UCG apparently again dealing with unitarianism   
UCG’s Logo for Beyond Today COGwriter The chairman and president of the United Church of God (UCG) sent out the following: The purpose of this letter is to encourage all of us to continue to fight the good fight of faith and be settled in the faith. … From time to time some brethren have become […]
          UU topic: ‘The Carpetbagger Project’   
By Phil Swearngin Special to The PREVIEW The Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF) invites you to attend a program titled “The Carpetbagger Project,” with Phil Swearngin, for its regular service this Sunday, July 2. One of the best-kept secrets of World War II was The Carpetbagger Project. The American Army 8th Air Force 801st/492nd Bomb […]
          Information Technology Manager - (Cambridge)   
Job Description Job Title: Information Technology (IT) Manager Organization: Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) Department: Finance and Administration Reports to: Vice President & Chief Financial Officer (VP & CFO) Grade: Exempt / Full-time (35 hours per week) Summary : The Information Technology (IT) Manager serves as architect and executor of UUSC’s information technology vision. S/he has broad responsibility for researching the most effective IT hardware/software/service mix to address organizational needs subject to available resources. The IT Manager also has general responsibility for implementation of approved IT projects.
          Unveiling the Gryffindor Scarf   

Along with the other obligatory Christmas knitting I have finished a Harry Potter Gryffindor scarf. I will be donating this scarf to my church for a silent auction on December 9, 2006. The scarf was knit in the round with Knitpicks Merino Style DK weight in hollyberry and harvest colorways. I think the colors are just perfect.

The scarf came out beautifully at 67" long before fringe and 6 1/2" wide. I will be sorry to see it go but hopefully it gets some bidders. My church is only five years old. The congregation is still trying to expand programs and acquire a permanent home. Although Unitarian Universalists were everywhere in Massachusetts, there has not been a Unitarian Universalist church in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 60 years. It is exciting to be part of the rebirth of such an entity.

If you would like to bid on my scarf, the All Souls Community Church annual Silent Auction will be held on Saturday December 9th at 12pm at New Branches School, 256 Alger Street SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan. It will be OPEN to the public. The auction will include a “strolling” lunch, which will consist of different pasta stations set up around the items to be bid on. Tickets to the auction are being sold at for $5/ family and at the door.
          LGBT Religion News Updates for December 14, 2011   

GLAAD’s Religion, Faith & Values program works to elevate LGBT-affirming voices of faith in mainstream, regional, and community media. To find out more, visit www.glaad.org/faith. For additional religion and faith updates, be sure to check out our blog. Thank you for forwarding. You may subscribe via our new online registration form. We welcome suggestions at faith@glaad.org.

Last Thursday, Buddhists around the world celebrated Bodhi Day, which commemorates the Enlightenment of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Jack Cooper, in his article A Transgender Buddhist's Note of Gratitude published in the Huffington Post, reflected upon his journey to accept who he is through mindful meditation. Cooper asserts that although he had yet to reach Enlightenment, he "remembers that the Buddha taught that it is available to all beings."

The New Jersey Star-Ledger ran two articles this week highlighting Newark's black church community. Gays in Newark: Our Stories, Our Lives profiled Jae Quinlan, the minister of Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, and a former seminarian, in addition to several other community leaders. A related article, N.J.'s Black Churches Open Doors to Gay Congregants, But Not Right to Marry, points out that there is a gradual shift of acceptance for gay and lesbian congregants within the black church. While many faith leaders are still struggling with the notion of marriage equality, Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, pastor of St. Matthew AME Church in Orange is hopeful that black churches are moving towards becoming more tolerant. "I think that anyone who is gay or lesbian should be welcome in all of our churches," said Jackson.

This week two stories highlighted Episcopal efforts to use LGBT inclusion as a tool in evangelism. LGBT ally and recently installed Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, is working to revitalize and grow The Episcopal Church in Washington DC. Additionally, Episcopal students at Yale are studying how to leverage the welcoming position of many Episcopal congregations to expand outreach.

Finally, the religion, faith and values newsletter for the week of 12.07.11 incorrectly placed the Cathedral of Hope under the category of Unitarian Universalist. It should have been listed under United Church of Christ.

For even more news concerning religion and the LGBT community, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter via our online registration form.

December 14, 2011

          Story to Watch: US Conference of Catholic Bishops Addresses "Religious Liberty"   

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is meeting this week, November 14-16 in Baltimore, Maryland. This annual meeting for all US Roman Catholic bishops addresses a variety of concerns, both inside the Roman Catholic Church and in formulating a Roman Catholic response to trends in the United States.

We can expect the Conference to claim that the Roman Catholic Church is “suffering persecution” due to marriage equality being the law in various states, which church leadership opposes. In recent months, Roman Catholic social service agencies have chosen to shut down services for adoption to avoid placing orphans with otherwise qualified gay and lesbian couples. Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the Chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to President Obama, claiming that marriage equality harms the separation of church and state. As the Associated Press has reported, the Conference is forming a “committee for religious liberty” to address these and other issues. And today, the Conference unveiled a new web site entitled, “Marriage Unique for a Reason”, which combines Roman Catholic historic opposition to marriage equality with new claims of “religious persecution.”

However, the messages coming from the Conference are only a fraction of the story. GLAAD calls on the media to remember that Roman Catholic leadership is out of step with the vast majority of Catholics across the United States. Recent polls have demonstrated that Roman Catholics overwhelmingly support marriage equality. According to a report entitled, “Catholics in America: Persistence and change in the Catholic landscape,” Roman Catholics place little importance on opposition to marriage equality as a tenet of Catholicism.

For a fuller representation of the Catholic response to LGBT people, GLAAD encourages the media to contact Equally Blessed, a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society. Equally Blessed representatives will be delivering thousands of signatures on a petition calling for an end to anti-LGBT bullying to the Bishops Conference meeting.

The other problematic message concerning this “religious liberty” claim is their goals would not ensure religious liberty for religious groups that DO support marriage equality. The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, for example, has been performing weddings for gay and lesbian couples for several decades, without any legal recognition for the marriages. To accommodate the perceived “religious liberty” for the Roman Catholic leadership would mean curtailing the religious liberty of Unitarian Universalists. The Unitarian Universalists are not the only religious group that supports marriage equality. Indeed, the Metropolitan Community Church, United Church of Christ, The Episcopal Church, Unity Fellowship, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) all recognize relationships of gay and lesbian couples.

GLAAD calls on media to explore other messages about marriage equality, both within the Catholic Church, as well as with other religious groups who support marriage equality. If you see problematic coverage about the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, please report it to GLAAD.

November 15, 2011

          Minnesota Episcopalians Vote to Support Marriage Equality   

Increasingly, communities of faith are finding that discrimination doesn’t match their values, and religious groups are voicing their support for issues of LGBT equality. A powerful example was last weekend’s annual convention for the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota where they voted to oppose the state’s proposed anti-marriage equality amendment.

The language of the resolution reads as follows:

Resolved, the Episcopal Church in Minnesota opposes the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Minnesota banning same-sex marriage. Furthermore the Church will join other denominations and non-profit organizations in signing the “Resolution against the Constitutional Amendment to Ban Marriage for Same-Sex Couples” as prepared and presented by Minnesotans United for All Families:

‘We oppose the amendment to the Minnesota Constitution banning same-sex marriage. Minnesotans United for All Families may use my organization’s name in opposition to the constitutional amendment banning the legal recognition of same-sex couples.’

Minnesotans United for All Families is a statewide coalition of individuals, organizations, congregations and faith-based groups working to defeat the anti-marriage amendment in Minnesota.

As the Minnesota Independent reports, the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota now joins the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in denominational opposition to the anti-marriage amendment. Several individual congregations and faith-based organizations have also joined Minnesotans United for All Families in working to defeat the amendment.

GLAAD applauds Minnesota Episcopalians in their denominational support for LGBT families and encourages more denominations and faith groups to speak out for marriage equality in Minnesota and elsewhere.


November 3, 2011

          Hey, Just Thought I'd Mention it, but WE have the 4th of July Coming Up!   
Image result for 4th of july and CatholicsFather, we beg Your blessing for the Right to Life, the Unborn, the weak, the sick and the old; all who are finding themselves being targets of the vicious culture of death; that our Lord Jesus bless and protect all who stand up for the Christian dignity of persons. That God enlighten those who are traveling down death's highway by their involvement, in any way, with either the contemporary death culture, selfism, relativeism, or any of the new age errors of our times, that God envelop our culture with His Divine protection and help us both individually and as a nation to true enlightenment, conversion and repentance of our selves and our culture. Help us to turn from our national sin of abortion, and return to, and once again become a Christian nation, on the narrow road, that is, the path to becoming a nation and culture, under God. Amen.

I went to St. John Fisher this morning to receive the Eucharist, because I believe that Christ is physically present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity and not just a nice memorial of the last supper.  I am free to do that and to believe the Nicene Creed.

I try and do this daily, because it helps me remember to listen to the positive voice of Christ, His Mother and the Holy Spirit, and ignore the more glamorous, easy and sexy whispers of Satan.

I danced more than a few jigs with Devil in my life and it never worked our real good for me, my family and people who come in contact with me.

I am free to do that because people who had absolutely no truck with my religion, put their own lives in hazard to give me liberty to believe, think and act in the best interests of my immortal soul. Two hundred and forty one years ago, the Deists, Congregationalists, High Church Anglicans, Quakers and Mennonites*, with a courtly nod to the few Jews and Papists of the colonies, gambled their lives, fortunes and reputations to Declare Liberty for All.

Thank you, Gents.

Faiths of Our Founding Fathers:

Religious Affiliation  Total  Percenatge
Episcopalian/Anglican 32 57.1%
Congregationalist         13 23.2%
Presbyterian                 12 21.4%
Quaker                          2 3.6%
Unitarian or Universalist 2 3.6%
Catholic                          1 1.8%
TOTAL 56 100%

Name of Signer State Religious Affiliation
Charles Carroll Maryland Catholic
Samuel Huntington Connecticut Congregationalist
Roger Sherman Connecticut Congregationalist
William Williams Connecticut Congregationalist
Oliver Wolcott Connecticut Congregationalist
Lyman Hall Georgia Congregationalist
Samuel Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist
John Hancock Massachusetts Congregationalist
Josiah Bartlett New Hampshire Congregationalist
William Whipple New Hampshire Congregationalist
William Ellery Rhode Island Congregationalist
John Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian
Robert Treat Paine Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian
George Walton Georgia Episcopalian
John Penn North Carolina Episcopalian
George Ross Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Thomas Heyward Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian
Thomas Lynch Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian
Arthur Middleton South Carolina Episcopalian
Edward Rutledge South Carolina Episcopalian
Francis Lightfoot Lee Virginia Episcopalian
Richard Henry Lee  Virginia Episcopalian
George Read Delaware Episcopalian
Caesar Rodney Delaware Episcopalian
Samuel Chase Maryland Episcopalian
William Paca Maryland Episcopalian
Thomas Stone Maryland Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts Episcopalian
Francis Hopkinson New Jersey Episcopalian
Francis Lewis New York Episcopalian
Lewis Morris New York Episcopalian
William Hooper North Carolina Episcopalian
Robert Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian
John Morton Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Stephen Hopkins Rhode Island Episcopalian
Carter Braxton Virginia Episcopalian
Benjamin Harrison Virginia Episcopalian
Thomas Nelson Jr. Virginia Episcopalian
George Wythe Virginia Episcopalian
Thomas Jefferson Virginia Episcopalian (Deist)
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania Episcopalian (Deist)
Button Gwinnett Georgia Episcopalian; Congregationalist
James Wilson Pennsylvania Episcopalian; Presbyterian
Joseph Hewes North Carolina Quaker, Episcopalian
George Clymer Pennsylvania Quaker, Episcopalian
Thomas McKean Delaware Presbyterian
Matthew Thornton New Hampshire Presbyterian
Abraham Clark New Jersey Presbyterian
John Hart New Jersey Presbyterian
Richard Stockton New Jersey Presbyterian
John Witherspoon New Jersey Presbyterian
William Floyd New York Presbyterian
Philip Livingston New York Presbyterian
James Smith Pennsylvania Presbyterian
George Taylor Pennsylvania Presbyterian
Benjamin Rush Pennsylvania Presbyterian

