them the right to marry whomever they happen to fall in love with. I wish them the right to choose their own religious or spiritual path. The right to be an atheist, a Catholic, a Muslim, a Buddhist or anything else. The right to choose their own vocation, based on their own individual skills and inclinations, to contribute to the world in their own way. The right to choose their own political opinions and the right to vote. The right to choose to be a solider or an anti-war protester. The right to become the Head of State, if they have the skills for that role, and the people agree and vote them in. Is it so crazy to wish that for every child born yesterday? Isn't every child born equal? Shouldn't eve

Sexuality, Religion and the Sacred: Bisexual, Pansexual and Polysexual Perspectives

Although it's already been out for about eighteen months, I've only just found out I've been published in a book. Sexuality, Religion and the Sacred: Bisexual, Pansexual and Polysexual Perspectives edited by Loraine Hutchins and H Sharif Williams is a reissue of an special edition of The Journal of Bisexuality . It contains my essay, "Bi Christian Unitarian: A Theology of Transgression." If you've got a spare 85 quid (I know) you can get it from Amazon here .

Reason needs tradition

This is partly a second part of my review of William Murray's book on Religious Humanism , partly an ongoing set of thoughts I've been having for a while. Murray's chapter "The Responsible Search for Truth" talks about the important place of reason in humanism. He writes, "The important thing is to be a reflective and reasonable person who does not accept beliefs as true simply because they are taught or because someone or some group believes them. On the other hand no one can possibly verify everything, so we are all dependent on the results of the work of others." (99) I agree with this entirely but I'm not sure we Unitarians, or religious liberals, have thought about it enough. About 100 years ago some liberals talked a lot about "scientific theology" - and I think there's something to be said for this. So often liberals look to science as a symbol for what they want to do in religion: not rely on received dogma but encourage exp

“Reason and Reverence” – A Ponderous Book Review

The last time I was in the States, five years ago (almost to the day in fact) I bought this book from the Unitarian Universalist Association bookshop on Beacon Hill, Boston: Reason and Reverence: Religious Humanism for the 21 st Century by William R Murray I glanced at it sunbathing on Boston Common, and have not really looked at it since then, until about a month ago when I started reading it in preparation for a class I was teaching on humanism at my church. So this is just some ponderous thoughts I’ve had while reading it, in reaction to some of the ideas. I have previously on this blog been a bit critical of humanism within Unitarianism, so it was about time I gave it a good hearing. It was helpful to understand how humanism began and grew with American Unitarianism, but I’m still puzzled by how it came to British Unitarianism, there’s a lot I don’t understand about the development of Unitarianism in Britain in the twentieth century. What interests me mo