universal life churchWe love a lot of things about operating the Universal Life Church on your behalf, but our favorite part is running the blog and sermon sections of our website, as these allow us to launch and engage-in important, direct conversations with our ministers around the world. While the vast majority of the wonderful comments we see on these posts (and we read every single one of them!) are helpful contributions to the ongoing discussion, every now and then we see comments from people essentially arguing that we should just "keep our mouths shut".

Just recently, we published a piece that attempts to reconcile our lives with the Islamic faith, a sermon that touches on gun control policy, and a blog that tackles marriage equality. These are all incredibly important conversations to have, and we're proud that with all of you we've been able to build a platform on which these conversations can take place. We will almost certainly receive comments or emails on these posts alleging that we aren't talking about the things that we are talking about, or that we have no right to launch the conversations we are trying to launch. Some people, offended by those attempts, will even go so far (rarely) as to challenge our existence as an organization.

Religion in the World

Let us be clear: the ULC frequently posts pieces related to important topics of the day, and will continue to do so. Religion cannot exist in a vacuum, and it is crucial that we translate whatever faith or beliefs we may have into real action in the "real world". One of the core tenets of the ULC is "to do that which is right"; we do not solely interpret this tenet as a preventative message warning us away from doing things that are wrong... but also as a calling to proactively do good in the universe. Every Sunday, in more "traditional" churches around the country, ministers launch into sermons derived from the challenges faced in the world. Indeed, even the teachings of Jesus Christ frequently touched on issues that would have been relevant challenges of the day.

Our ministers are some of the most intelligent people we've ever been exposed to and we love to hear how they apply their own truths to the world around them. As a church committed to doing good in the universe and seeing a society centered around freedom and equality, we consider it our responsibility to start important conversations that would lead us closer to this ideal, as well as utilizing our platform to provide a voice for those who may not be able to speak out on their own behalf. We don't publish pieces about the Syrian refugee crisis because we have a hidden agenda to bring nefarious operators into the U.S., but because we see photos like the one of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi drowned on the beach and can't help but voice that our hearts are breaking. There is a reason the logo of the ULC is a shield - it is our duty to defend the equality of all.

Searching for Solutions

With these pieces it is not our intent to be political, but (quite necessarily) the "faith world" and the "real world" must sometimes intersect. We won't tell you which candidate you should support or which ballot measure you should vote for, because we trust you are capable of making those decisions on your own... but we will never, never stop talking about things that matter or highlighting items of concern and we will never, never stop being interested in hearing what you have to say on these things. We don't pretend that we have all of the solutions - we just hope to start a dialogue about our problems to get us closer and closer to finding what they are.

We love our ULC family, and we're so excited to see all the good we'll continue to accomplish together. Thanks for joining the conversation!


  1. George R Taylor's Avatar George R Taylor

    Keep up 5he excellent work. 8 look forward to the topics and exchanges. George Taylor.

  1. Susan's Avatar Susan

    Defending those who cannot defend themselves is God's work.

  1. Michael Chaffee's Avatar Michael Chaffee

    "Why the Universal Life Church Must Speak Up" was a nice post that provided an introspective definition for some of the ULC opinions. I've enjoyed reading some of the recent post i.e.; Reconcile with the Islamic Faith, Gun Control Policy and Marriage Equality. Although one of the core tenets of the ULC is “to do that which is right”, unfortunately still leaves the definition as to what is "right", undefined? Thus...right or wrong are absent conviction for the merits to the argument that separate them? The middle of the road is certainly safe (while standing between the double yellow lines) but, mindful change may only come from the cessation in conflict between Intellect and knowledge. As it is when the masquerade of self-authority is unveiled by humility that wisdom may be able to be seen. I would enjoy reading more posts of substantive value regarding these subjects, which might provide us with serious / healthy debate from each opposing polarization on any issue. This could help to see the dynamics for how "equality" appears under the influences of both logic and emotion. It could make for some interesting reading! Keep up the good work, and scale fair balance in the weighted worth in upholding a position for neutrality. Nothing changes without conflict!....Happy New Year and God Bless!

    1. Wisdom palm El bey's Avatar Wisdom palm El bey

      Wisdom is seen and wisdom is hard because greater is thee that ad, then that is in the world. Here is wisdom take heed.The enemy may have lie or told a white lie but the creator or the one who is to be obey dose not lie and as sent Dna Deliverance called Eli to defend the people .The True life living man and women That has true natural balance.No lie can not exist or exsceed while standing on top of the evil devil level .I command enemy to say at my feet I Declared at all times. All right reserved an without prejudice.' So be .