          LWCH presents Summer Psychic/Holistic Fair July 16   
The Labyrinth Walk Coffee House (LWCH) presents its Summer Psychic & Holistic Fair on July 16 from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff, 3839 W. Kiest Blvd., Dallas, TX. Admission and browsing are free. $20 per 15 min
          July 9 - Free Jazz Jam - all welcome   
If you enjoy playing or singing or just listening to Jazz in a quiet setting while having a glass of wine or cold beer, come on down to the Labyrinth Walk Coffee House (LWCH) at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff, 3839 W. Kiest Blvd, Dall
          40. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 16 [–21] January [1793]    
March 2009

40. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 16 [–21] January [1793] ⁠* 

Wednesday. 16 Jany. Bristol. just received yours

My dear friend all your arguments I have already answered in my own mind but shall delay writing them till I am settled at Oxford. whatever books of mine you wish to read keep as long as agreeable. the rest I shall be obliged to you to forward as soon as convenient to me at Baliol where I purpose sleeping upon Saturday night. “Imberbis juvenis tandem custode remoto gaudet equis [1]  &c this has no more allusion to me than (with due deference to your opinion) Justum & tencaem propositi virum [2]  has to Edmund Burke. [3]  do you remember the fable of Boreas & Phœbus contending to make a traveller fling off his great coat? [4]  the vultus instantis tyranni [5]  is not so difficult to despise as the hand proffering a pension — the price of honor justice & integrity of each unbought grace of life — here I can tell what it means. of your ode a few words before I set to transcribing. before I read the last half sheet I wished you to lengthen it for only three authors are mentioned & only Shakespear of the first rank — Nature had so little to do with Dryden that I wonder at your ranking him with the Swan of Avon — Milton Spenser — Pope — Akenside Collins — Churchill — Beaumont — Fletcher [6]  would each afford a fine scope for your fancy & will you refuse one stanza to deck the unnoted grave of Chatterton?  [7]  when this fault is noticed I have noticed all. if however (as I hope) you mean to lengthen it I would not wish you to fetter yourself in the chains of precedent — regular lyrics are like despotic monarchies they look stately but lose all the energy of freedom.

The Wedding day

High blazd the fire in Arwins hall
To all the vassal throng —
Sparkled full the generous ale
Reechoed loud the song.

Pensive alone Sir Arwin sat
The jovial tribe among
Untoucht by him the generous ale
Unheard by him the song.

Why lingers Hugo? cried the chief
Abruptly as he rose
Why lingers Hugo? sad he sighs
As to the gate he goes

Far oer the well till’d lands around
He casts his wistful ken —
Fruitless the gaze again he sighd
And back returnd again.

Why lingers Hugo — cried the chief.
He heard the curfew toll.
He hung his head in anguish mute
Despair fulfilld his soul.

The horn blew loud — a page appeard
High heavd Sir Arwins breast —
He saw his lovd Matildas page
He saw & knew the rest.

Sir Knight — Lord Birthand greets thee fair
And would thy presence pray —
Come on the morrow to his hall
It is his wedding day.

All night Sir Arwin pacd along
His room with mournful round
And oft he sighd & oft he groand —
The morning beamd around

He claspt the bauldrick round his breast
He seizd the glittrand spear
He graspd the shield & viewd the dints
And dropt the heartfelt tear

Shield of my sire ah why so oft
Preserve this wretched life?
Far better thus to die than see
Matilda Birthands wife.

They mount their steeds — across the plain
The steeds impatient fly —
High shines the bright meridian sun —
Lord Birthands towers are nigh.

Lord Birthand mounts the winding stairs
And casts around his ken
I see far off from Arwins hall
The friendly troop of men

Resplendant shine their armors bright
Their banners wave in air
I see the vassals all — but ah
Sir Arwin is not there

Why Hugo droops thy duteous head?
Thy master will be here.
Fond Hugo sighd & shook his head
And dropt the silent tear.

When lo swift hastning oer the plain
Sir Arwin speeds along
He spurs in haste his eager steed
And joins the vassal throng.

Welcome my friend belovd to me
And welcome to my bride
Sir Arwin only prest his hand
He prest his hand & sighd.

Forth from the castle Hugo broke
Full happy man was he —
He ran to greet his honord Lord
And clasp his masters knee.

Rise Hugo rise Sir Arwin cried
My friend & servant rise
The faithful Hugo instant rose
And wipt his streaming eyes

The hospitable servants saw
And brought me to their Lord
And vain was each attempt to seek
To fly the friendly board

To day — no more Sir Arwin cried
No more of her too dear
I come not Hugo to repine
Nor play the woman here

Forth to the monastry they go
Lord Birthand high in pride
And oft & aye his beaming eyes
Gazd on his beauteous bride

She like the violet that bends
Beneath the suns hot flame
Perceivd his fond his eager gaze
The rosy blushes came.

The sacred pile opes wide its gates
The bride approaches near —
Sir Arwin starts — looks up to heavn
And wipes away the tear.

High chaunts the mass — their hands are <joind.>
My friends — our part is oer.
May heavn on you each blessing shed
When Arwin is no more.

He said & cast his bauldrick off
And laid his sword aside
And down he flung his clanging shield
And gazd on Birthands bride.

Lady — for thee I hopd to dare
With pride each listed field
For thee — to break the hostile lance
And pierce the adverse shield

Arms of my sire farewell too weak
To shield save this bleeding heart
Too weak alas to shield my breast
From Loves enrankling dart.

Forth from the throng with frantic speed
The faithful Hugo flies
Oh stay my lovd my honord Lord
Resume thyself he cries —

Together in thy fathers wall
We learnt to wield the spear
Together since to manhood grew —
— Ah — go not from me here

Ah do not from the world & me
In madness thus depart —
That hour that rends thee from the world
Will break thy Hugos heart [8] 

What means this action friend belovd?
Lord Birthand eager cried —
Friend of my soul ah yet return —
The tears ran down his bride.

Stay Arwin stay — with faultring voice
The fair Matilda said
And does Matilda bid me stay?
Sir Arwin hung his head

Long has thy image lovd too dear
By Arwin been adord
May every blissful hour attend
Matilda & her Lord.

Amid the solemn convents walls
Shall Arwin seek for peace
And pour to heavn the fervent prayr
Till Life & Passion cease.

Hugo no more — Matilda lovd
No more torment this breast
This bosom still in every form
Too much by thee possest

Hugo if ever thou didst love
Thy friend now show it here —
If ever thou didst prove my faith
Wipe off the enerving tear.

Thine be my hall & stately towers —
Protect the helpless poor
And be to them now he is gone
What Arwin was before

Here shall he pour in grateful praise
To heavn his vital breath
And here I trust contented wait
The friendly stroke of death.  [9] 

—————————————— [10] 

So far from Bristol. behold me now my friend entered under the banners of science or stupidity which you please & like a recruit got sober looking back to the days that are past & feeling something like regret.

would you think it possible that the wise founders of an English University should forbid us to wear boots! what matters it whether I study in shoes or boots — to me it is a matter of indifference but folly so ridiculous puts me out of conceit with the whole — when the foundation is bad the fabric must be weak.

none of my friends are yet arrivd & as for common acquaintance I do not wish them. solitude I do not dislike for I fear it not but there is a certain Dæmon named Reflection that accompanies whose arrows though they rankle not with the poison of guilt are yet pointed by Melancholy. I feel myself entered upon a new scene of life & whatever the generality of Oxonians conceive to me it appears a very serious æra. four years hence & I am called into orders & during that period (short for the attainment of the requisite duties) how much have I to learn! I must learn to break a rebellious spirit which neither Authority or Oppression ever could bow — it would be easier to break my neck. I must learn to work a problem instead of writing an ode — I must learn to cringe to those whom I despise & to pay respect to men only remarkable for great wigs & little wisdom. I must learn to abuse Thomas Paine [11]  — to worship Edmund Burke [12]  — to revile Dr Priestly [13]  — to damn the National Convention — to speak well of Dr Vincent & to understand St Athanasiuss creed. [14]  quid Romæ faciam? mentore nescio! [15]  the name of that Saint whose life (at least part of it) was as incomprehensible as his productions has brought me into many a dilemma. the present madness of party has so combined his creed with the doctrines of Christ that who doubts the first is now immediately thought to despise the last my maxim always shall be (at least I hope so) to practise the virtues it inculcates & reflect not upon the mysteries it contains of the sanctity of those mysteries I know nothing — their incomprehensibility is evident — Athanasius the reputed author of that stumbling block confessed he understood them not — Tillotson [16]  wishd the creed expunged from the liturgy — yet the one was a Saint & the other an Archbishop.

This day has been a most unpleasant one all except the earlier part of the morning when I read your favourite Horace. that beginning Qualem ministrum fulminis alitem [17]  struck me as well adapted to the present times & I think I shall attempt it this week — certain of falling as much short of Horace as his subject will be inferior to mine. notwithstanding the admiration with which I read his works there is a something in the character of the little fat parasite which sullies it very much. I do not know in the annals of history & barbarity any character which I so much abhor as that of the vain the vile Augustus — the death of Cicero the banishment of Ovid [18]  — the black boys & the incestuous daughter [19]  the total suppression of liberty these are blots which all the art of Flattery cannot hide from the eye of Reason. “with the same hand & probably with the same frame of mind did he sign the proscription of Cicero & the pardon of Cinna” [20]  — you remember Gibbons remark upon Augustuss appearance at the banquet in that very elegant piece of the virtuous Julian. [21] 

the name of Julian reminds me of Collins long lost letter which I have this day received. he need <not> fear that I shall become a philosopher of the Mill [22]  — I am not yet philosopher of the world enough to wish it. but Collins I hourly expect & though it be an easy matter to make out a letter from him to you will desist. your last is here before me — the oftner I read your ode the more I like it & lament its shortness — In mazes high & low in cadence soft & strong — this line is exactly what Pope wished — the sound echoes the sense [23]  to particularize all the beauties were tedious I will only mention “mirths fantastic round & Or Melancholys thought profound — these lines remind one of Milton — will it be vain to hope one day like him to defend the cause of mankind & despise the power of monarchs? but politicks I will not begin — you shall have my really free reflections one day & instead of dazzling you with stars or bewildering you in the maze of metaphysics if you will only follow the straight path I am content. Truth came naked out of the well — with me she shall be only simplex munditus [24]  — Mr Burke [25]  has so bedizend out Falshood that it takes much trouble & time to get a sight of her real form.

to day I have been unpacking & laying out money. tomorrow I make my appearance before a set of fellows each of whom will think me a fool for wearing my hair as God sent it & not getting drunk with him — I do not feel ashamed of myself & yet it is not agreeable to go into hall among them all staring at me who shall stare any where to avoid them. then I must go to chapel god knows how often! but I shall see Combe & for the rest cry out with the Miller I care for nobody not not I if nobody cares for me. [26] 

the scout has just been here to know about my supper. you are only allowed bread & cheese in your rooms here & he asked me if I would have a halfpenny worth or a pennyworth — you may guess my surprize — but twopence is all I can have — many a worthier person wants that — why then should I repine! two sleepless nights & three busy days have fatigued me — my eyes ache and I really want rest — Mason [27]  could write a fine drowsy ode to Sleep I think — the deity however seems coming to me without invocation. he shall not be a loser — but I must be more e[MS torn]

Sunday. just done breakfast.

