Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Universal Health Care Theatre

October 31, 2009

I’ve updated DiscoverUU.com. It was long past time to take down the UU Presidential Election section.

Unfortunately, there are many things that have been happening which have fallen by the wayside as I pursue great personal growth in an MFA of Direction of Stage and Screen at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I would love more help with the site for anyone with a desire to help color or steer this useful page.

For a sample of my theatrical work, here is a topical theatrical piece I wrote and starred in entitled, Philip Glass Needs Universal Heath Care.

 

UU Affirmation

Please modify and use this in every way imaginable. You more than have my permission.

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the responsibilities of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

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Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best minister blog posts and sermon podcasts.

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Barack Obama introduced by UU Presidential Candidate: Rev. Peter Morales

September 18, 2008

UU Presidential Candidate Peter gave the opening invocation at a campaign stop for Barack Obama earlier this week in Golden, CO.

This is a great event and a good reminder for us that the future UU President will be more than a voice within our tiny community, but perhaps a powerful voice on the national stage.

As a UU, I am very proud that this happened. I fully expect us to make it happen again whomever our new leader is.

To visit Morales’ web page, please go to DiscoverUU.com or click here.

To visit Hallman’s web page, please go to DiscoverUU.com or click here.

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the responsibilities of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

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Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best minister blog posts and sermon podcasts.

Quick mention of my other blog: Nebraskan For Obama

August 26, 2008

With the Democratic Convention, I feel I should mention that I started another personal blog to chronicle my experiences volunteering for the Obama campaign in the red state of Nebraska. Nebraska is interesting in that it is NOT a winner take all state (just us and Maine), so different district’s electors may vote differently…. more after the link.

Nebraskan For Obama

http://nebraskanforobama.wordpress.com/

Keith Olbermann’s (former) Religion: Unitarian Universalism

July 16, 2008

Easy to have missed this sleeper during all the General Assembly hubbub…

Keith Olbermann discussed his UU roots…

From UU World:

MSNBC “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann mentioned his Unitarian upbringing in an interview with actors Jason Bateman and David Cross. When Cross jokes that he and Bateman are getting married in a Unitarian church in California, Olbermann responds: “Oh, good! I was raised in that faith. “

It doesn’t sound like Keith’s been to a Unitarian Universalist church in a while, though as he continues on to SLAM our churches for our lack of attention to the nurturing/healing power of community…  something I blogged about here.

Olbermann’s quote continues: “…there’s just a lot of political talk, there’s no actual religion involved there. Okay, that’s going to get me in trouble with my ancestors.

Mentions like this from Olbermann – even in an unflattering light- seem to be growing more and more obscure. Rather than being the ‘political church’ or the ‘believe anything you want’ church (we are neither), we need to focus our message into an affirming statement of strength.

All UUs agree on the necessity of the personal journey toward understanding truth, love, and compassion. We choose to describe this belief, however in the negative: a lack of creeds.

See the below UU Affirmation. I think UUs are more accurately defined as the ‘church of personal growth’. Or the ‘religion of choice’. All that’s missing is our ability to embrace the language and embody the spirit more fully.

Considering his feelings on the church he attended, we can forgive Olbermann for straying. The latest UUWorld Magazine discusses the shocking percentage of UU’s that are not members of any church.

A quick look at the numbers reported through UUWorld:

Two previous national surveys, in 1990 and 2001, reported the number of self-identified Unitarians at three times the official UUA count at the time. In 2001, ARIS estimated 629,000 Unitarian Universalists.

and

The UUA’s 1,018 congregations in the United States counted just over 158,000 members in 2006.

Fortunately, the current foremost topic debated by the UUA Presidential Candidates is growth. Take part in your views on how to grow our powerful and important (but tiny) religion of UUism here.

Find out more about Unitarian Universalism and its Seven Principles here.

Hat tip to UUWorld for the video of Mr. Olbermann:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/25357209#25357209

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the responsibilities of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

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Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best minister blog posts and sermon podcasts.

Introducing new UU blog forum: “UUA Presidential Debate 2009”

July 8, 2008

I’m proud to introduce a new UU blog featured on DiscoverUU.com:

UUA Presidential Debate 2009: A Fact Driven Forum to Compare the UUA Presidential Candidates.