  1. vic smyth's Avatar vic smyth

    You certainly have an obligation to speak up. However I would like to see a little more balance with articles that are uplifting or ones that focus on spirituality. Else you sound like just a news or social services organization.

  1. hsw's Avatar hsw

    Keep doing what you do - each of us has a responsibility to contribute to these conversations - whatever our point of view, the conversations need to take place.

    1. Minister Paul's Avatar Minister Paul

      Minister Paul believes all people shouls strive to coexist peacefully

  1. Father Jim's Avatar Father Jim

    The world is more difficult today than in past years. Both parents have to work to support the family and when they come home from a long day at work ; they don't give their children the love , compassion and needed time to make these children Happy and content within their family.The children in turn seek this love and compassion from others . Then they get in trouble and the parents wonder why. Even though it may be hard after a long day at work; please take the time to show your children that you care and love them. Take an interest in what they do. Hopefully we can have a better world if everyone follows this. God bless all of you in an effort to go forward in making a difference in our world and the people in it.

    1. Minister Franklin's Avatar Minister Franklin

      Exactly, on point comment Minister Jim. At the same time I think we need to talk about the Public Policy decisions that affect the need for Parents to work 2 and sometimes 3 part time jobs each to support their Families as well.

    2. Jamie D.'s Avatar Jamie D.

      Great social commentary. We have to make sacrifices for our children (don't translate to gifts) with our time and potentially our personal gains.

      The question of success I believe is not in the monthly bank balance, but how balanced we are as a family. The tolerances learned at home around mealtimes and family time, translate directly to the outside world. The most bigoted are typically those who have not travelled. The most rude are often those who project their inner self onto others a behaviour learned in childhood. Change and tolerance starts in the home.

      1. Father Jim's Avatar Father Jim

        Well put. I agree 100 percent . May God Bless you.

    3. Sally Strange's Avatar Sally Strange

      I agree 100%. Children need guidance and love from their parents. It starts at home. Parents please make time for your children or someone else will.

    4. Wisdom palm El bey's Avatar Wisdom palm El bey

      It doesn't take two parent to raise a child or children but a community we as chosen parent are the true privilege to the child which need to be recognised. When the child step out side your front door or back door, side door, what ever may float your boat it becomes there right to play ,there right to reserve there right without prejudice and so forth. I told my children to forgive me for not asking them to come in to my world and each child as "said," Mama I forgive you and I love that I Was born! So I told my children well then you can not hold me account for your action or effect when you know my attention is at my best comprehensive knowledge. Ha ha!

  1. Minister Laura's Avatar Minister Laura

    We should speak loud and clear as the bells of freedom and love. We should speak about love, about what makes us equal and respect the differences. We should pray, and teach to pray honestly and hopefully, no matter the belief.

    Thanks to you, ULC, we have the tool to share our best deeds and our own person on the beautiful search of peace and friendship.

    1. Sally Strange's Avatar Sally Strange

      Wonderful post.

  1. Dr. Pamela Olcott's Avatar Dr. Pamela Olcott

    You've stated what we all, ULC ministers, are about most eloquently. Thank you.

  1. Michael Chaffee's Avatar Michael Chaffee

    Be safe Jack, you may become confused with a over skilled "Debater" ...As an example, I once had a associate that was dating a Spider Monkey and this poor Ape was always getting harangued by the Gorillas, go figure...LOL!

  1. hsw's Avatar hsw

    I normally hate forums where every post has to be moderated - on the other hand, it elimiinates the obvious trolls.

    1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

      I left this forum quite awhile ago when it was unmoderated due to the amount of abusive and ignorant comments. I'm all for moderation providing it allows for civil, intelligent and adult discussion of topics that may be controversial at times. Preaching and proselytizing add little to intelligent discussion.


    i will like to join your so as to spread the good new of the kingdom of GOd

  1. Yllena S.'s Avatar Yllena S.

    WAR and The SOUL - a book by Edward Tick, PhD - well worth reading - how the soul is wounded and broken by war and killing, from the soldiers' side.

  1. johnrichmanjr's Avatar johnrichmanjr

    Amen! I love being part of the conversation.

  1. Minister Peter R.'s Avatar Minister Peter R.

    From, Minister Peter R.