Dear Bedford Ive just made a pretty commence
God grant me I pray University sense!
God help me & mend me for I want amending
But listen & hear what is worth your attending.

Come Genius of Dullness to Oxford so dear
I need not call loud for Im sure you are near
Come murky dark vapors & viel oer my brain
Shall not Southey at Baliol be one of thy train
Im now in thy garb — thy long sleevd sable spread —
The trencher but fit for a cold College head
This trencher to wear which I never desire
That chills een this brain of such furious fire
Come along & possess me then hap ill or hap well
Ill speak of a subject will please thee — of chapel!

Yes Dullness I see thee — I know thee of yore
I see & I recognise — gaze & adore —
By thy full sleevd black gown — by thy still blacker heart
Where Genius nor Virtue possess one small part —
By thy cauliflowrd wig frizzled full — such a one
As is worn in Deans Yard by thy favourite son
By all these church bells that now make my heada[MS torn]
Ah I must be gone or another mistake
½ past twelve —
Already to trespass! so soon to begin
Thus early gainst statutes & customs to sin
To leave duties & Doctors at once in the lurch
In the morning be late & at noon to skip Church!!!
But Order at least in a college should reign
Come Dullness & Order come manage the strain

Last night quite fatigued — with a pain in my head
I was heartily glad to get into my bed
And for fear lest by chance I might hap to sleep late
Jeremiah my scout was to wake me eer eight —
For you must know Bedford if upon this day
In the morning from chapel we happen to stray
We lose the whole term as if we were away —
What I dreamt of no matter — I opend my eyes
And for want of a fire wait for Jerry to rise
Long I lay listening still to the bells all around
Nor heeded them all for I knew not the sound
At last it seemd late so I quietly rose
And began very gently to put on my cloaths
In comes Jeremiah — Good Lord Sir your’e late
The chapels begun & tis sometime past eight
And if the first lesson should now be begun
Lord have mercy upon us the term is undone!
Half drest without neckcloth or combing my hair
I slipt on my gown & was instantly there —
But quite raw & not knowing where I ought to come
On the first vacant seat down I squatted my b-m.
All stard & all laughd this odd conduct to view
I thought of the Miller [28]  & so I laughd too —
For tho the reader stood up & had opend his jaws
I came neck or nothing & just nickd the laws.
I came back — eat my breakfast & took up my pen
And went on as you see with my letter again
But Nature calld out — no resisting her call —
More powerful than Doctors Deans Devils & all
Like Columbus to seek a new mansion [29]  I go
Where to turn where to look where to ask I dont know —
I tryd every door every corner & lane
And at last had the fortune my object to gain
And when Cloacina [30]  had all I could pay


2 o clock

Collins just has been here — so my pen went away —
Once again then I write — from the Scotch Goddess dome [31] 
To Christ Church I went & there met my friend Combe
So we set to — to what — & what you’ll think no harm on
Preferrd conversation to hearing a sermon —
Then I went to Wynns rooms whilst Wynn came to me
Then calld at the cross little Joseph to see
Came back disappointed & sat down to you
So you have all the whole history — dear Bedford adieu —

I made my appearance at dinner immediately after Wynn left me who caught me finishing the above in my own book. here I came off very well — as our hall is repairing & in the room appropriated for eating Liberty & Equality are prevalent. of politics once more — your arguments have not convinced me & the obstacles must be strong that can oppose conviction where it is even wished — too answer I did purpose seriously but the age of eighteen is too young to go deep enough & I have <not> even yet been sufficiently convinced of the depravity of human Nature to admit of arguments which will be <urged> against the speculative ideas of philosophy. do not then I intreat you do not begin the subject again — believe me I wish to decline it for I feel that here are other duties — at the same if I cannot fill a letter otherwise I do not deserve your correspondence. observations upon a collegiate life & an account of mine as minute as can be without growing tedious will supply their place. Collins whom the more I know the more I love & respect will be much with me — we will conform to customs but keep each other in coutenance in the total disregard of ceremonies (among the scholars I name) equally disagreeable & disgraceful we shall read compare & improve together & I trust at some future period look back to the years spent at college with the pleasing reflection that they were spent in doing our duties.

yours most sincerely

Robert Southey.

Monday morning.


* Address: Grosvenor Charles Bedford Esqr/ Old Palace Yard/ Westminster./ Single
Stamped: OXFORD
Postmark: [partial] OJA/ 2/ 93
Watermarks: Rampant lion holding a scimitar, a second figure; crown with a circle with Lloyd written underneath
Endorsements: 26 <16> Janry 1793; Recd. Jany 22d. 1793; Ansd. 5. Feby. 1793; 1793
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 22. ALS; 4p.
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), I, pp. 169–170 [in part; where it is dated 16 January 1793]. BACK

[1] Horace (65–8 BC), Ars Poetica, lines 161–162. The Latin translates as: ‘The beardless youth, freed at last from his tutor, finds joy in horses.’ BACK

[2] Horace, Odes, Book 3, No. 3, line 1. The Latin translates as ‘The man of integrity who holds fast to his purpose’. BACK

[3] Edmund Burke (1729/30–1797; DNB) defended the American revolutionaries in 1776, but condemned the French Revolution in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). BACK

[4] A fable sometimes attributed to Jean de la Fontaine (1621–1695) in which the North Wind (Boreas) and Sun (Phoebus) compete to make a traveller remove his coat by, respectively, force and persuasion. BACK

[5] Horace, Odes, Book 3, no. 3, line 3. The Latin translates as ‘the frown of an oppressive despot’. BACK

[6] Alexander Pope (1688–1744; DNB); Mark Akenside (1721–1770; DNB); William Collins (1721–1759; DNB); Charles Churchill (1732–1764; DNB); Francis Beaumont (1584/5–1616; DNB); John Fletcher (1579–1625; DNB). BACK

[7] Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770; DNB), whose grave is unmarked. BACK

[8] High blazd ... heart: Verses written in three columns. BACK

[9] What means ... death: These lines are written in single column. BACK

[10] ———: The poem is separated from the main text of the letter (on the right) by a box drawn around it. BACK

[11] Thomas Paine (1737–1809; DNB), English radical and author of The Rights of Man (1791–1792). BACK

[12] Edmund Burke, English politician and author of the conservative Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). BACK

[13] Joseph Priestley (1733–1804; DNB), Unitarian minister, scientist and radical. BACK

[14] Statement of Christian orthodoxy drawn up c. AD 500 and attributed to the Greek theologian St Athanasius (AD 293–373). BACK

[15] Juvenal, Satire 3, line 41. This translates as ‘What will I do at Rome? I don’t know how to tell lies’. BACK

[16] John Tillotson (1630–1694; DNB), Archbishop of Canterbury, was reputed to have wished that the church was rid of the Athanasian creed. BACK

[17] Horace, Odes, Book 4, no. 4, line 1. The Latin translates as ‘Like the winged deliverer of the thunderbolt’. BACK

[18] Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 BC) was murdered because of his opposition to the Second Triumvirate, of which Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (63 BC–AD 14; reigned 30 BC–AD 14), later the Emperor Augustus, was a member. Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BC–AD 17) was exiled by Augustus. BACK

[19] Julia (39 BC–AD 14), only daughter of the Emperor Augustus, was notorious for her debauched lifestyle. The Emperor Caligula (AD 12–41; reigned AD 37–41), alleged she had committed incest with her father. BACK

[20] A paraphrase of Edward Gibbon (1737–1794; DNB), The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 12 vols (London, 1788), I, p. 86. A copy of this edition was in Southey’s library, Sale Catalogues of Libraries of Eminent Persons, gen. ed. A. N. L. Munby, vol. 9 Poets and Men of Letters, ed. Roy Park (London, 1974), p. 138. Gnaeus Cornelius Cinna Magnus (before 47 BC–after AD 35) was involved in a conspiracy against Augustus in AD 4 but was pardoned. BACK

[21] Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 12 vols (London, 1788), I, p. 86 n. 26. Julianus, the Apostate (331/2–363; reigned 361–363), Roman emperor. BACK

[22] The traditional song sometimes known as ‘The Miller of Dee’, particularly its lines ‘I care for nobody, no not I,/ If nobody cares for me’. BACK

[23] A paraphrase of Alexander Pope (1688–1744; DNB), ‘An Essay on Criticism’ (1711), line 365. BACK

[24] Horace, Odes, Book 1, no. 5, line 4, sometimes translated as ‘excellent in simplicity’, or from Milton, ‘plain in thy neatness’. BACK

[25] Edmund Burke, politician and author of the conservative Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). BACK

[26] The traditional song sometimes known as ‘The Miller of Dee’. BACK

[27] The poet and gardener William Mason (1725–1797; DNB). BACK

[28] A reference to the traditional song sometimes known as ‘The Miller of Dee’, particularly its lines ‘I care for nobody, no not I,/ If nobody cares for me’. BACK

[29] Christopher Columbus (1451–1506), putative discoverer of America in 1492. BACK

[30] The goddess who presided over the sewers of Rome. BACK

[31] Balliol College, Oxford. Probably an allusion to the widely held, but mistaken, belief that it was a ‘Scotch’ foundation, inaugurated by John Balliol, King of Scots (c.1248–1314; reigned 1292–1296). In fact, the college was founded by his father, John Balliol (b. before 1208–1268; DNB) and his wife Dervorguilla of Galloway (d. 1290; DNB). BACK

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          دیدگاه‌ها برای شرح جامع نقد و بررسی آثار سینمایی با chrisdg2   
Started new cobweb project http://sunni.muslim.purplesphere.in/?entry.tori perfumes unitarian saliva hijob submissive
          Brooklyn protesters decry Trump travel ban at Borough Hall rally - New York Daily News   

New York Daily News

Brooklyn protesters decry Trump travel ban at Borough Hall rally
New York Daily News
Scores of diverse Brooklyn demonstrators voiced their outrage Friday against the scaled-back version of President Trump's polarizing travel ban. “I think it's a big mistake,” said protester Derek Pearl, 79, of the First Unitarian Congressional Society ...

