Happy Birthday to the Buddha

According to the calendar that I snatched from my parents during Christmas because it is full of beautiful pictures of San Francisco that make be very homesick, it's the Buddha's birthday today.

Of course, that depends on whether you are Mahayana or Theravada Buddhist.  If the former, then it's the Buddha's birthday today.  If the latter, then you celebrated the Buddha's birthday, enlightenment, and death on the last full moon (May 2nd).

Anyway, in explaining the difference to an officemate between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, I said that the Mahayana tradition was closer to UU.  The truth is that Mahayana is closer to what I wish UU to be.  I don't actually know which one is closer to what UU is in actuality.

Jerry Falwell's Legacy

It's been over a week and a half since Jerry Falwell died. I've thought about him many times but between the trip to Ithaca NY and work and church obligations I haven't had the time to collect my thoughts til now. The truth is I'm kinda saddened by his passing.

Falwell had lost relevancy in later years as other preachers of the Religious Right had come to the fore, and I find myself thinking more about him in his death now than I did the last decade or so of his life. But his impact on me and all of us was huge.

In Memoriam

To all those who died, or who were injured, both physically and psychologically, my gratitude.

For every moment when I've forgotten your sacrifices, my deepest apologies.

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan quit yesterday as the "head" of the Peace Movement. The mother of Casey Sheehan, who died at the age of 24 in Iraq, gained national attention as she camped outside of Bush's Crawford Ranch, waiting for an explanation for the war. Since then, she has been the "face" and "voice" of the Peace movement. Even while others work for Peace, the media has mainly paid attention only to her. There is no disputing that Ms. Sheehan's story is compelling and that she has poured her soul into her cause. And as she cites criticism against her as the reason for her quiting, I feel slight reluctance in piling on a little more. But only slight.

Environmental Justice

Currently on the UUA website, if one goes to the page under visitors/justice&diversity/environmental justice, one finds a nicely written blurb that isn't about environmental justice at all, but rather environmentalism and eco-spirituality.

The page will be changed and soon, but it gives me the opportunity to talk about what the UUA is now versus what we can be. We are a mostly white, mostly middle-to-upper-middle class group of folk. Most of us love "nature" and are pro-conservation, and a fair number of us incorporate at least some amount of eco-spirituality into our practice. We are well-intentioned folk but we often see things only through our own mostly white, mostly middle-to-upper-middle class perspective. And this is where much of the environmentalist movement is right now, not just UUs.

Blowing Hot Air

When I logged on to the interweb Thursday morning and skimmed the news, I admit to being a bit stunned by the headline: "BUSH CALLS FOR GLOBAL EMISSIONS GOALS." Had the Universe shifted in my sleep? 

Interdependency and Inherent Worth

Every Sunday, I arrive at church an 1-1/2 early in order to attend a discussion group that meets before service.  The group serves as my covenant group of sorts, providing a safe place where we can explore issues in depth, with people whom we know well.  One of the things I most love about the group is our diversity of beliefs - from Christian to Pagan to atheist, and as we discuss theology I try to be always mindful of how it could pertain to everyone.

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