    I speak and give my opinion humbly as I have learn over the years reading the word of God. I know that now in days is hard to love our enemies or to even forgive them. Who ever you pray to and whom ever is your higher power because even atheists believe in something, pray that you can get the wisdom, the understanding and the power not to walk in the flesh but in the spirit, so we can learn how to understand what's going on in this world. So we can support those that they do and what they do in order for those less fortunate to have a voice. Thank you in advance ULC for been that step-in stone for many. May God bless you and everyone in the world, Good and bad so one day we could live in peace as God intended from the beginning. p.s. John 3:16

  1. Bob Bearden 216-225-4792's Avatar Bob Bearden 216-225-4792

    I feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful community, it is important that we communicate to educate and continue the message of love and peace around the world.

  1. Suki Ashala Aaker's Avatar Suki Ashala Aaker

    CALLING OF THE TRIBES! Lightworkers! Ministers!
    Emissaries of Love! Gurus! Shamans! Pastors! Reverends!
    Priests & Priestesses! Ascended Masters! Healers! Angels! All who serve in the Name of God... of Light... of Love...the Creator... Gaia and of all that is good.

    We are all religions, all beliefs, all cultures, practice all spiritual ceremonies in every house of worship imaginable... we are ONE CHURCH ONE VOICE The voice of the......
    Universal Life Church

    Let's stand in unity and be the first church to speak out about the Dangers of geoenginerring climate programs currently being used to manipulate weather to manage the effects of solar radiation, etc. by spraying toxins like aluminim, barrium and other poisonous chemicals across our skies on our children our forests, our animals, our oceans across the entire earth and all of God's creations. For more details go to geoengineering watch.org Namaste' Rev. Suki Ashala Shambhala Sanctuary ULC Paradise, Calif. 530 575-6695

    1. Wisdom Palm El Bey's Avatar Wisdom Palm El Bey

      All rights reserved and with out prejudice: Hello now you are talking right up my alley? The world as we know is about to go down and lot of people is about to die. History will repeat itself. Not to mention that lies, deception,and wickedness is at the door. I will not be quiet of this miss and I will not go along like I don't know the truth. In fact I will fight and stand on state condition as the beneficiary with the mighty power invested in me from the Most High. The fight for not just a right but also for the living man and living woman has got really real in the eyes of the beholder. I will leave with this expertise all who have a ear let them hear and all who is sheep or shepherds from different flocks or folds here is wisdom. Haven and earth shell pass but the words is ever lasting. Harnesses stubbornness , wickedness deny your self centered self and learn to become Universal one bow at all times to the most Highest king. In stead of pride have confidence pray your sins away for all goodness sake. Stay meek and humble and in unity with Universal Law and Order. Evolve, expand, and keep are vibrations from skipping a beat. Stay balanced keep your foundation stabled letting rightness over whelm in spirit and truth.To all I say be prepared. May the Most High bless all A man.

    2. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

      I am one of the millions of people who have been aware of geo-engineering for many years. Spreading vital information like the site you suggested has one significant roadblock… Cognitive Dissonance. There are many people who would discount your statements as a "conspiracy theory". This clash of beliefs applies regularly with the fervently religious as well. I hope this forum encourages all of us to openly explore our beliefs with an open mind and accept that some of them may need further introspection. Yours is a good example of something that's affecting all of us regardless of what we may choose to believe or deny.

  1. Curtis's Avatar Curtis

    All religions in world believe in God so why don't they live like he wants them to without all killing.

    1. hsw's Avatar hsw

      Actually, they don't. I hate thinking that belief in a god is the only reason people would refrain from killing each other. Many of the most gentle, peace-loving people I know are atheists and/or Buddhists.

    2. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

      But too many believe theirs is the only true God. Much of the violence, bigotry and hatred we see in the world today is the direct result of what billions of adherents believe their God has instructed. One thing nearly all religions have in common is some form of the Golden Rule.

      The Ten Commandments are the cornerstone for the conduct of Christians. You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in the single commandment known commonly as the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

      As much of the current and past violence in the world is between different religions, it’s time we’re all reminded that no one religion has a lock on the truth and most have a version of this commandment in their holy books. It is normally intended to apply to the entire human race. Unfortunately, it is too often applied by some people only to fellow believers.

      The Dalai Lama said:"Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people's suffering. On these lines every religion has more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal."

      Confucianism:"Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you"

      Analects Hinduism: This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. Mahabharata 5:1517

      Islam: "None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." Number 13 of Imam "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths."

      Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." Talmud, Shabbat 31a.

      Taoism: To those who are good to me, I am good; to those who are not good to me, I am also good. Thus all get to be good."