          UU Service   
By Jon Sievert At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, in the first of a two-part talk, The Rev. Daniel Gregoire discusses the misuses of fear in a time of dangerous global political uncertainty. UU Service “The Misuses of Fear, Part 1” By Rev. Daniel Gregoire Sun, Jul 2, 10:30am Posada de la Aldea, Ancha [...]
          Outraged Brooklyn protesters decry Trump's travel ban at Borough Hall: 'It's more dangerous for the US to do this' - New York Daily News   

New York Daily News

Outraged Brooklyn protesters decry Trump's travel ban at Borough Hall: 'It's more dangerous for the US to do this'
New York Daily News
Scores of diverse Brooklyn demonstrators voiced their outrage Friday against the scaled-back version of President Trump's polarizing travel ban. “I think it's a big mistake,” said protester Derek Pearl, 79, of the First Unitarian Congressional Society ...

          Eric See of Peace Action West talks on 'Who's who in Iraq and Syria'   
Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo 300 E. Santa Inez San Mateo, CA 94401
          Indivisible San Diego Persists with Die In and Candlelight Vigil   
Story + Photo Gallery The Senate may have put Trumpcare on hold for a few days, but San Diegans are continuing with a campaign expressing opposition to the proposed ‘repeal and replace’ legislation. About 150 people gathered at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Hillcrest on Tuesday evening for a ‘die-in,’ followed by an hour of rapid-fire and often emotional speeches and ending with a candlelight vigil on the grounds of the nearby UCSD Medical Center.   [Read more...]

          Media roundup: UUA leadership changes, General Assembly make the news   

Rachel Walden

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

          Interdependent Web: Kindness, wholeness, proximity   

Heather Christensen

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.

          Episode 111: Worst. Shock Collar. Ever.   
Rios and Lutzer Link Homosexuality to Pedophilia, Crime and Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Sandy Rios Knows Gays Are Capable of 'The Right Kind of Love' Because They're Always Heartbroken From Breakups Southern Baptists tell Supreme Court: Neutral legislative prayers means the Unitarians win King: Global warming ‘not proven, not science’ Cathie Adams, Former Texas GOP Chair: Immigration Reform Will Lead To Mark Of The Beast, 'End Times' Mysterious priest performs miracle at site of Mercedes crash Fischer: Anthony Weiner Running for Mayor to 'Create an Opportunity for More Jihadist Activity' Harvey: Dying Gay Ohio Man Should've Married A Woman, Merely Pretending to be Married Gay-Inclusive Curriculum Leads to Witchcraft, Child Molestation Former Navy chaplain: Jesus wants you to ‘sell your clothes and buy a gun’ Man charged with blowing up family dog
          Berating Bigotry: Religious And Policy Groups Respond To Bachmann’s Anti-Muslim Hysteria   
Rob Boston
A wide swath of the American religious and non-religious community believes Michele Bachmann is all wet.

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s efforts to stir up an anti-Muslim witch hunt have sparked a bit of a pushback, to put it mildly.

As you might recall, Bachmann (R-Minn.) and four other House members (Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Thomas J. Rooney of Florida and Lynn A. Westmoreland of Georgia) sent letters to the inspector general offices of the State, Justice and Homeland Security departments, demanding an investigation into the infiltration of our government by the Muslim Brotherhood.

This claim of an imminent takeover of the federal government by the Muslim Brotherhood is the latest conspiracy theory to be spat out of the far right-wing “hate-Muslims-hate-Obama” 24/7 nutcase cyclorama. It is getting traction only because we live in an era where, thanks to the Internet and Fox News, any crank with a modem is suddenly a media figure.

Seeing an opportunity to slam Obama and Muslims, Bachmann, a Religious Right favorite and erstwhile presidential candidate, latched onto this like a pit bull on a postal carrier and hasn’t looked back.

But the unfantastic five made a big mistake: They fingered Huma Abedin, a top deputy of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as key to the conspiracy. Abedin, who is Muslim, is supposedly neck-deep in this thing because three of her family members are allegedly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Among them is her father, who has been dead for 20 years.

All of this craziness was too much for U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who stood up on the Senate floor and blasted the anti-Abedin crusade in strong language. McCain noted that he has worked with Abedin, considers her a friend and assailed those who question her patriotism.

Shortly after that, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters that he doesn’t know Abedin personally but added, “[F]rom everything that I do know of her she has a sterling character. Accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.”

Even Ed Rollins, a GOP strategist who managed Bachmann’s presidential campaign, let her have it. Rollins wrote a column stating, “I am fully aware that she sometimes has difficulty with her facts, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy level….Shame on you, Michele!”

The Gang of Five responded by doubling down and insisting that they are right. Gohmert derided McCain and other critics as “numb-nuts.” (Keep it classy, Louie!) As for Abedin, she received at least one death threat.

I’m pleased to say that opposition to Bachmann’s xenophobia is spreading beyond the political world. Yesterday, 42 religious and public policy organizations, including Americans United, signed a joint letter to Bachmann and the other four representatives letting them know that this type of religious bigotry has no place in the United States.

“Far from supporting the safety of our country, these accusations distract us from examining legitimate threats using proven, evidence-based security strategies,” asserts the letter, which was organized by the Interfaith Alliance. “Moreover, we know all too well the danger of casting suspicion on loyal and innocent Americans simply because they hold particular beliefs.

“We will not stand idly by and allow our country to revive federal investigations into innocent individuals based on their religious adherence. We will continue to speak out in support of people of all faiths and no faith, and the religious freedom of all Americans to practice – or choose not to practice – a religion without fear of criticism or suspicion.”

The range of signatories is impressive and includes groups that often don’t see eye to eye on other issues. Religious groups signing on include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Hindu American Foundation, American Baptist Churches USA, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the United Church of Christ.

Secular and public policy groups signing on include the American Humanist Association, American Atheists, the Center for Inquiry, the Secular Coalition for America, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers and the NAACP.

I’ve worked here a long time and don’t know that I’ve ever before seen a letter endorsed by both the Catholic bishops and American Atheists. I think it’s safe to say that a wide swath of the American religious and non-religious community believes the Bachmann gang is all wet.

Of course, the Religious Right is still in Bachmann’s corner. The Family Research Council (FRC) has issued a prayer alert asking its supports to rally around the “vigilant” lawmaker who, they say, is merely asking questions.

Let the FRC stand with Bachmann – and with the anti-American values she represents. As the new letter indicates, much of the rest of the religious and secular community in America has seen her bigotry and repudiated it.

          Church Bulletin   
New River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service Sunday, July 2, will start at 11 a.m. Visitors are welcome to attend. For further information call 304- 252-4016. Rhema Christian Center is holding a Neighborhood Block Party Saturday, July 8, from 6-8 p.m. There will be food, games, bounce houses, prizes, face painting, rock painting and fun for […]
          Humanist marriage report published   

While Buddhists, Wiccans, Unitarians and even Scientologists can perform marriages in British Columbia, Humanists and other atheists are being discriminated against by the province's arbitrary implementation of the Marriage Act, according to a new report by the BC Humanist Association.

The Case for Humanist Marriage in BC sets out the current laws governing the solemnization of marriages in BC and across Canada and contrasts it with seven other jurisdictions around the world where Humanists are permitted to perform marriages. In Scotland, for example, Humanist marriages are now more popular than Church of Scotland weddings.

The report calls for a judicial challenge or legislative change to the province's Marriage Act.

          Two Dozen Democrats Join The House Republican Xenophobia Caucus   

Yesterday, Bob Goodlatte's racist, xenophobic, Trumpist Kate's Law (H.R. 3004) passed the House. It should have been called O'Reilly's Law, since it was all his idea. In fact, the House passed two Trumpist garbage bills yesterday-- Kate's Law and Goodlatte's No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003).
The House passed two bills Thursday to boost President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown.

The bills-- "Kate’s Law" and the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act"-- would up the penalties on undocumented immigrants who attempt to reenter the country illegally after being deported for crimes and slash funds from cities that protect them.

Kate's Law passed 257-167, largely along party lines, in the GOP-controlled House. Trump, who made immigration a key focus during the campaign and in his administration, celebrated its passage.
Well, not entirely. 24 Democrats-- mostly from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- voted with the GOP. Hoyer granted them dispensation to "vote their consciences." In theory, the Democrats whipped against the bill, but Hoyer made it clear he didn't really care if they crossed the aisle or not. He explained that "the public’s perception of allowing people to come back in, commit crimes and not have a more serious sentence [could harm vulnerable Democrats]. You talk to the families who have been adversely affected by that, it is a wrenching experience. Members believe that that’s pretty serious business, [and] I agree with that."

Among the Democrats voting no were a dozen of the most conservative, Republican-oriented members of the caucus, all of whom have "F" ratings from ProgressivePunch:
Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN)
Charlie Crist (Blue Dog-FL)
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
Val Demings (New Dem-FL)
Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ)
Ron Kind (New Dem-WI)
Anne Kuster (New Dem-NH)
Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL)
Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL)
Tom O'Halleran (Blue Dog-AZ)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)
Republicans tried passing the bill in 2016 and it was killed in the Senate, something that will probably happen again this year.
Many Democrats panned the legislation, calling it anti-immigrant and saying it would stoke fear.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), called the measure "callous and irrational."

Others said it could target legal immigrants.
Just two of the Democrats who crossed the aisle to vote with the GOP on this have serious primary challenges this cycle, Kyrsten Sinema and Chicagoland Blue Dog Dan Lipinski. Marie Newman, the progressive opposing Lipinski, was disappointed, but not really surprised by Lipinski's vote. "This is another clear indication Congressman Lipinski is in lockstep with President Trump on immigration and his xenophobic views," she told us after the vote. "I am beyond disappointed with Mr. Lipinski’s anti-immigrant views. Mr. Lipinski views are wrong and are not consistent with progressive Democratic values. This legislation is very simply a way to demonize immigrants. Mr. Lipinski is deeply wrong and I will fight this type of stereotyping and discrimination tirelessly if I am elected. This is not just unacceptable, it is anti-American." If you agree with her, please consider contributing to her campaign here.

Katie Hill is running for Congress in Southern California against a Republican incumbent who has never-- in his entire legislative career (in the state Assembly, state Senate and now the House-- seen an anti-immigrant bill that he didn't embrace. In a district with a strong and vibrant Hispanic community, Steve Knight has dedicated his career in politics to making their lives as difficult as possible. Katie pointed out that "elected officials chose to vote for this bill not because they believe it is good policy, but because they care more about getting re-elected than the lives that will be impacted. It is further proof of how broken our system is when 'vote your conscience' actually means 'vote to get re-elected.' The discussion we need to have around immigration is hard, and we're dealing with so much fear mongering that it's easy to see how someone from a more moderate or swing district might be scared into voting for this. But we need to bring that discussion back to values, and the bottom line is that most people understand what it means to help their neighbors. It's up to us as progressives to protect and champion our values as a country and a community, no matter what kind of district you live in. Truly embracing those values and enacting them every day is the only way we overcome hatred or fear or divisiveness and start moving forward again."

Goal ThermometerIt won't surprise you to know that the xenophobes and extremists at the so-called "Freedom Caucus" are big proponents of these kinds of policies and that their leader, Mark Meadows, doesn't just vote for this kind of counterproductive legislation, but does all he can to make bills like this as harsh and punitive as possible. His opponent in 2018 is progressive activist/farmer/Berniecrat Matt Coffay. Matt, would have voted NO. He told us this morning that "These bills are a disaster, and do nothing to address actual immigration issues in this country. Here in the U.S., we have millions of undocumented workers-- many of whom pay taxes-- who work hard, and deserve a path to citizenship. In my district here in Western North Carolina, farmers are already feeling the effects of Trump's immigration policies: many undocumented workers are afraid to show up for seasonal harvests for fear of an ICE raid, and family farmers are hurting as a result. The bottom line is that we need comprehensive immigration reform that will provide hardworking immigrants with a path to citizenship."

