Category Archives: Unitarian

Humanist Jews stand by Muslim victims of hate crime

The arson-attacked houseIn Sarasota County, Florida, authorities are investigating an arson that destroyed a Muslim family’s home as a hate crime.

The blaze happened on July 6. The Sejfovics, who moved from Bosnia in 2001, were out of town on holday and returned to find their home completely destroyed and spray-painted with anti-Muslim graffiti.

Several agencies, including the FBI, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are investigating the fire.

Members of the Unitarian-Universalist Church – the church that sponsored the family in 2001 – are standing by the family and vetting correspondence and phone calls. Others who have offfered theire suppport are a local rabbi and a Humanist Jewish Congregation, a couple of American-Islamist Groups, as well as many, many outraged individuals. Condolences and a reward have been offered; a fund is in the process of being set up.

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Profile of Unitarian Universalists Raleigh, USA

At a Unitarian Universalist service, congregation members pick stones from a bowl and then voice joys and concerns. Yonat Shimron writes in the News and Observer about the Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship in North Raleigh USA.

 What unites them isn’t belief in God, but a desire to learn about different faiths in an accepting community of like-minded liberals. At a time when books on atheism are topping the best-seller lists, groups such as Unitarian Universalists are happy to advance the discussion…“I’ve heard those arguments that religion is bad but I disagree,” says Corina Hansquine, a member of the Peace Fellowship who describes herself as a goddess worshipper. “Religion is like a kitchen knife. It’s what you do with it.” Unitarian Universalists, while often agnostic about God, are open to the idea of spirituality.

This live-and-let-live philosophy is at odds with many of today’s belief systems. Evangelicals want to make everyone a born-again Christian. Atheists say religion is dangerous and violent and chiefly responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist plot and the battles in the Middle East.

In the moderate middle ground, few are as open-ended as the Unitarian Universalists. “

Atheists include some of the most moral and selfless people I have ever met

Rev Chris SchrinerUnitarian Minister the Rev. Chris Schriner (pictured) writes on InsideBay Area.com in response to the identification of Representative Pete Stark as a Unitarian: “I know lots of atheists. They include some of the most moral and selfless people I have ever met…I have discovered that there is much more that unites them than divides them.

What could unite theists and atheists? Values. The commitment to make the world a better place…Some theists are saints and some are scoundrels, and exactly the same is true of atheists. You can’t determine a person’s character by finding out his or her theory of reality….People don’t need to fear eternal torture in hell in order to be moral.”

Representative’s acknowledgement will end discrimination against atheists

Pete StarkThe American Humanist Association applauded Rep. Pete Stark for publicly acknowledging he does not believe in a supreme being. The declaration, it said, makes him the highest-ranking elected official – and first congressman – to proclaim to be an atheist.Stark’s spiritual inclinations were sought by the Secular Coalition for America, an association of eight atheist and humanist groups, which offered a $1,000 prize to the person who could identify the “highest level atheist, agnostic, humanist or any other kind of nontheist currently holding elected public office in the United States.”

Fred Edwords, a spokesman for the American Humanist Association, told the Los Angeles Times that he hopes Stark’s identification will end discrimination against atheists. Read articles on SFGate.com and ABC News.

The church broad enough to include atheists

Rev. Alex Richardson The News Record reports how the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro has a unique level of acceptance, uniting around such concepts as respect and a sense of community — not the things that divide them, such as belief and non belief.  The Rev. Alex Richardson (left) says that the church’s collective and individual search for truth and meaning is broad enough to include atheists.The undergirding, Richardson said of the congregation, is a sense of ethics and morality. “I think it’s critically important that people come together in groups and learn how to … care not only for themselves but for the larger world,” he said.

The point, Richardson said, is that a society too reliant on its faith is scary. “I find great power and great stupidity terrifying, “ he said. “I think good Christians are probably drawing good wisdom from what [Richard] Dawkins and [Sam] Harris have to say,” he said. “They both affirm the importance of spiritual community.”