      Buddhism: “hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." Udana-Varga 5:18

      If all the dogma and divisive details of religions were discarded and left with this single tenet, the world would only have to deal with the psycho/sociopaths.

      1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

        Regarding the 10 Commandments… The commonly quoted version is from Exodus 20. The real commandments that were written on stone tablets for/by Moses are in Exodus 34. This is confirmed in verse 28. It's curious that the Chapter 20 version is virtually the only ones quoted, when the Chapter 34 commandments are verified as being the actual 10 Commandments. Any explanations for this?

  1. Michael Chaffee's Avatar Michael Chaffee

    THOUGHT OF THE DAY: I believe that the value of one's wisdom may be measured in the thread count of their vestments;

    "Cuz old men know of life bestowed twas precious time divine, the clock’s tick tock that chimed its lot, kept threads of twill in line, yet textile weaves at end concede, thy quilt is God’s design…"

    Michael Chaffee.com/Reflection-in-a-babys-eyes

    1. Lipps's Avatar Lipps

      I believe that with our words, thoughts, and deeds we are weaving our fabric in heaven. The fabric used for our garment, so be careful what you weave into your personal fabric as you will have to wear it eternally! God is love and His work is of the grandest design so why not choose love to weave into your garment for all to see?

  1. Thomas Biddinger's Avatar Thomas Biddinger

    We as ministers must teach others to accept people for who they are and not for who we desire them to be. We must all try to live by the philosophy that Everyone is a unique and un-repeatable gift from god to all who cross their path, everyone are a most Price less and treasured gift from god. Cardinal Abbott Thomas Biddinger.

    1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

      All too often the issue isn't accepting the individual, but rather the God they choose to worship. Accepting that there is only one God, but many paths to him/her/it is the key to true acceptance and global peace. Proselytizing and preaching damnation for "non-believers" ("not who we desire them to be") flies in the face of acceptance for all of humanity. We're all God's creation…. no exceptions.

      1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

        And then there's the Goddess. Don't forget about Her. It takes two to tango. So how could God be without her. They represent opposite polarities, like yin and yang. Some of us think that She created us too. And the Golden Rule is a Wiccan belief too. Ofcourse, I identify with most other religions too, and they all believe in the Golden Rule. It is'nt the messenger but the message that counts. And besides that, doesn't God mean Good Orderly Direction?

  1. Father Jim's Avatar Father Jim

    Very well said. Although it is very hard to do at times ; that is what we all should strive for.God bless us all in our endeavors to try and follow this path.Amen.

  1. Allan's Avatar Allan

    As a Minister here a Case manager for people with Mental health issues, as well as a Social Worker, I am always advocating for someone. I must be good at it because I sometimes tick people off. I am so used to this it does not bother me(a lot). I do try to give and to do what My higher power has instructed me to do although it is sometimes an uphill battle. But I do the best I can with what I have. This reminds me of an old quote i hear when in the Military: "We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have been doing so much for so long that we now feel qualified to everything with nothing". I do not remember where this came from but I always remembered it. A fitting quote for what we do. God Bless all.

  1. Allan's Avatar Allan

    Apparently I left out a piece of this quote: insert from "so much with so little for so long" and that will complete it. Thanks so much.

  1. Michael Chaffee's Avatar Michael Chaffee

    As ministers or anyone for that matter, there is an inherent obligation from the gift of life, which falls upon each of us as individuals to let G_d's "will" be done... through us, not our own "will", Job 38-41.

    We weave the words that script the verses and chapters of our personal life's story, and it is from these acts and scenes in which we may choose to apply meaning for a tighter stitch, which may bind the threads and hold what's true as you!.

    The greater weight is achieved from a personalized garment, when and if we are able to thread a caricature pattern upon the face of such a garment for one's soulful profile.

    The thread count shall be measured as the weighted worth of a soul, of which no man can scale, only G_d alone!

    Our personal statements throughout a lifetime will be the testimonial that separates us or binds us as being "truthful" in that of representing G_d's hope for mankind.

    Love is the most precious ore mined from the heart of man, and our time on earth is purposefully staged so that we may accumulate this cosmic currency or do otherwise with our time allotted here!

    It shall be from our cosmic savings account that our soul becomes bankrupt or wealthy? For it shall be our loving example while on earth from which we will be afforded worthiness in sharing in G-d's holy kingdom come!

    The opportunity is equally available to us all, and the freedom of choice is ours to do with as we see fit. As G_d knew us before we knew ourselves. This was long before we became fallible humans beings attempting to extrapolate justifications that become anchored to the infancy of our convictions.