Ro Khanna (D-CA) told us that "Kate's law furthers the stereotype that anyone undocumented is criminal. The law is a pillar of Trump's anti-immigrant agenda. It criminalizes immigrants entering the United States legally if they have a past technical violation, and it goes after even those who come to escape persecution. There is a reason the Hispanic Caucus in Congress strongly opposed this bill."

Although Anne Kuster voted for it in a much bluer district, Carol Shea Porter, in a district Trump won, took a more courageous and principled stand in opposition:
“Today, I voted against H.R.3004, or ‘Kate’s Law,’ which is opposed by dozens of religious groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities USA, the Church World Service, the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Refugee and Immigrant Center Alliance, the New Hampshire Conference United Church of Christ Immigration Working Group, the American Friends Service Committee, T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

“Let me be clear: the killing of Kate Steinle was a horrible and inexcusable crime, and my heart goes out to her family and loved ones. This should never have happened. We must investigate the breakdown in policy that led to Kate’s tragic death. This bill would, however, have serious negative consequences by increasing the likelihood that innocent asylum seekers, trafficking victims, and other non-criminal immigrants will be imprisoned. These victims would be in trouble if they presented themselves at ports of entry to seek help.

“I also voted against H.R.3003, which the US Conference of Mayors strongly opposed and the Fraternal Order of Police said would unjustly ‘penalize law enforcement and the citizens they serve because Congress disagrees with their enforcement priorities with respect to our immigration laws.’ We must stand up for proper funding for law enforcement. It is unjust to jeopardize our local police agencies, which are already underfunded and understaffed. The policies this bill seeks to end are designed to improve trust in law enforcement and help our police officers do their jobs effectively. We should not take away local communities’ and law enforcement agencies’ ability to decide how to do their jobs.”
Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) led the opposition and he reminded his colleagues that "ever since Donald Trump descended the golden escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy by saying Mexican immigrants are rapists and murderers and drug dealers, the Republican Party has had Mexican fever. And they have been working feverishly to paint immigrants as criminals. And when something goes bad, they go back to their old favorite. When Trump’s Muslim Ban was blocked in the Courts, out came the Attorney General to say they were doing more roundups and that no immigrant was safe. Is the Russia investigation not going so good for the Dear Leader? Hey, let’s whip out that Mexican thing, as Vice President Pence said. Maybe it will keep our voters happy and distracted. And now that the Republican health care bill is on the ropes and suffering from a 17 percent approval rating, here we are back on bashing immigrants. It is about feeding a steady diet of scapegoating to voters – even the President’s base voters-- who are starting to realize that things are not going so well. Almost 8 out of 10 Latinos are citizens of the United States and 1 out of 10 are legal permanent residents. That leaves about 1 in 10 who are undocumented, but this policy is about going after all of them. These bills are nothing new and they are not really about immigration or fighting crime. They are about racial profiling and putting Latinos, quote/unquote-- 'in our place.' Latinos, African-Americans, people of color, Muslims, and many others know what being in the cross hairs looks like. 99 percent of the votes for this bill today will come from people who do not have to worry about racial profiling for themselves or their children. And they represent Districts where most of their constituents don’t have to worry about racial profiling. But let’s be clear, Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona is the poster-child for the kinds of policies the Republicans want to impose on every city and county in the country and we know the result:"
Arpaio embodies racial profiling and rounding up people because they are brown and-- oh, we’ll sort out their papers later-- whether they are citizens or legal permanent residents or whatever. I have talked to US citizens who were detained by Arpaio because they didn’t carry with them their birth certificate or passport at all times-- in their own country.

And Arpaio has been sued successfully to stop his racial profiling and he has been charged criminally for his racial profiling tactics and still, the Republicans in the House want that to be the law everywhere.

Sometimes Democrats have to stand up for justice and against racial profiling when it is the right thing to do and the chips are down. Well, the chips are down and every Latino family and every immigrant is going to remember who stood up for them when they needed Democrats to fight to keep their families together.

          Want a good movie about real religion? Go see 'Selma'   

If you're looking for a movie with real religion -- as well as historical context, emotional complexity, political savvy and inspiring humanity -- I have a recommendation.

Go see “Selma,” the Oscar-nominated film about the civil rights marches that brought voting rights to African-Americans in the South in the 1960s.

Like the best films about religion – “Dead Man Walking,” “Shadowlands,” “Of Gods and Men” – “Selma” centers on imperfect people struggling to walk the talk of faith.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (played superbly by British actor David Oyelowo) clearly shines as a leader with vision and moral courage. But gifted director Ava DuVernay also lets us see his behind-the-scene battles with doubt, indecision and the tension in his marriage to Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo, also British and also excellent).

Such burdens give rise to a private dream, voiced by King in the opening scene, of a life away from the limelight, as the pastor of a small church in a university town.
But this Baptist preacher, his wife and his lieutenants soldier on, looking to God in those moments of hopelessness, despair – and awe.

Feeling drained and discouraged one night, King calls and wakes up gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, telling her he needs to hear the voice of the Lord. Obligingly, and movingly in the film, she sings over the phone, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”

Then later, after a helmeted Alabama state trooper shoots and kills Jimmie Lee Jackson, a young civil rights worker, we see King, tears brimming, try to console the martyr’s 82-year-old grandfather at the morgue. “God was the first to cry,” King tells the grieving old man, “the first to cry for your boy.”
“Selma” will make you tear up, for sure. With sadness at the evil humans are capable of, but also with joy at the faith-based solidarity so many display.

Take the scene where we see the result of King's call for reinforcements for the 54-mile march to Montgomery. Many thousands from around the country drive and fly to Selma, including Jewish rabbis, Catholic nuns, a Greek Orthodox archbishop and the Rev. James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Boston who was to be murdered by racist thugs.

Biblical epics and churchy dramas are fine. But for those clamoring for movies that convey the positive power of religion, I say: Go see “Selma.”

Upcoming events

Two of the many Charlotte events marking Dr. King’s upcoming holiday testify to the religious roots of the civil rights movement:

  • The Rev. Clark Olsen will speak Sunday (Jan. 18), 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., at Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234 North Sharon Amity Road. Olsen was a young UU minister in March 1965 when he answered King’s call for clergy to come to Selma and march. And he was there when his friend, the Rev. Reeb, was beaten to death by a white mob.
  • Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous will be the keynoter at 8 a.m. Monday (Jan. 19) at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte’s 21st annual MLK Holiday Prayer Breakfast. More than 1,100 people are expected at the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom in uptown. Jealous plans to challenge the audience by asking: What is that one big thing you are going to change in your community before you die?

-- Tim Funk

          Boy Scouts of America   

From an old MySpace Blog:

Boy Scouts of America
Category: News and Politics

"Duty to God Scouting maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise, the member declares, " On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law. ""

-- www.scouting.com , the BSA official webpage

"The BSA reaffirmed its view that an avowed homosexual can not serve as a role model for the traditional moral values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law..."

-- www.scouting.com , the BSA official webpage


Atheists and Other Non-theists in Scouting
The Boy Scouts of America requires its members to believe in God and to recite an oath to God at every troop meeting. They do not permit membership to anyone whose convictions do not allow them to recite this oath and they terminate membership of anyone who is discovered to be an atheist or agnostic, even if it is discovered inadvertently. Consequently, over 20 million Americans are excluded from the Boy Scouts due to their religious beliefs. This includes not only people who identify themselves as atheists or agnostics, but also includes other non-theists such as secular Jews, non-theistic Buddhists, some Unitarians and animists (animists believe in spirits but do not believe in God). The exclusion applies to both children and adults.

The Girl Scouts of America also have an oath to God that they recite at every troop meeting; however, they do not prohibit membership to those who do not profess belief in God. They allow non-theistic members to substitute the word "God" for a word of their choosing. In this way, the Girl Scouts have maintained their oath and duty to God while accommodating non-theists at the same time. To allow all American citizens the opportunity to be in the Boy Scouts, BSA leadership should make the same kind of accommodation for non-theists.

Why are non-theists excluded from the Boy Scouts?

Non-theists are excluded from the Boy Scouts on moral grounds. On every application form and in the Boy Scout handbook you will find the words "you can't be the best kind of citizen without the obligation to God." This is another way of saying that you can't be moral without belief in God. While this is a commonly held belief, it is in fact a myth. Those who do not profess belief in God do not have any higher a propensity towards acts of immorality than anyone else. While about 10% of the U.S. population does not profess belief in God, less than 1% of the prison population does not profess belief in God. You would think that a group of such immoral people would have an unusually high percentage of its members behind bars!

Although the BSA now tries to mislead the public by identifying itself as a religious organization, it is, for all practical purposes, a secular organization. The BSA 1916 Charter says that the BSA is a nonsectarian organization. It is not to be driven by any particular religion or religious group. Currently the BSA is being run by the dictates of religious fundamentalists, who are dictating current policy. There are no prayers or religious teachings in the Boy Scouts and church attendance is not required, even on outings. There are no duties that a non-theist could not perform. Consequently, there are no good reasons to exclude members on the basis of
religious beliefs. An organization that is secular should determine membership according to criteria that is secular.

The BSA is ignoring the fact that there are many non-theists who are law abiding, contributing members of society who have much to contribute to the Boy Scouts. They want to be in the Boy Scouts just like everyone else. The BSA is a great American institution and it should be available to every American citizen regardless of their religious beliefs.

Most Scouting Associations throughout the world don't exclude atheists or other non-theists from scouting. It isn't even an issue in most countries. Lord Baden Powell , who founded scouting in 1907 in England never said in his writings on religion that non-theists should be excluded from the world scouting movement. In fact in England where Scouting began atheists, girls, and persons who are gay are all members and participate in scouting."

-- www.scoutingforall.org

That's correct, ladies and gentlemen, the BSA discriminates against more than just women. Atheists and Homosexuals are not being allowed in, and are getting kicked out.

I grew up in the cub scouts and went a little ways into the boy scouts. I did the entire little uniform thing, and had these ribbons with pins I earned, and had all these patches... And I always constantly won the pinewood derby. I just always would. No one could contend with my green lizard-stickered car. Maybe it was luck. Maybe it was the sleek design and the fact that I always had to make sure I widdled and sanded off more wood than everyone else, or maybe it was the fact I'd over do it on the grease laxative stuff I'd spray all over my wheels. Who knows?

I never thought much about the religious sides about it, or about homosexuality, I was too buys pasting together air craft carrier models and running around in half scout uniform, half Indian garb we made in arts and crafts.

When I finally evolved into the Boy Scouts (cub scouts weren't GOOD enough anymore), the religiousness... Was kinda boring and intoxicating. So I just left.

Later I became atheist. God must really hate me. You know, if he exists.

I'm glad I didn't like the BSA enough to stay until I became atheist. Being who I am, I probably wouldn't keep it a secret and get angry when asked to say the scout oath, and get kicked out. Then I'd get even angrier and they'll probably be some suing involved. If that failed I'd probably contact as many media companies and Liberals as I could to do what I had to in order to bash them publicly as much as possible, as well as the courts that failed to do me justice.