The blog has been created by Martin Voelker who happens to also run the blog: jUUggernaut, but is attempting to create a non-biased discussion forum for UU’s to discuss their UUA Presidential Candidates.  With all the general political engergy in the air this year, I think it might just be a great thing for UU’s to pay attention to the election of a major leader for our democratic religion at a strong grass-roots level.

From what I’ve seen, both are excellent candidates. However, both offer some VERY different (but not necessarily contradictory) views on the approach to strengthening UUism in both quantity and quality.

Visit DiscoverUU.com’s UUA Presidential section for the UUA Debate forum along with links to the presidential candidates’ blogs and campaign web sites. Let’s get some good discussions going in the comments section.

FYI: I have yet to endorse either candidate and look forward to undergoing this exploration with all of you. For some early reactions to their address at the UUA General Assembly, click here.

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the challenge of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

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Visit DiscoverUU.com for the best UU minister blog posts, sermon podcasts, and UU News.

DiscoverUU Exclusive: The UUA Presidential Candidates

July 1, 2008

The UUA has yet to post the UUA Presidential Candidates’ Address, but you can watch it here!

http://s2.netro.ca/uuasscod/4059.wmv

Hat Tip: juuggernaut, video provided by UUA’s coverage (We’re grateful, but eager for the link. What’s the hold up!)

** UPDATE **

The UUA has provided a link with cleaner sound.

http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/112314.shtml

**

You can watch other UUA events, including an amazing WARE address by environmentalist Van Jones here.

I’ll post my thoughts as soon as I have them!

**UPDATE**

Technical issues with the recording are frustrating, but don’t ruin it completely. The audio could be cleaned up by anyone with basic knowledge of post audio…

Growth Strategy: Hallman’s growth strategies seem much less inspiring, (but much more specific) than Morales, and yet seem to be grounded in the specificity provided by real experience.

I get the feeling that Hallman’s strategies are likely the source of her own congregation’s stunning success. Hallman’s primary focus is on the nursury and attention to youth in the first year after graduating high school.

Morales growth strategy is summed up by him as “repelling fewer visitors.”

(On a personal note, I’m aware of a few instances in which young couples did NOT go back to churches they enjoyed because of the experiences of their children. One such congregation LOST their child from the area and he wandered into the service! It matter’s people!)

Hallman’s (long and vague) Elevator Speech:

“We are a church that was founded at least in America along with the freedoms of our government- we believe that no pope should tell us what we believe and no rabbi or minister or priest should stand between us and our relationship with God. It’s un-mediated. It’s a free church now. Their definitions of what makes it free have expanded dramatically since those early years, but those founders of the democracy of our country and also of our free faith were able to put in place a structure that could contain much more than they could even imagine”

Morales’ Elevator Speech:

“I believe- and actually if you look at the history of religion it’s true- that religion is much less about what we think than about what we love. And we are a group of people who love life, who believes in compassion for one another, who believes in human dignity, and who believes in peace and compassion. And if you believe that, then we have the same religion.

**THOUGHTS**

Hallman’s elevator speech SUCKS!

Morales and my views on UUism are much more closely related. HERE, I put forth the idea that UUism should consider itself an ‘umbrella religion’, without separating itself from liberal Christians, etc. Meaning, people of any liberal faith should consider themselves UU, whether they ALSO identify as Christian, Jewish, Pagan, etc.

29 minutes in:

Morales is HILARIOUS. “I really don’t believe, by the way, that there are significant differences among any of us on our goals. I don’t think there are powerful factions within our movement that want to shrink the movement and become irrelevant!” [laughter]

34 minutes in:

Now Hallman is HILARIOUS.

When asked about her experiences understanding another culture, Hallman says “I think one of the primary experiences of experiencing another culture is marriage!” [laughter]

Morales comes back by speaking Spanish at the top of his response and saying that he’s the one entering another culture.

40 minutes in:

Morales gets in a slight zing at Rev. Sinkford’s controversial focus on UU congregations at the expense of independent affiliates, but has a good answer when he moves the blame to the UUA Board and discusses the need to continue to fuel these groups in some way instead of just cutting them off.