    G_d knew the exact count of hairs upon one's heads while still in the womb, as is explained in; Luke 12:7 - Matthew 10:30

    Thus...the onus is to recognize and honor the obligation in each of our blessings while mining the ore from the hearts of mankind, one gram at a time. For this is the only truly worthy labor for "Field Hands" such as us!

    Let's see if we can make G_D smile today by busting a blister while mining the purest ore from one another!


  1. Marcel French's Avatar Marcel French

    With all due respect there are far too many angles to debate on. All I can do is share what I know to be true God is a masculine/famine duality that has many forms and various personalities and names. They are everywhere and everything and wish for all humanity to live and love equally and to enjoy the experience that is physical existence. With out all the various walls of diversity we can all live better lives as a united species.

  1. Marcel French's Avatar Marcel French

    I am always at odds with dogma the biggest and most prominent is the idea that any of the man made religions are the one true religion. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha all had a message of love, faith, knowledge and peace for the human race world wide. I don't need approval from any extremist regardless of their religious preference.

    1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

      Well said Marcel. I left this forum some time ago due to the frequent rantings of fundamentalists and their damnation of anyone not adhering to their specific beliefs. One huge stumbling block for them seems to be their refusal to accept that all holy books, including the bible, were all written by fallible men, not their god. As most of the fundamentalists on this site claim to be Christians, their fervent insistence that the Bible is the only accurate and true holy book causes much of the divisiveness we see in the world today. Addressing this intolerance and encouraging rational discussion is an important aspect of our forums. Perhaps increased moderation has eliminated many of the worst offenders, allowing for intelligent discussion. The comments on this article seems to confirm this.

    2. Minister Paul's Avatar Minister Paul

      No you don't and I agree. The thing is it's a problem for many Christians to accept that there are other good people of many religions. I have met these people and puzzled over the stigma of being of a certain faith and not being accepted by others. We are taught by most that there is only one true faith . The world would be a much better place if we could all love those that are just as loving toward us and we reciprocate. I have my own religious beliefs but it still try to respect others. Don't loose respect and if you believe in others never let anyone stand against you. I don't have all the answers but have seen many things and I know there is a purpose for all that's good. Be strong. And be ever vigilant.

  1. Michael Chaffee's Avatar Michael Chaffee

    Well said my brother...although is there such a condition as over thinking when it comes to understanding one's self?

    As well,...in the abidance to the message of love, faith, knowledge and peace doesn't one also acknowledge some form of higher authority that extends well beyond the limitations of mere "self" approval?

    Granted, many of us would be well advise to engage "thyself" in moderation, as that substantive personality most certainly can be the most illusive culprit during the span of one lifetime!

    Yet...to understand others, one must understand one's self and for some (not all) that journey, that unveiling, that discovery and that ultimate humility, is where the deepest devotion resides for the messages of love, faith, knowledge and peace.

    The metaphorical mirror, which may reflect greater clarity from one's "heart of the soul" must make introduction to our earthly obligations for empathetic, compassionate and emotional collaboration with life's cohorts, thus capturing a glimpse of that culprit!

    It is only by dehumidifying the fog of our ambitions that greater clarity may allow the image of man to reflect the image's likeness from it's origin.

    Genesis 1:27: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

    Coming to terms with ego (opinion) it seems, should require gaining greater insight and appreciation for why we seek approval or repel from the theological precepts of religious order.

    For after all, whether it's a religion or atheism, it's a belief! To believe in something, nothing or just ones' self is what it is...and it is a belief, a "personal" choice to seek or not seek, evaluate or disregard, fathom and contemplate or reside in one's own "self" predicated convictions and maintain order in that form of thinking.

    Or...to do otherwise? The first step to finding the truest religion (another opinion) is to take responsibility for the authentication of self. To work on recognizing how we may be influenced by the Seven Capital Sins that formulate the seductions to our motivations. Those are the onion skin layers of obscurity, those can be the excuses that we afford ourselves and fool ourselves with in choosing to believe that our image in the mirror is unblemished.

    In the struggle of our soulful adolescences, it is wise to beware of these seven indigestible impurities, as the consumption of any only results in diminishing our completions.

    So my brother...I do take heed to your words wisely, as my "path" is personal and I'm appreciative to share this existence with all the other Olympians!

    We've all swam the torrent currents to become endowed with the gift of life, and in the millions who struggled along side seeking our chance during that swim, we here now,...have this life in common!

    A suggestion for living a better example, I believe starts with recognizing the savant that is in each one of our Olympian Teammates, and bestowing dignity to the scientist that exist in each and everyone of us!