Hum. Maybe I SHOULD have stayed in the scouts - that sounds like fun...

I always barley miss my chance! God damnit.

But anyways, let's look at this morally and logically now.
Homosexuals are not allowed. Why?
Well, because they're "bad role models" for society, of course!
Hey, no other reasons are given, that's it. So that's all I have to deal with.
Homosexuals are bad role models for society, how?
Because they don't produce children?

In debates concerning homosexuals I am constantly amazed whenever my opponents, which they always do, assume that homosexuality is something that is evil. Concerning Gay Adoption, for example, they'll say something like, "It makes the children more likely to grow up to be gay."
They're assuming, behind the lines, by themselves, that homosexuality is a horrible, evil, unhealthy thing, and being it, in general, is "bad."
It is not "bad."
How could it be "bad?"
It doesn't produce children? We have plenty of heterosexuals for that. PLENTY. Hell, to be honest, way too many. We have too many children, too many people. Right now, if anything, MAKING kids is probably "worse" than not making them!
Why is homosexuality always assumed, behind every debate, as being something that should be avoided? Something that should be condemned, something that should definitely not be taught as "okay?"


It is perfectly, 100%, okay to be gay. Anyone who so much as implies otherwise is a bigot; a sorry excuse for a human being. Nothing more, and definitely cannot be anything less. They are a shame, and a moral/intellectual embarrassing failure.

Those against Gay rights, be it marriage, adoption, or scouting, are against it because they don't want to send the message to the youth that being gay is "okay." They believe that if you don't say it is wrong, then that says it is right. Well, guess what, it is. It is perfectly okay. It does not harm anyone, it does not attack anyone; it is okay. And that is what you should be teaching. But you aren't. You know why? Because you are what evil is. You are what stupid and ignorant are. That is you. Next time you insult someone, calling them an immoral moron, look at yourself in a mirror and remember: you are one. There are horrible people in existence, and you are one of them. Congratulations. You will go down in history as one of the bad guys.

Homosexuals are bad role models? Nay, your hate and intolerance to those with different life styles... That's a bad role model.

But enough about the gays. They're defended too often, they can get off their asses and defend themselves. I'm an atheist, and now I'm going to defend myself and my kind.

You need, in order to be a good role model and an effective member of society, an obligation to God, says the BSA. You cannot be an atheist and become a good citizen.

Sorry, Lance Armstrong. Sorry, Susan B. Anthony. Sorry, Thomas Edison. Sorry, Robert G. Ingersoll. Sorry, Thomas Paine. Sorry, founders of DNA. Sorry, James Randi. Sorry, Jack Nicholson. Sorry, Robert Frost. Sorry, countless other humanists who were evil, wicked enough, slimy enough to put the rights and love of men before the twisted, jealous assertions of the possibly made-up unknown. You're terrible role models. You're terrible citizens.


The BSA is an illegal organization.
Maybe, just maybe, there is a something called the Constitution.
Maybe, just maybe, there are human rights.
Silly little things our founding fathers decided to base our nation off of.
Maybe there is a first amendment, a foremost amendment.
Maybe in such a bill of rights it says something about religion.

No, I understand, the first amendment is easy to miss. You pass over it accidentally all the time when you decide not to look at the rights of our country's people.

You see, the BSA is paid for by the people. Using taxes and the like. It's a federally aided program. And as such it has to follow the rules of our country. If it was a private organization then, by all means, discriminate all you want, it's your little club. But the reality is that this is not such a private organization. It MUST obey the constitution if it is to continue to suck our money. The money of homosexuals, and the money of atheists.

It cannot make laws within its group respecting an establishment of religion. It can't. That's what I like to call "illegal."

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, the BSA is an illegal organization. It is literally a thief and a criminal. It will change or it will no longer get funding - if anyone cares enough to uphold silly little laws. If anyone cares enough to stop a thief from taking their money in broad daylight.

I recognize, that often at the local level, the little BSA groups often do NOT discriminate against the homosexual. They often DON'T refuse admission of atheists. A lot of the groups allow them with open arms and flat out hate the other groups that do not.

I'm talking about the main core of the BSA. The main site, the main guide, the main pledge, the main council, the largest part, the center, the core rules, the HQ of the whole thing.

They ban homosexuals and gays who love scouting, absolutely love it, and send them off in a combination of understandable pain and rage. And the courts, being completely ridiculous, insane, and irresponsible as they are, uphold those actions of the BSA. Why is the majority of human kind so disgusting? For the love of Lance Armstrong.

And as long as the BSA, courts, churches, other groups and individual parents continue using this kind of irresponsibility to teach this hateful intolerance to their children... Then the wrongs will never be righted. And as long as the good do nothing, the wrongs will never be righted.

"On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the scout law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

You have no honor. You do your worst. You do your duty to a myth. You attack your country. You disobey the law to uphold your own twisted bigotry. You help others only when you believe what you believe, elseif you treat them unfairly and unjustly. You keep yourself mentally weak. And you don't have to worry about being morally straight, because you have no morality to even deal with. Reality check.

Samuel Thomas Poling, Blog 118, Boy Scouts of America

          Unitarian Universalists Denounce White Supremacy, Make Leadership Changes   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: Now a different take on believers struggling to adjust to this moment in America. Earlier this week, one of the most liberal churches in the country, the Unitarian Universalists, met to re-examine how their decades-long commitment to social justice may be undermined by the lack of diversity in their membership. NPR's Tom Gjelten reports. TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: A high point in the Unitarian history of supporting civil rights came in 1965, when hundreds of Unitarian ministers from across the country joined Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala. The black people they marched with were impressed. MEL HOOVER: And we said, there's some white people who really want justice. GJELTEN: Reverend Mel Hoover, who leads a congregation in West Virginia, told that story at the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in New Orleans this week. After that Selma march, he said, thousands of African-Americans joined the church. He recalled one such
          Why Religion Is More Durable Than Commonly Thought In Modern Society   
Here is a proposition that may seem self-evident to many people: As societies become more modern, religion loses its grip. People separate their religion from their institutions and from parts of their lives. Sociologists have a name for this idea. They call it the "secularization thesis." Now, research suggests the story is more complicated. In 1822, Thomas Jefferson suggested an early version of it, predicting that Unitarianism "will, ere long, be the religion of the majority from north to south." Some data from modern countries support the thesis. Fifty years ago, about 4 of 10 children in England attended Sunday school . Today, it's only about 10 percent. In the United States, just 5 percent of the population in 1972 reported no religious affiliation. By 2016, 1 out of 4 said they were unaffiliated. Recent research, however, has suggested that religion is more durable than was previously thought. While church attendance has declined sharply in western Europe, secularization has
          Unitarian association accepting donations for two workers beaten in New Orleans attack   

UU World reports that one of two Unitarian Universalist Association IT workers from the Boston area remains hospitalized with an "acute brain injury" after he and the other worker were beaten and robbed by four men as they walked in New Orleans last Saturday evening during an association conference there.

The UUA staff assistance fund is accepting donations from people who want to help the two workers - Tim Byrne and James Curran, who was released from the hospital after treatment for a broken nose and other injuries.

Police have arrested four men for the attack.

          Oh Lord, The Religious NUT CASE replied!!!   
Oh Lord... The Religious NUT CASE replied!!!!


Thank you, and no offense taken.

I agree that the evidence is as you say within the Biblical context. But perhaps you can enlighten me from your understanding, how Yeshua of Nazareth could make a statement very similar in word and content to one taught by Confucius 500 years before He was born. Perhaps he learned it in the school he never attended? But surely you know from your scholarship that to deny a problem because of a lack of evidence is not scholarship at all in the true sense. And if you are as you say, then are you saying that Revelation is now today non-existent?

For you to withdraw from the class for these reasons seems symptomatic of something else.

Nevertheless, Blessings and good luck!


Now I am NOT replying to him, but I am forwarding his e-mail to the review council I reported him to earlier today and this is what I had to say to them:


To Whom it May Concern:

I have not and will not respond to this absolute gibberish (NAME REMOVED) sent me in response to my notice I e-mailed him and forwarded to you earlier today. I don't know where this man earned his degrees but the sheer lack of anything resembling reasonable deduction and basic critical thinking skills in favor of supernatural causes to answer for any social construct similarity is not in anyway scholarly outside of a theological discussion/classroom. He has missed and misunderstood my points entirely and has devolved this discussion to a matter of faith over scientific method. For instance How could Confucius understand human nature pre-Jesus without divine intervention? (Paraphrased):

(NAME REMOVED)'s answer/reason: Supernatural methods are the only way for information to be known or rather "God Did it". End of discussion and rational critical thinking skills are atrophied with religious rhetoric, personal ideology and indoctrination.

My response(s) (That I will not send to him in reply.):

1.) Common Sense

2.) Social Construct Tradition

3.) Migratory Bands of People who brought their religion, tenants, and social values with them

4.) Ability for Empathy

5.) Ability to Reason

6.) Coincidence

And I could go on. Very real world answers to common human dilemmas that do not require a belief in any supernatural divine influence to deduce reasons why someone could make up a law that tells others to not kill each other pre-Bible. And since the Bible is heavily plagiarized from Hammurabi's Code of Laws, it seems more that common rules established in early civilization would be repeated in future ones. But in (NAME REMOVED)'s mind, apparently God has to whisper in random men's ears for them to form a common law of decency as society evolves. I'm flabbergasted with his response frankly and that a man with letters has such severe basic deductive reasoning, logic and critical thinking blinders on his eyes. This is a very dramatic representation of a failure to understand the principle's of Occam's Razor in a theological context. Never use a supernatural explanation when a natural one will suffice. Because Occam's Razor is very simple to understand and states that in a hypothesis/hypothetical situation, "How Confucius knew things without the Christian God?" The answer will most likely be the one that makes the fewest assumptions (i.e.: supernatural intercedence) should be selected.

I really question this instructor's motivation. Is he here to teach History or proselytize? As I come from a family of Christian's too, My Great-Grandfather was an Old Regular Baptist preacher, I find the classroom is not the place to stand in the pulpit. Neither did My Great-Grandfather. He taught us all to think first and learn when to preach, when to teach and when to listen and learn. All I see in (NAME REMOVED)'s class is a man in need of a pulpit and not a teacher's online podium.

If that is the case and (NAME REMOVED) is here to spread "his brand" of gospel, then he needs to be contained within a theological or philosophical classroom and not one that deals in hard evidence and facts that can and need to have sources cited and statements (supernatural and natural) corroborated with supporting documentation.

Just because the Bible is old, and it has a history of its own, does not make it a referable historical document. Age does not always equate fact. Or else, by this logic, the older it is the more truthful/factual it is? If that is the case then The Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumeria (2150-2000 BCE), the Rigveda of Hinduism (1700-1100 BCE), and the Pentateuch/Torah (Old Testament, Hebrew) (450 BCE) just for a few examples should all negate the Bible since they all predate the modern Bible that was derived from numerous Christian sects at the council of Nicea in 325 AD. It was the "Great Bible editing session" of its time. Several lost sects of Christianity never made the final edit and ended up on the cutting room floor at that council (such as the book of Enoch). I could go on in this matter but I think I made myself clear. He can't separate his personal ideology from the classroom and that to me is unethical and diminishes the potential for an unbiased educational environment to the detriment of the students. Whatever brand of religion they subscribe to. Christians, Baptists, Mormons, Unitarian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, Hindu, Wiccan, Pagan, etc... He is insensitive to the diversity of his students who may or may not believe the same things he does and he states his personal beliefs as historical facts.

