Category Archives: Spirituality & Religion

Dr. Seuss

I was reminded of the joy of the words of Dr. Seuss the other morning, when my teen daughter came downstairs wearing a t-shirt with one of his quotes.  It’s been too many days now, I couldn’t tell you the quote without asking her to produce the shirt for me to read.

When my children were young, I read Doctor Seuss books to them all the time.  Over and over, as children love the repetition.  I’m certain I enjoyed the words and the experience of reading as much as my kids did, as the author was positive, witty, and inspiring.  Valuable words for both young and old.

Let me share some of his good words:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

“And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good”

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” (one of my favorites)

If you have any thoughts
Or words you would share
Just add them to comments
Just add them right there

Invocation

In a similar post to this one, Paula Reed posted the video of the minister at her church, Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO, delivering an invocation at a Barack Obama campaign event in her town.

From that prayer:

All the great traditions – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism – teach that we are all connected to each other. They teach us that we best demonstrate our religious faith by showing compassion for one another. If we are to be faithful, we are to help one another, we will work for justice, we will work for peace.
When God works through us, we will marginalize no one.
When we are truly faithful we will see that religion is what ties us together. Any faith that divides us, that creates enemies, that preaches hatred, is false.

I don’t wear religion on my sleeve and don’t desire to preach, but this makes sense to me. Religion and faith are a part of the thread that connect all people.

It is my hope and prayer that the future leader of this nation (and of all nations), will lead us in this direction.  Away from hatred and disconnection.

Hell Crops Up Again

A recent article in The Washington Post on the crisis in the US financial markets ended with the following quote:

“Capitalism without losses is like religion without hell”

While it certainly makes sense that losses are a innate part of an economic system of capitalism, is it similarly true that hell is an innate part of religion?

Can people celebrate a religion without believing there’s a hell? Can people celebrate religion without believing in God?

It’s those questions that caught my attention considering the quote.

I’m going to try not to go into a long dissertation on my religious beliefs, which are steeped in liberal Judaism, with a smattering eastern philosophy, and an evolution towards the independence found in being involved in a Universalist Unitarian congregation.

My moral compass is driven from within, and not from the threat of the eternal damnation of a hell. Religion that imposes that threat of eternal punishment seems controlling and dogmatic, not supportive of the essential humanity of its participants.

The Touchdown Jesus Church

My blog gets a lot of page views of the pictures of Touchdown Jesus, the statue behind the Solid Rock Church just off I-75 in Monroe, Ohio.

Two members of my church, Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church, Bradley and Erica, have written an excellent blog about their search for a church that made sense to them. That blog, Church Hopping, chronicles their journey. One of their visits was to the Solid Rock Church, and in their blog they reviewed that visit. You might want to read their article to learn more about this church.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this cold January day, we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was a man of peace, who both acted and spoke out against racism, prejudice, and violence.

Below are several quotations from Dr. King:

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: – ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ “

The Gift

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”

Look what happens
with a love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.

Hafiz
From: The Gift

Powerless

Let me set the scene. It’s the Christmas Eve service at Heritage UU Church. A very special evening, celebrating the season and the holiday, in a way that makes sense, even to this old Jewish boy. I’m in the choir, singing baritone and songs of the season. Songs that we have been preparing for several months now.

At the end of the service, each member of the congregation comes forward to take a lighted candle. Since I’m in choir, I’ve arrived early, well before the remainder of my family is seated in this crowded sanctuary. The choir members have received their candles first, and stand watching the procession of those in church receiving theirs. My son, Josh, (yeah, that one), comes forward to take his candle, still dressed, unlike I requested previously, in his gray t-shirt and hoodie.

As he takes his candle, I turn to Bob, with whom I’ve sung for all these years, whispering: “I asked him to wear something a little nicer than that old gray t-shirt. But I’m powerless to do anything here.”

In a moment, Bob turned to me and quietly said, “you may not have realized this, but you’ve been powerless over him since several days after you first brought him home from the hospital.”

It took a few moments, but the point finally sank in.