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Decoding spirituality

bodymindspiritAre you feeling more “spiritual” these days—overcome by a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being and wonder about the universe?  Apparently while Americans are getting less religious, spirituality is on the rise.  The latest report from the Pew Research Center  indicates that “spiritual” feelings are increasing--even among atheists, agnostics and the unaffiliated--along with everyone else.  What should we make of this?

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Happy new year--or not?

scrooge 274x300Happy New Year!  An apt greeting for the beginning of 2016, right?  During this holiday season, no doubt many of us have wished family and friends “good health and happiness” in the New Year.  These are time-honored greetings of the season.  Plus, living a good life and seeking happiness in the here and now are key aspirations for humanists, agnostics and atheists.  But did you happen to read the latest research about happiness not being an indicator of longevity? (The Lancet, December 9, 2015) Could it be that Scrooge gets the last laugh after all?  Maybe, maybe not.

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Happy Holidays--Indeed!

winter solstice evergreenForget about the red cup controversy that some want to stir up about Starbuck’s seasonal packaging.  Forget about the overwrought angst of a blue Christmas without a romantic interest or a Norman Rockwell family gathering in your life.  Ignore the inflammatory “war on Christmas” rhetoric of the Christian Right or the secular scrooges (ala Tom Flynn) and settle in to a “green” winter solstice holiday groove.  And then let’s just be civil to everyone with “Happy Holiday” greetings and work together for peace on earth.  O.k.?

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Defining Humanism

dictionary app symbol“Naturally curious, compassionate and rational.”  Last summer as I was biking home from one of our summer picnics, a more fit biker approached me from behind and called out “good reading!” as he cycled passed—pointing to my Humanist t-shirt with our tagline on the back.  Then at the NAMI Walk more recently, a fellow walker approached me from behind and queried—“So, what’s Humanists of Minnesota?”  The terse tagline got his attention, but I must admit, I still need to work on a short and snappy response.

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Faith, Doubt and Unbelief

losing faith attributionRecently Kerri Miller hosted a panel discussion on “Faith and Doubt” for her Friday Roundtable program on Minnesota Public Radio.  I was invited to appear as a panelist representing the non-religious perspective with two popular progressive Christian authors, Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber. They were in town for a conference they had spawned called “Why Christian?”  As media-savvy younger women and experienced radio guests, they clearly were in their element.  Me, I was in uncharted territory.

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Black Lives Matter

black lives matterDo Black Lives Matter—to Humanism?  That was the question the editors of The Humanist magazine posed for its July/August 2015 edition. On the one hand, I was encouraged to see the official magazine of our national movement address the thorny issue of racism in our country.  On the other hand, I had to uncomfortably admit that even broaching the topic would be met with apathy and/or dissent by some within our ranks.  Not because our movement has been infiltrated by racists. Hardly.  Most self-identified humanists aspire to be people of goodwill and egalitarianism, but many white folks—especially those of us living in Minnesota—just don’t see how we have much responsibility for the problems of racism locally or in the country at large. 

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