Thank you for you time and consideration in this matter.

Dana Armstrong


Let's freaking hope this bag full of cats is removed from a classroom. He has no business teaching.

          Prescriptivism and Descriptivism in the 18th Century   
There are two opposing philosophies in the history of linguistics which can be summed up as prescriptivism and descriptivism. Should linguists write how the language ought to be spoken or written, or just record how, in fact, it is spoken or written?

The science of modern linguistics has come firmly down on the descriptive side. They realize that it is not only futile but fruitless to try to prevent a language from changing or to convert all dialects to a standard. But it was not always so.

During the Renaissance (16th and 17th centuries) the “correct” spelling and pronunciation of English words became an important class distinction differentiating between those of refined upper class from the “vulgar” masses. Significantly, it was during this time that the meaning of the word vulgar changed from simply “of the people” (eg Vulgar Latin) to its modern sense of crudeness and inferiority.

During the centuries to follow, linguists would fall into either of the two extremes. Robert Lowth (1710-1787) was a strong prescriptivist; Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) more of a descriptivist. Lowth wrote several books on English grammar in order to “teach what is right”. What he decided was “right” was based largely on his study of Latin. For example, it was Lowth who gave us the rule that sentences should not end with a preposition (now what did he have to do that for?).

Priestly on the other hand was an empirical scientist and understood the importance of observation (as well as a grammarian, he helped discover oxygen and founded Unitarianism in England and later in the United States). His book on grammar, published about the same time as Lowth’s, was based not on Latin principles but on “…a collection of observations on the structure of it…” Priestly had his personal grammatical biases too, however. Like most scientists of his day he had a strong attraction to the idea of simplicity and applied this to English grammar. While keeping English grammar rules simple is a noble objective, he also applied it to the vocabulary and strove to pare English down to its English roots. He particularly disliked what he called “Gallicisms”, that is words recently adopted from French. Priestly’s philosophy on language is summed up in this quote: “I think it not only unsuitable to the genius of a free nation but in itself ill-calculated to reform and fix a language”.

Another linguist of the 18th century, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) started as a prescriptivist and then converted to a descriptivist. Johnson is most famous for his 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language, the significance of which I shall devote a later post to (sorry Lowth!). In his proposal for the dictionary to his patron Lord Chesterfield, written in 1747, Johnson describes his goal to bring rule and order to the English language. He compares himself to Caesar about to invade Britain, and expresses the hope that “…though I should not complete the conquest, I shall at least discover the coast, civilize part of the inhabitants, and make it easy for some other adventurer to proceed farther, to reduce them wholly to subjection, and settle them under laws.” He continues to explain “This, my Lord, is my idea of an English dictionary, a dictionary by which the pronunciation of our language may be fixed, and its attainment facilitated; by which its purity may be preserved, its use ascertained, and its duration lengthened.” Johnson was proposing to single handedly reform the entire English language with his dictionary which he estimated would take him three years to complete.

Johnson’s dictionary was published in 1755, 8 years after the proposal. During this time his goals had shifted. In the preface to the dictionary, Johnson uses much different analogies to describe his work. He had come to recognize that language was continuously subject to change and that the goal of the lexicographer was “to register the language” rather than to fix it. Reforming a language would be like “trying to rope in a river”. He compared the immensity of this task to a story from Greek mythology: “...to persue perfection, was, like the first inhabitants of Arcadia, to chase the sun, which, when they had reached the hill where he seemed to rest, was still beheld at the same distance from them.”

But of course Johnson’s 1755 dictionary did in fact serve to “fix” the English language by the very act of recording it. For 150 years until the publishing of the first Oxford English Dictionary, it was the standard reference in both the schools and the home for spelling, pronunciation and definition. In it he codified the spelling reforms made by grammarians during the previous two centuries. In Lecture 21 of The History of the English Language, 2nd Edition [The Great Courses, 2008], Professor Seth Lerer describes the dictionary as “an arbiter of language and a guide to life”.

I maintain there is a place for both prescriptivism and descriptivism in English. In the short term, elementary and high schools must teach students the standard rules of the language – spelling, grammar and punctuation. This is essential for clear, unambiguous communication, not only with one’s neighbor but with speakers of the language around the world. However I also believe that grammarian authorities (whoever they be) need to be more willing to accept natural changes to the language. A case in point is who and whom, discussed in my post of 11 Sept 2011.

Let me finish with a quote from page 20 of Lynne Truss’ delightful book “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”. She is writing about punctuation but I submit that her argument applies equally to spelling and grammar.

The reason it’s worth standing up for punctuation is not that it’s an arbitrary system of notation known only to an oversensitive elite who have attacks of the vapours when they see it misapplied. The reason to stand up for punctuation is that without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning.

          In Service of Covenant – April 28   
~ Rev. Eva Cameron, Bill Chene (WA) Many churches gather together around a common creed. Our Unitarian Universalist faith doesn’t have a common creed, but we gather around a sense of mutual understanding of the purpose of our community. This week we will look at covenants, our covenant, and what this all means for our […]
          In Service of Transformation An Easter Celebration   
Our community joins together to celebrate the Easter holiday. How has Unitarian Universalism helped you transform your life? What meaning can we make of the risen Christ?  To listen to this service click here.
          In Service of Free Thought   
~~ Rev. Eva Cameron, Karen Impola (WA) Free-thought is a religious principle that has a long history with both Unitarianism and Universalism. Our doors have long served as a refuge where people could come and apply their own understandings of religion to their lives. As we near our Fiftieth Anniversary we celebrate a rallying cry […]
          In Service – Serving the Cedar Valley for Fifty Years   
For the first sermon of the new church year we explored the many ways we have served and can continue to serve each other and our larger community.  We celebrated fifty years since the merger of the Unitarians and the universalists in the Cedar Valley.  To listen to the sermon click here.
          Outraged Brooklyn protesters decry Trump's travel ban at Borough Hall: 'It's more dangerous for the US to do this' - New York Daily News   

New York Daily News

Outraged Brooklyn protesters decry Trump's travel ban at Borough Hall: 'It's more dangerous for the US to do this'
New York Daily News
Scores of diverse Brooklyn demonstrators voiced their outrage Friday against the scaled-back version of President Trump's polarizing travel ban. “I think it's a big mistake,” said protester Derek Pearl, 79, of the First Unitarian Congressional Society ...

          What others are doing: Dutchess Interfiath Council, Inc.   
"My hope is that, in the new century, religious communities of all kinds will adopt the language of human rights and be enabled to work together more effectively for social justice."
 (Rev. Gail A. Burger)

Dutchess Interfaith Council, Inc.

9 Vassar St.

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Tel. 914 471-7333


Purposes: To deepen the spiritual forces of our community; to respect the uniqueness of each

congregation in its individual style of worship, culture and tradition; to focus the attention and

energies of the religious communities on urgent community problems; to lessen inter-group

tensions and promote reconciliation; to combat community deterioration; to eliminate prejudice

and discrimination; to coordinate and consolidate, where possible, existing efforts carried out by

member groups, with due respect for principles of autonomy and integrity; to provide the

framework and facilities for groups of congregations to band together for common projects or

purposes; to develop and/or operate service-oriented programs which will address unmet needs

in our community.

Year founded: 1972

Faiths represented on leadership group or Board: Christians (R.C. and Prot.) Jews (Cons., Ref. &

Orth.) Baha’i, Unitarian.

Significant population increases among minority faiths in our area during the past 30 years:

Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist.

Changing attitudes toward "other" faiths during this time: More openness to and curiosity about  the practices and theologies of other groups. Leadership participation by minorities has increased.

Program Areas. (*indicates area considered most effective.)

Dialogue/discussion groups

Education: workshops and distribution of materials:

Public events: concerts; worship or prayer

Advocacy or Information: hunger , economic justice

Inter-institutional relationships, community coalitions

Media: broadcast

Description of a recent interfaith activities: Interfaith Crop Walk for Hunger; Annual Music

Festival; Interfaith Thanksgiving Service; Projects for "Racial Unity, Beyond Tolerance,"

HIV/AIDS Ministry; Tours of Houses of Worship.


Most consistent participants or audience: Roman Catholic, Protestant Christians, Jews,

Unitarians, Baha’is.

Others occasional participants: Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists.

Would you like to reach: Our goal is to have included Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus as

members with a short time.

Participation by members of minority faiths has increased during the life of our organization.

Insights or concerns: "My hope is that, in the new century, religious communities of all kinds

will adopt the language of human rights and be enabled to work together more effectively for

social justice." (Rev. Gail A. Burger)
          What others are doing: Alliance for Spiritual Community   
"We live in one of the most religiously diverse regions of the world (LosAngeles). I think grassroots interfaith gatherings are a key to developing harmonious relationships. There’s something about praying together, eating together, getting to know each other that leads to a sense of connectedness and the realization that we ARE all part of one family--the human family."
(Kay Lindahl)

Alliance for Spiritual Community

24032 Caravel Place

Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Tel: 949 661-3087

Fax: 949 496-5535

Email: TheASC949@aol.com

Web site: planned

Organizational History, Purpose, and Leadership:

Year founded: 1992

Purpose: To proclaim and affirm the spiritual nature of all communities by providing education to the general public and to foster those ideas, values, and programs for individuals, neighborhoods and groups that express spiritual community.

Faiths represented on leadership group or Board: Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Muslum, Judaism, Native American, Vedanta.

Significant population increases among minority faiths in our area during the past 30 years: Islam, Buddhism, Baha’i, Hindu

Has participation in leadership and program by members of minority faiths increased during the life of your organization? Yes. People are more accepting of "other" faiths and now are most welcoming. We look for ways to broaden our outreach in these traditions.

Program Areas.

a) Dialogue and discussion groups

b) Education: classes; workshops; distribution of materials; Religious Diversity Faire

c) Public events: Prayer Breakfast; Parade–coordinate with local city council


Most consistent participants or audience: Christian, Baha’i, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Vedanta.

Other participants: Wicca, Hindu, Eckankar, Unitarian

Would like to reach: More Buddhist sects.

          What others are doing: Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry   
What does it mean to "pray together" and to speak with one voice in the public square? And how do we bring about dialogue with the extreme right/left wing groups in any of our faith traditions?"

(Sister Sylvia Schmidt, Exec. Director)

Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry

221 S. Nagales

Tulsa, OK 74127

Tel. 918 582-3147 / fax 918 582-3159 / www.TUMM.org

Organizational History, Purpose, and Leadership:

Purpose: To bring the interfaith and ecumenical communities together for understanding and cooperation.

Year founded: 1937-Ecumenical; 1971-Interfaith

Faiths represented on leadership group or Board: Christian traditions, Jewish, Unitarian, Muslim

Significant population increases among minority faiths in our area during the past 30 years: Muslim, Interdenominational

Changing attitudes toward "other" faiths during this time: There is a greater willingness to let each group speak for itself in designing and using sources of inspiration for the purpose of belonging to and living out the organization’s purposes. A reorganization of structure and purpose helps us be more inclusive.

