Posts by David Breeden

A Message from the President on GA and Board Elections

Dear Unitarian Universalist Humanists:

It was great meeting so many of you at our Black Humanism panel, our booth, and our Annual Meeting at General Assembly. Mandisa Thomas, founder of Black Nonbelievers and our Person of the Year, was an inspiring speaker.

Our General Assembly 2018 session on Black Humanism not only demonstrated the centrality of Humanism in the African American experience, but also the centrality of Black Humanism as Unitarian Universalists strive toward the liberation of all people.

I think that Rev. Dr. William R. Jones will someday soon be recognized as the central UU theologian of the twentieth century. His message harkened back to the deepest commitment of the Humanists who signed the first Humanist Manifesto, dedicating themselves to striving for “a shared life in a shared world.” Read more about A Message from the President on GA and Board Elections »

Join UU Humanists at UUA General Assembly

UU Humanist Members and Friends:
 
General Assembly 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri (Wednesday, June 20-Sunday, June 24) is going to be big.  Our GA panel—cosponsored with the UU History and Heritage Society—is titled “Black Humanism in Unitarian Universalist Context and Beyond.” That takes place on Thursday, 1:30-2:30:00 pm in the Kansas City Convention Center, room 2502 B.
 
Black Humanism developed within a Unitarian context but spread far beyond. The panel will consider UU ministers Lewis McGee, a 1940s Unitarian minister in South Chicago, and 20th century minister William R. Jones, and how their work continues today. We conclude with a powerful voice of Black Humanism from outside the UU context. Speakers include Rev. Patrice Curtis, Rev. Karen Hutt, Rev. Dr. Nicole Kirk, and Mandisa Thomas. 
 

A Message from UU Humanists President David Breeden

Dear UU Humanist Association members and friends:
 
General Assembly will be Wednesday, June 20 through Sunday, June 24 this year in Kansas City, Missouri. The 2018 theme is “All Are Called,” and we UU Humanists are taking that theme seriously. Our session is titled “Black Humanism in the Unitarian Universalist Context and Beyond.” We have teamed up with the UU History and Heritage Society to present this program.
 

Year-End President's Letter

Dear UU Humanist Association members and friends:
 
As 2017 ends, we progressives are weary. The assaults on our values have been constant. The Trump Administration’s recent banning of words at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling. The words are: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, science-based.
Read more about Year-End President's Letter »

A Message from the President

Dear Unitarian Universalist Humanists:

Your UU Humanist Association has been working to promote humanist values in the UUA. Working with UUA President Peter Morales and UUA Chief Operating Officer Harlan Limpert, we have been pressuring the Boy Scouts of America to exhibit progressive values. In an abrupt change in direction, the BSA now accepts all those who identify as boys. Unfortunately, the BSA has not budged on their discriminatory policy toward non-theists. We will continuing working to change this policy. We have over 1600 signatures on our BSA petition! Read more about A Message from the President »

Video now on-line, "The Future of Humanism: New Voices for the 21st Century"

The Future of Humanism conference was held on October 15, 2016 at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, MN, as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of calling John Dietrich, the "Father of Religious Humanism" as minister there. You can read all about the anniversary and the conference in the UU World article, Humanism at 100. Read more about Video now on-line, "The Future of Humanism: New Voices for the 21st Century" »

Relax: #Humanism Is Not Mack the Knife

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 »

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.

Spiritual But Not . . . Keep Talking, Humanists

Literary critic Terry Eagleton said, “The din of conversation is as much meaning as we shall ever have.” I like that. On first glance, it appears to be bleak—human conversation is all the meaning there is?

But imagine what human conversation has given us.

Imagine the din of conversation under the porches (stoa) and under the trees (akademeia) in Athens during the time of Socrates.

Imagine the din of conversation in Baghdad in the late 700s when an institution called the  House of Wisdom opened it’s doors—an attempt to gather all the wisdom in the world.  Read more about Spiritual But Not . . . Keep Talking, Humanists »

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