Outgoing UU Humanist Association president John Hooper had the pleasure of awarding the 2016 Religious Humanists of the Year award to Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow at this year's UUHA Annual Meeting. The meeting was held at the UUA General Assembly, Friday, June 24, 2016. Below is the video of their address, titled "Evolutionary Eco-Humanism".
[Editor's Note: If you are interested in the topic of Effective Altruism, there is a Coursera course by that name being taught right now by the well-known philosopher Peter Singer of Princeton University! Coursera courses are free and there is an entire week devoted to the Giving Game including an opportunity to play online as part of the course.]
“Thank you. I never thought of applying the scientific method to charity. My giving will never be the same.”
I was delighted to hear this feedback from a participant in a workshop I ran for my local Unitarian Universalist Humanist group at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus in late July 2016. The workshop, called a Giving Game, aimed to help facilitate rational thinking about our positive impact on the world through applying the scientific method to charity. Read more about Applying The Scientific Method To Charity »
Oooh, fights. We either run from them, run toward them, or pretend they’re not there (haven’t we all just smiled while passing the sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving?). And many of we Unitarian Universalists have been thinking a lot about fights, since hearing the Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd’s sermon on “Fake Fights” at this year’s General Assembly.
As blogger (and fellow UU Humanist Association Board member) Adam Gonnerman noted in his great post about the sermon, some humanists have been nervous that Rev. Ladd was pointing to the ongoing humanist-theist conversation within Unitarian Universalism as one of those fake fights. Those folks are likely remembering Ladd’s mention of how we are “still fighting about who’s a humanist and who’s a theist--as though those two terms are mutually exclusive in the first place.” Read more about Fake Fights »
Last summer, there was terrible violence in South Carolina. 9 individuals, 9 black Americans, were shot dead by a deranged terrorist in their church. There was outcry. Preachers and leaders promised change - or, at least, held up the communities of concern that formed out of pain.
Now, a year later, across the country there are communities of concern that have gathered in response to pain. This time, 49 individuals, LGBT Americans, many Latino, were shot dead by a deranged terrorist in an LGBT Club. 49 murdered, 53 wounded.
Just a few days ago, here in Oakland, a young girl was shot dead after leaving a funeral.
What do we do in response to these murders? What does our movement, religious and secular, do in response?
Some people, when pain happens, need to be alone, or with one person.
When I heard the news, I craved community. I wanted to be around others, I wanted to see and contribute and be with other people trying to do something- even if initially it was only a witness. Read more about Not Just Mourners »