    Thank you for the view...May you have a most blessed day!

    1. Marcel French's Avatar Marcel French

      A blessed day it is. Every day is blessed especially when I discover a new brother or sister. Your right understanding others does take compassion and knowing ones own self. But even compassion can over done. I merely suggest that reason and equality be more then positive words. After all the old profits did not start religions they only sought to relay the same message in a simple to understand way that any and all could be enlightened and evolve together as one.

      And a blessed day to you.

  1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

    I've been using my ordination to submit articles to our local newspaper in the "Pastor's Point" column and have had more than a dozen published. Here's a way any of us can reach out to our respective communities with a voice of reason and unity. This one was titled "Faith and Belief".

    Faith is defined as a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true. Faith and belief are the foundation of the three Abrahamic religions; Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and are seen by most as positive attributes. But when too firmly held, our beliefs can cross a line and become something negative and destructive.

    The word "bigot" refers to a person whose state of mind includes an obstinate, irrational, or unfair intolerance of ideas, opinions, ethnicities, or beliefs that differ from their own, and intolerance of the people who hold them.

    Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842[2] – circa 1914[1]) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist. Here are a few of his quotes on this topic...

    Faith....Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel

    Bigot....One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain

    Koran.... A book which Muslims foolishly believe to have been written by divine inspiration, but which Christians know to be a wicked imposture, contradictory to the Holy Scriptures

    Scriptures.... The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based

    There are tens of thousands of Christian denominations and sects. Many Christians couldn’t accurately describe what sets their chosen denomination apart from the others, yet would vigorously defend theirs as the “true church”. This is particularly true for fundamentalists whose extreme views do not represent their religion whether they are Christians, Muslims or Jews. Much of today’s news is about “Muslim extremists”, but they don’t represent Islam anymore than the Westboro Baptist Church or abortion clinic bombers represent Christianity.

    The phrase “Peace on Earth, (Good Will to Men)” is a common phrase on Christmas cards, banners and store windows this time of year. Perhaps instead of simply wishing and praying for it, we should search our hearts and ask if our faith has crossed the line to include any traces of bigotry, one of the principal stumbling blocks to World Peace. As a gift to ourselves, by investing a bit of time exploring the beliefs of others we may find they are not as contrary to ours as we’ve allowed ourselves to believe. We’re all brothers and sisters in the human family.

    Brother John is ordained through the Universal Life Church

    1. Marcel French's Avatar Marcel French

      Exactly. I knew joining the ULC would be a good step. Duality is everything and everywhere sadly the way is blocked for some and no one can remove another's blockade but together we can all rip those walls down faster. Blind faith and dogma are not divinely inspired. I have long since come to terms with this knowledge. The big question is how will it change? And how many will do their part to make it all better? It will take global effort.

    2. Michael Chaffee's Avatar Michael Chaffee

      Nice piece Brother John, and a most helpful glossary of definitions that helps to frame-in your article's perspectives,“Faith and Belief”.

      "Faith" as in Judeo / Christian examples is explained here in Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

      And "Belief" is explained here in Job 2:3 "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause."

      If "Faith and Belief" are the foundations to Abrahamic religions, then the parallels or commonalities in a given congregation's moral conduct should be recognized as the cornerstone in building the temple, in which any faith based theology serves as example.

      From the Christian perspective, the seventh highest order of the nine-fold celestial hierarchy describes virtues as the value system in the obligatorily adherence of principles of conduct for right or wrong, especially those who hold leadership roles in such a segment of society.

      Thus, indignation for the "Faith and Belief" of what is deemed "false and profane writings" would choose to take exception under the guise of higher authority, and historically this is where the parallels become divided...hum?

      Having lived in the Mideast for almost five years, in several different countries, I had a chance to flavor a variety of different segments of Islamic society.

      What was gained from my observational awareness was that building better relationships and working toward the harmony of "World Peace" wouldn't be embraced by beating others with the condemnation of an olive branch.

      Of course Judaism, Christianity and Islamic faiths all have many more commonalities that parallel one another than those that are appreciatively promoted and therein "lies" the crux of the matter.

      It is the defending of one over another that becomes offensive, when believers are being forced to subjugate their adherence to the dogma and doctrine of a conflicting faith and beliefs.

      The contradictions to the Holy Scriptures that based upon arguments that are predicated on what can only be appreciated as assumptions by one who believes otherwise, well is very much like "one who speaks without knowledge".

