Unitarian Universalism tagged posts

Dear David Brooks: We’re All Nobodies, Doing Nothing——All Hail!

David Brooks wrote a column in the New York Times December 17 that was, even for an occasionally sardonic humorist such as himself, unusually dyspeptic. In it, he skewered “Thought Leaders” who march through their self-important lives giving TED Talks, their “eyes blazing at the echo of the words ‘breakout session.’”

Brooks traced the development of such people back to their college application essays, when they likely wrote along the lines of: “I Went to Panama to Teach the Natives About Math but They Ended Up Teaching Me About Life.”

Later, the youth is “widely recognized for his concern for humanity. (He spends spring break unicycling across Thailand while reading to lepers.)”

This is funny stuff, classic Brooksian satire, but the column gets progressively more sour as he follows his mythical hero through the various compromises and unvarnished sell-outs of middle age, when “his life...

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Damn Right I’m Religious!

I used to hem and haw whenever people asked me whether I’m religious. Saying “yes” means certain things to certain people, as does saying “no,” so my answer tended to depend on what I could discern of my questioner’s understanding and assumptions of exactly what being “religious” means.

Maybe I was making it just a tad too complicated, you say? Maybe so.

In any case, my one-word answer to those who pop the religion question now is: “yes.”

Often followed by: “I’m a devoutly religious non-theist.”

Which usually begets an arched eyebrow and some variation of, “Say what?”

O.K., some elaboration may be helpful here.

It seems to me we sorely need to get beyond the tired and polarizing atheist/believer divide that leaves so many of us shouting across a chasm of mutual withering critique and scorn in the modern cultural wars...

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