Program Areas

Dialogue/discussion groups

Education: workshops; distribution of materials

Public events: conferences; worship/prayer together

Advocacy for religious freedom; peace; hunger; ecology; justice systems, jobs

Inter-institutional relationships, consultations; in civic and business arenas

Media: newsletter, other publications; TV broadcast; web site

New interfaith initiatives anticipated: An interfaith tour to Israel in May 2000 with planning and

participation from Muslim, Jewish and various Christian traditions.

Outreach: Most consistent participants: Christian traditions, Jewish, Unitarian, Muslim

Occasional participants: S. Baptists, Independent, Interdenominational, Buddhist, Hindu

Would you like to reach: Independent groups and Christian ministries.

Participation by members of minority faiths has increased in programs and leadership.
          Faith and Values column from NUUF   
A Unitarian Universalist Perspective on New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year again. A time for rituals, big hopes and the inevitable disappointments. No, I don’t mean your Super Bowl party; I'm referring to the annual rite of making New Year's resolutions. I'm going to lose that 10 pounds--again; I'm going to finally learn Italian; I'm going to take up calligraphy. Right....Maybe I need to look for inspiration elsewhere.

As a Unitarian Universalist, whose life is guided by our seven principles, I've decided to look to those beliefs for meaningful resolutions I can live by. Since my home is northern Wisconsin, the land of woods, water and wildlife, for me, the most natural place to begin is with the seventh UU principle: the belief in caring for our planet earth, the home we share with all living things. I've done some soul searching. I've asked myself some tough questions and haven't always liked the answers. Here is my big question: Am I doing all I reasonably can to tend to this beautiful earth?

Am I wasting food? Every time I order more French fries than I can eat, I contribute to greenhouse gases and climate change. Studies suggest that almost one-third of this country's oils, fats, grains and dairy products end up in the garbage. I need to think about how much food I order, purchase and, especially, consume. How much to I really need? Wouldn't those leftovers make a good lunch to reheat instead of fast food? Wait, maybe this could help with those 10 pounds.

When we moved here, I was confronted with how much garbage I create. I couldn't just put it out at the curb anymore and it would miraculously disappear into the landfill. So, now, I ask myself whether I am recycling and composting all that I reasonably can. It's amazing the products that are being manufactured from recycled materials. If I have a choice, I've started to try some of those, such as toilet paper, tissues and paper towels, made from recycled paper. When I use them, I know I'm saving a few trees. That's not much, I know, but if you join me, we could save a few acres this year. And that compost I've made will be great for next summer's flowers.

Can I combine errands so I can cut out even one trip to town each week? Am I keeping my tires properly inflated? When did I last change my oil? Can I bike or walk to some of my destinations? Hmm, this might help with those 10 pounds as well. We can't readily get away completely from automobiles and oil usage, but we can try to limit it. And at $3.00 or more a gallon for gas, saving even one gallon a week seems like a good idea.

Another principle Unitarian Universalists have is the free and responsible search for truth and meaning: each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.

So that got me thinking about how we celebrate Christmas. At least a decade ago, I started to ask myself: Did I really find truth and meaning this Christmas? Or was I just exhausted again during the holiday season? Did I have time to think about why the season is important to me? Or was I just worried that my credit cards were hurting again? Was there a way to cut back on gift giving, but still have a meaningful celebration? If you're feeling the same way, NOW, this time of year, when your family is likely feeling the same way, is the time to talk about alternatives. Daunting as this sounds, they will likely welcome the discussion. I know ours did. Here are some ideas your family might like: draw names so you only are buying for one person, or no gifts for adults. Our family decided to make a donation to the charity of each other’s choice. What a wonderful experience this has been! I’ve learned something about what my relatives hold most dear as well as about some great organizations I had never heard of before. And, now, I have a bit more time to really think about the meaning of the season.

The last Unitarian Universalist principle I've been thinking about is that we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

With that in mind, is it time for me to reconnect with a friend or relative? Is there someone I need to reconcile with? Do I need to apologize to someone? This can be very tough and I know I may be ignored or rebuffed. But at least the person will know I still care. And that might be enough to start a change in his or her heart. A phone call or a visit may be too hard. And I think email seems a bit too impersonal. So, what to do? Maybe I can find a really interesting one-of-a-kind blank card, something that will "speak" to my loved one. Then I could add a note, something like, "I just wanted to let you know I've been thinking about you and that I still care for you very much." Or "I'm sorry that I hurt you so much that we've been drawn apart. I still care for you and hope there's a way we can reconnect." This takes courage. But my loved ones and I will both be better for my having reached out.

If I can make just one of these New Year's resolutions truly my own, my small corner of the world will be a better place. Will you join me?

Elinore Sommerfeld

President, Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

          Celebrating the spiritual diversity of the Lakeland Area   

Representatives from area churches, fellowships, chaplains and religious and spiritual groups make up the Lakeland Ministerial Association and have been meeting regularly on a monthly basis in different area churches. The purpose of the Association is four-fold: to respond to social issues in our community; to celebrate and honor diversity within our community; to support one another and encourage growth within our spiritual community; and to plan and oversee ecumenical worship events for our community. Members mainly come from Christian backgrounds but also include the Unitarians and the Baha’i.
There is a profound focus and regard for the religious and spiritual lives of the people in this community. Discussion at each meeting usually centers on what we can learn about our communities, what we are doing for our communities, and what more can be done.
Two of our major projects are the Community Table and writing this regular bi-weekly “Faith and Values” column in the Lakeland Times. In addition, we actively support projects that address the issue of hunger, poverty and education and support each other’s events and community projects that are inspiring and uplifting.
The purpose of the Faith and Values column is to share with readers ideas and resources of healing, inspiration, vision and purpose and to expose and enrich the diversity of the vibrant spirituality of our larger community. The Faith and Values column is written by one of the Association’s various members every two weeks and focuses on giving each member’s unique spiritual perspective on topics of interest to the community.

The articles are focused on demonstrating the spiritual substance of the variety of faith traditions and practices and how this blesses everyone. Respect and dignity for the diversity of the churches and groups are celebrated as each group brings its gift to the larger community.

Every month, the Community Table is coordinated by the Ministerial Association and is energetically staffed by area churches. The idea behind it is a home-cooked community meal to all, with a focus to invite those who need to stretch their dollars at the end of the month.

The watchword is dignity to all, and no one should know who comes from the food pantry or is homeless and who isn't. So, we use china and real cups and silverware and everyone is encouraged to serve one another and help with clean up. It's a buffet style feast that includes 3-4 host churches' best foods: Grandma’s famous potato salad, Fred's silky chiffon cake, Al's mouthwatering squash casserole and on and on.

There are no agendas or sermons, just the community taking care of the community. There is something wholesome and real about serving others, and joining with others to do good works.

For more information, please contact one of the following: Rev. Edgar Wallace (356-6758), Pastor Maxine Gray (356-5080], Kim Korinek, CS (358-5350) or Charlotte Hockings (588-3560]

          Schedule for Articles for Lakeland Times August ’10 to February ’11   

Date due/date published

Name of Church/Faith Group



Ascension Lutheran


Faith Evangelical Free Church



Howard Young


Calvary Lutheran



First Church of Christ, Scientist, Woodruff-Minocqua


St. Mathias Episcopal Church



Eaglebrook Church


Holy Family Catholic Church





Community Presbyterian


Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church



Unitarian Universalist





United Methodist Church of the Pines


Ascension Lutheran

Send in your article directly to Ray Rivard ray@lakelandtimes.com (phone 356-5236) and copy Kim kimckorinek@yahoo.com with "FAITH and VALUES column" in the subject line.
  • The article should:
    • be 600-1000 words
    • be a type of sermonette or inspirational in nature
    • include your name and a picture or graphic (Ray REALLY wants this and can actually take a picture of you for the article at Lakeland Times' office.)
    • Headlines should be capitalized and (optional) can include: "A (Catholic/Methodist/Bahai/etc) perspective on......." at the beginning
    • Put your church and contact information at the end.
    • The date the article is due to Ray Rivard and actual publishing date are written in the chart. (Example: 5.20/5.30 means that 5.20 is the due date and 5.30 is the publishing date)

          Purpose of the Faith and Values Column in the Lakeland Times   
Churches, fellowships, chaplains and religious and spiritual groups of the Lakeland Ministerial Association are starting a regular “Faith and Values” column in the Lakeland Times. Each article in the Faith and Values column will be written by one of its various members and will focus on giving their unique spiritual perspective on topics of interest to the community.

The articles are focused on demonstrating the spiritual substance of the variety of faith traditions and practices and how this blesses everyone. Respect and dignity for the diversity of the churches and groups are celebrated as each group brings its gift to the larger community.

Why do we need this and why now? Spirituality is big! We know from various sources that the interest in religion and spirituality is growing. It has become a major presence on the internet, a burgeoning theme in bookstores and is being discussed and practiced in business and healthcare settings as well as in growing ecumenical and interfaith groups. In fact, in the bestselling book Megatrends 2010, Patricia Aburdene documents the movement that led her to conclude that “Spirituality has become the greatest quest of our time.”

The purpose of this column is to share with readers ideas and resources of healing, inspiration, vision and purpose and to expose and enrich the diversity of the vibrant spirituality of our larger community.

Under this purpose, topics for future articles under this column may include a spiritual perspective on peace and justice, a look at inviting your neighbors to a community table, understanding the Golden Rule from a variety of religious interpretations, support for our youth, a look at healing prayer, serving one another, a spiritual perspective on growing older, balancing work and family, spirituality and health care, finding spirituality in our daily lives, etc.

The column will be written by the members of the Lakeland Area Ministerial Association (LAMA) which includes a wide variety of faith communities. Although predominately Christian, this group also includes the Baha’i, Unitarian Universalists and Native American spirituality. Other groups are welcome to join.

For more information, please contact Kim Crooks Korinek.CS, facilitator for the Lakeland Ministerial Association at kim@kimckorinek.com.
          The Community Table details   
Community Table:
An Ecumenical Monthly Meal for All in the Lakeland Area

Location: St. Matthias

Day: Third Tuesday of the month

Time: Juice and coffee
The meal is served. The meal should be finished by

Workers: Made up of teams from area churches
Teams are
Ascension and Calvary Lutheran Churches
Responsible for March, July, and November 20

St. Matthias and Holy Family
Responsible for February, April, June, August, October, December

United Methodist Church of the Pines, Christian Scientists, Unitarians and Baha’i
Responsible for January, May, September

The Plan: Prepare the main entrée at home, and bring it to St. Matthias at 3:30 to be cooked/warmed. Note that St. Matthias has two stoves and three microwaves. Some people will bring the meat dish; other workers will be assigned to bring side dishes and desserts. (We want to avoid cakes or anything else that is messy.) Team members can contact each other a month in advance to determine who will bring or cook what item. The churches for each month will split the cost of the meat portion of the meal. The juices, coffee, cream, milk and side dishes should be donated and brought in by those responsible for putting on the meal that particular month.
Start the coffee and prepare juice. Set the tables and make sure juice and coffee will be ready to serve at 4:30. All food should be ready to serve at 5:00 sharp! All workers are encouraged to mix with those who come to the meal and eat with them. We want to get folks to know each other and get rid of the “us/them” kind of thinking. This is a great opportunity for folks in our area from different economic, social, cultural and religious backgrounds to get to know one another.

Contact: Lee Ann Niebuhr 715-356-6384 ext 6