      For it is from one's intellect that knowledge may be obtained but, knowledge in it's self doesn't authenticate authority nor guarantee wisdom.

      As wisdom is only gained in the acknowledgements to a higher authority that our capacity and or abilities to comprehend are at best infantile, not to be confused with infidels..LOL!

      Bigotry is merely an exhibition of intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself and it is too often held in contempt in that of exemplifying in it's self, duplicity!

      Those calling another a bigot are basically telling them that they don't have the right to believe how they want to believe.

      What is the difference between a religious zealot condemning what they view as immorality on the basis of there practiced beliefs verses a devout Atheist ridiculing and attempting to invalidate that individual's right to believe as them see fit?

      Oh yes...and often using out of context verse and chapter of scripture to denounce that they can't substantiate such a belief from their very own teachings.

      The abstention of participating in an "equally" obligatory recognition of others to have the right to exercise their free choices, only nullifies any validity to a hypocrite's right to bear any claim to the demand for equality!

      Holding others hostage to the goals in one's own claims to a right to equality is ludicrous when our condemnation assumes authority over another individual's choices, it must work both ways in order to be able to lay claim to truly affording equality.

      It would seem to be an abomination to the foundational pillars of sound argument and reason to use the word "bigot" in order to get a leg up on such an authoritative soap box, yet we see this happening everyday and in every way, shape and form.

      One religion calling another infidels while inflicting carnage and mayhem. Religious zealots condemning immorality while sleeping with many members of their congregation. Presidential podiums that are professing to provide leadership, while attempting to redefine the word "is" under the cross examinations and exposure of infidelities?

      The most important thing we do in living, will be how we answer one important question.

      Who are you!

      It will be from the examples in our lives (opinion) that we will become known. It will be from the ocular assistance that our individual lenses offer as assistance to G_D's purpose to shine through us, unobstructed!

      What is going to be the story that we read from the pages of a lifetime?

      Did we really learn to love?

      If this is true, then take comfort in knowing that our judgements of others had taken on G_d's authority and with that comes great responsibility!

      For in the weight of such judgements, it is written that we too shall be judged; Matthew 7:1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged".

      As well, John 8:7 " When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

      The inequality that screams for recognition from the many hypocritical exhibits from both sides of any argument leave us with no excuse.

      Romans 2:1 "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things."

      Thus the struggle is to come to terms with who we are!...In the 28,000 days (American lifespan average) that we are gifted before we are pushing up dirt, we get many days to contemplate life's meaning.

      What we do with these days and hours and how we "choose" to employ reason may all rest on our shoulders, if judgement is in fact in store for us ( I just put that in for the agnostics and atheists).

      In any case and regardless on the differences, my point to this very verbose dissertation is that by working on ourselves, it may very well provide us with the greatest possible influence on the world.

      By exemplifying a good nature and a truly loving positive attitude, we take charge of the only real power that we possess over another, the power of positive or negative influence!

      A curiosity is often aroused by many folks when a stranger offers insight for the light that is being seen at the end of a tunnel. It can be presented something hopeful or it can be just someone with a flash light looking for a way out...LOL!

      Thus, I'm hopeful that we may learn to accept others equally, even those who choose to "foolishly believe" in conflict with our own beliefs.

      I'm hopeful that we may do this without fear of corruption for what we may hold as true.

      In closing, I humbly hope and pray that G_D will allow me to polish my lenses so that I can try to better shine his love brightly in the darkness and find my way back home....

      Have a most blessed day, my brother!


      1. Minister Paul's Avatar Minister Paul

        You should pursue a career in teaching.

    3. Marcel French's Avatar Marcel French

      All the vocabulary and definitions in all existence does nothing but make blunt truth easy to distort. Faith backed by knowledge is never blind the knowledge is gained by meditation and contemplation on the information learned.

  1. Wilgert Guillory's Avatar Wilgert Guillory

    Praying for peace and comfort for brothers and sisters across the globe.

  1. James Pace's Avatar James Pace

    Something that really bothers me is the vitriolic responses given here on our very own site....if you aren't going to be truly supportive of all faiths and views then this probably isn't the site for you....

    1. Minister Paul's Avatar Minister Paul

      Really? I wonder who made you judge of all. Everyone has the right to express their beliefs. It would be nice if we all respect each other's beliefs but that won't happen I'm sorry to say. Everyone on this site has the right to express their thoughts. Even you.

      1. James Pace's Avatar James Pace

        I'm not judging anyone....it's just an observation.

