Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"No one has he right to pass through this world without leaving evidence that they have been here."
-George Washington Carver

Monday, August 27, 2007

In a world with so much hatred and violence, We need a religion that proclaims the inherent worth and dignity of every person.In a world with so much brutality and fear, We need a religion that seeks justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. In a world with so many persons abused and neglected, We need a religion that calls us to accept one another and encourage one another to spiritual growth. In a world with so much dogmatism and falsehood, We need a religion that challenges us to a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. In a world with so much tyranny and oppression, We need a religion that affirms the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process.In a world with so much inequality and strife, We need a religion that strives toward the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. In a world with so much environmental degradation, We need a religion that advocates respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.In a world with so much uncertainty and despair, We need a religion that teaches our hearts to hope and our hands to serve.
- Scott Alexander

Saturday, August 25, 2007

-Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?

-How long have I been here? Hence, foreword, for I shall not know. For I have been traveling for too long. My bones too weary to remember my age. Hence, how long have I been here? Thou shalt never know.
- Paul Gauguin

Friday, August 24, 2007

Pray, v. To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy. -- Ambrose Bierce

"Sharing is under siege. It is the sworn enemy of the global market - which is why so much of international trade law is designed to criminalize sharing."- Naomi Klein,

"Why Being a Librarian is a Radical Choice." An address to the Joint American Library Association/Canadian Conference, June 24 2003.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thomas Huxley's Scientific Thought
As the nickname "Darwin's bulldog" would suggest, Huxley was an outspoken defender and advocate for Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Perhaps surprisingly, he was at first an opponent of any evolutionary change at all, believing that the living world had stayed much the same for as far back as its history could be traced, and that modern taxa would eventually be found in the oldest rocks. But he came to accept evolutionary views: his reaction to reading the Origin of Species was "How stupid of me not to have thought of that."
He is best known for his famous debate in June 1860, at the British Association meeting at Oxford. His opponent, Archbishop Samuel Wilberforce, was not-so-affectionately known as "Soapy Sam" for his renowned slipperiness in debate. Wilberforce was coached against Huxley by
Richard Owen. During the debate, Archbishop Wilberforce ridiculed evolution and asked Huxley whether he was descended from an ape on his grandmother's side or his grandfather's. Accounts vary as to exactly what happened next, but according to one telling of the story, Huxley muttered "The Lord hath delivered him into my hands," and then rose to give a brilliant defense of Darwin's theory, concluding with the rejoinder, "I would rather be the offspring of two apes than be a man and afraid to face the truth." Huxley's own retelling of the tale was a little different, and quite a bit less dramatic:
If then, said I, the question is put to me would I rather have a miserable ape for a grandfather or a man highly endowed by nature and possessed of great means of influence & yet who employs these faculties & that influence for the mere purpose of introducing ridicule into a grave scientific discussion, I unhesitatingly affirm my preference for the ape. All accounts agree that Huxley trounced Wilberforce in the debate, defending evolution as the best explanation yet advanced for species diversity.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Eugene Victor Debs- “Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up your minds there is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves.”

-From an address on Industrial Unionism delivered at Grand Central Palace. New York City, Dec. 18,1905.

Debs made his best-remembered statement at his sentencing hearing:

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"We gaze up at the same stars, the sky covers us all, the same universe encompasses us. What does it matter what practical system we adopt in our search for the truth. Not by one avenue only can we arrive at so tremendous a secret." Summachus 354AD

Friday, August 10, 2007

In Memory of Rev. George W. Kelsey Jr.
his own words:
"Just for today I will be unafraid.
Especially will I not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful,
and to believe that, as I give to the world,
so the world will give to me."

UCC minister Ocala,Fl. died July 29, 2007
The Peace Park was one of his recent passions
desiring that our youth know & be able to honor
heroes of peace.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Kenneth L. Patton -
We arrive out of many singular rooms, walking over the branching streets.
We come to be assured that brothers and sisters surround us, to restore their images on our eyes.
We enlarge our voices in common speaking and singing.
We try again that solitude found in the midst of those who with us seek their hidden reckonings.
Our eyes reclaim the remembered faces, their voices stir the surrounding air.
The warmth of their hands assures us, and the gladness of our spoken names.
This is the reason of cities, of homes, of assemblies in the houses of worship.
It is good to be with one another.

Also from the UU Hymnal, Paul Robeson has said: " I shall take my voice wherever there are those who want to hear the melody of freedom or the words that might inspire hope and courage in the face of despair and fear. My weapons are peaceful,for it is only by peace that peace can be attained. The song of freedom must prevail."

UU message on Darwin & religion:

The Poet is a kinsman in the clouds Who scoffs at archers, loves a stormy day;
But on the ground, among the hooting crowds, He cannot walk, his wings are in the way.
L’Albatros [The Albatross] (translated by James McGowan, Oxford University Press, 1993)

Nature is a temple where living columns Let slip from time to time uncertain words; Man finds his way through forests of symbols Which regard him with familiar gazes.
Correspondances [Correspondences]
[8] -Charles Baudelaire

Saturday, August 04, 2007

When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.
-Thomas Jefferson, third US president,
architect and author (1743-1826)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Everything must be recaptured and relocated in the general framework of history, so that despite the difficulties, the fundamental paradoxes and contradictions, we may respect the unity of history which is also the unity of life."
-Fernand Braudel (worked with Lucien Febvre)

Love the contradictions
Rob Hardies writes that our complex
world needs people who can love it in all its contradictions:
We need a spirituality that moves us beyond fight and flight, one that sees complexity not as an enemy but as a friend. We need a spirituality that views paradox as a creative opportunity and contradiction as a stimulant. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do." But what kind of spirituality allows our souls to embrace contradiction and complexity? The kind that lets me do what the school psychiatrist charged me to do: love the tensions in my life.His essay is excerpted from a new collection of essays,
The Seven Principles in Word and Worship; Rob writes about the Third Principle: "acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations."

- uuworld.org's news blog.

Link to journalist blogs:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Problem of Unbelief in the 16th Century: The Religion of Rabelais
by Lucien Febvre (Author), Beatrice Gottlieb (Translator)

Allan A. Tulchin "historian" (Washington DC, (USA)) - It's a realy pity this is out of print, because it's fabulous. The Annales school is known for social history, but Febvre was at least as competent as an intellectual/cultural historian, and this is a masterpiece. The thesis is that Rabelais was an Erasmian humanist, and that this was on the one hand a view of Christianity that had wide tolerance for things we wouldn't expect, but on the other he wasn't an atheist, although he was accused of it--atheist was just an all-purpose insult at the time. For Febvre, real atheism was simply unthinkable--it hadn't been invented yet. To understand Febvre's argument, it helps if you're read Rabelais, of course. The translation is particularly good, and the translator has helpfully tracked down missing references (the book was written during WWII, so Febvre had difficulties with those) and has an index... so in some ways it's better to own this translation than the French original.
-from Amazon.com
I am trying to find more info on Febvre.

Beautiful Alaska photography by Dan Evans:


"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -Martin Luther King Jr.

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