I’ll do an additional post just covering each candidate’s closing remarks. In summary of the above, we’ve got two pretty great candidates. If the energy is there, I feel they can point UUs in the right direction.

Feel free to comment below.

See comments from those who attended GA here.

A Crude Awakening- Peak Oil

June 30, 2008

I just watched the documentary A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash.

And WOW. See it. Period.

I know UU’s tend to be in the middle and upper levels of income (though I’m certainly not in that crowd!) So, consider yourself warned!

Stock market prices assume a cheap and ready supply of oil for each company. The film makes the compelling case that we’ve already reached peak oil– the point at which “the maximum rate of global petroleum production is reached, after which the rate of production enters its terminal decline.”

Essentially the logic presented is that the gold standard on which our economy was built, was replaced with oil dollars. When it becomes more expensive to create, ship, and package products, old business models will no longer work. We’re literally burning the currency by which our economy is based.

If your retirement depends on the long term performance of the stock market- and therefore a never ending supply of cheap fuel, I’d consider an investment strategy more in line with UU values.  You don’t want your personal future dependent upon the success of those same practices you rail against on the weekend: war, imperialism, pollution, unchecked consumption, etc.

Many of you may know that I ride my bicycle to work. You may also be aware of my perpetual poverty, though many apsects of my life have been charmed.

Anybody get to watch the UUA Pres candidates speak?

June 28, 2008

I had a conflict arrise and was unable.

Thoughts?

TODAY LIVE! Watch the UUA Presidential Candidates speak at UUA

June 27, 2008

Today. Saturday, at 6:45 – 8:00 p.m. EST  (3:45-5:00 p.m.  PST) the  UUA Presidential Candidates’ will address the UUA in a forum with Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman and Rev. Peter Morales.

     Hallman & Morales

Click HERE for  Live Video on Windows Media Player (High Bandwidth) (Low Bandwidth)

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the challenge of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

————————————————————————————————–

Obama dubs young evangelicals: The Joshua Generation

June 23, 2008

CBN.com and The Brody File are reporting :

The Brody File has learned that in the next two weeks Barack Obama’s campaign will unveil a major new program to attract younger Evangelicals and Catholics to their campaign.

It’s called the “Joshua Generation Project.” The name is based on the biblical story of how Joshua’s generation led the Israelites into the Promised Land.

A source close to the Obama campaign tells The Brody File the following:

“The Joshua Generation project will be the Obama campaign’s outreach to young people of faith. There’s unprecedented energy and excitement for Obama among young evangelicals and Catholics. The Joshua Generation project will tap into that excitement and provide young people of faith opportunities to stand up for their values and move the campaign forward.”

The official rollout won’t be for another two weeks or so, but The Brody File has been told the activities will include house parties, blogging, concerts and more.

You can see the logo on this page above.

Obama spoke about the “Joshua Generation” in a speech he gave in Selma, Alabama in March of 2007. Read part of that speech below. It will give you an good idea of where the Obama campaign is heading with this effort:

Obama: “I’m here because somebody marched. I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants. I thank the Moses generation; but we’ve got to remember, now, that Joshua still had a job to do. As great as Moses was, despite all that he did, leading a people out of bondage, he didn’t cross over the river to see the Promised Land. God told him your job is done. You’ll see it. You’ll be at the mountain top and you can see what I’ve promised. What I’ve promised to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. You will see that I’ve fulfilled that promise but you won’t go there. We’re going to leave it to the Joshua generation to make sure it happens. There are still battles that need to be fought; some rivers that need to be crossed. Like Moses, the task was passed on to those who might not have been as deserving, might not have been as courageous, find themselves in front of the risks that their parents and grandparents and great grandparents had taken. That doesn’t mean that they don’t still have a burden to shoulder, that they don’t have some responsibilities. The previous generation, the Moses generation, pointed the way. They took us 90% of the way there. We still got that 10% in order to cross over to the other side. So the question, I guess, that I have today is what’s called of us in this Joshua generation? What do we do in order to fulfill that legacy; to fulfill the obligations and the debt that we owe to those who allowed us to be here today?”

I am in favor of a movement in liberal spirituality, the existence of which many would choose if they only knew it existed. I believe Obama can lead such a movement.

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the challenge of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

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Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best minister blog posts and sermon podcasts.