    2. Marcel French's Avatar Marcel French

      No you just need to understand I am a pagan and do embrace all religions for what they are. What I am most against is using religion to control and spread fear, ignorance that then becomes extremist influence over blind sheep. Trusting in politics and religion is what has caused more innocent blood to be spilled then Nazi death camps. All of humans world wide should be able to live in peace and possess true knowledge, freedom and equality.

    3. hsw's Avatar hsw

      Gotta love it when you just ask people to be supportive and you get called judgmental. Sometimes the responses make the point better than the original post.

      1. James Pace's Avatar James Pace

        Thank you very much....exactly what I was talking about...

      2. Minister Paul's Avatar Minister Paul

        Well you do have a right to your opinion.

        1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

          Agreed Minister Paul…. everyone can have their own opinions and beliefs, but not when they state them as if they're indisputable facts. Believing something that isn't true, no matter how comforting it may be, is an affront to the human intellect and cripples enlightenment and human progress.

  1. Steven Lee Kidder's Avatar Steven Lee Kidder

    Instead of “ God bless America “ how about “ God bless Humanity “ as it is all of humanity, that at one time or another sorely needs that blessing and change can happen in a society of love and caring for all.

  1. Jack Gerber's Avatar Jack Gerber

    This was an extremely moving post and I heartily commend ULC for the important forum that you provide.

  1. oldblindjohn's Avatar oldblindjohn

    I notice you don't seem to address islam, which is at odds with most of your tenets.

  1. Michael Chaffee's Avatar Michael Chaffee

    Ah yes Islam....There are quiet a few sects in Islam, and all would be a subject of great debate. As for which has greater or lesser relevance in representing that theology, would be similar to opening debate among Catholics, Protestants, Baptist, LDS, JW, etc...

    Thus...it is left to the individual to simply choose to believe, as one's individual conscience dictates, right?

    Thus,...it is deferred to interpretation, in that of allowing the principle or belief to become influenced by that very illusive culprit,..."Thy Self"!

    Of course any moral equivalent in representing what is "right or wrong" seems to succumb to the assumed hierarchy of a given organization, which represents the main principles that are ascribed to by the majority of a practicing philosophy, whether it is Islam, Judaism, Christianity, etc...

    At times,...a self predicated authority that basks in the lime light of ego driven glamour can unfortunately succumb to the influences of "higher learning" conclusions, and these may confuse knowledge with wisdom.

    This is very much like our current political arena, where many choose to surrender their own logic to the idea that accomplished academicians will just somehow know better.

    As a result they inherit authority as a byproduct of their Intelligence Quotient, not necessarily their ability to apply any meaningful wisdom...hum?

    This is where I enjoy listening and learning from how such "tenets" become incontrovertibly truth in the dogma and then become instilled as a doctrine, which is then enforced by the precepts that must be followed, if you are allowed to lay claim to being a true believer in a given faith or for that matter a political party...hum?

    Having never passed between the here and now through the "Thin Veil" and back again, I'm always interested in another individual's soulful insight for how that journey might appear and if evaluations are assessed for what we've done or failed to do during this span of our lifetime.

    Of course that would also need to include Socrates metaphor of the midwife, in which one would need to consider that in the shock of birth, we've just come down with amnesia...LOL!

    For the time left,...and as the "ticks of tock" spin hands of clock...I'll anchor any self professed understanding to The Socratic Paradox....as follows; "I know one thing: that I know nothing"...hum?

    I Hope you all have a very blessed day!

    1. Marcel French's Avatar Marcel French

      While you make a fair point it is that very kind of unnecessary over thinking I actively avoid. As for ego to truly learn and evolve it is vital to not giving into ego. The ego is a part of the self and should be observed in moderation. While it is not easy it is possible and with mastery comes balance. Don't trust in appearance alone and always remember you will never be done learning. Chose wisely because it is all quite personal no matter your path.

  1. Minister Paul's Avatar Minister Paul

    Sometimes we all get carried away a little with our thoughts. We must all try to be at peace w/our fellow people. I'm fallible and err as others do. There's always a way to improve ourselves. Especially if we think before we speak. Life is a learning experience that we sometimes pass and often fail Minister Paul apologises if he offends anyone who means well. Love and harmony to all people of good will.

    1. hsw's Avatar hsw

      No offense taken, but you do kind of creep me out speaking of yourself in the third person. :)

  1. Lenard Victor Neel's Avatar Lenard Victor Neel

    I'm a Recovery Minister for Celebrate Recovery. It's a 12 step faith based non denomination recovery program for people with hurts hangups or habits. I want to be an ordained recovery minister

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