Return to Rev. Dr. David Breeden, Senior Minister

Minister’s Blog


Senior Minister Rev. Dr. David Breeden regularly writes a blog representing UU Humanism.

  • The Treasure in the Trash: Symbol and Art
    My father was an inveterate and unapologetic garbage dump aficionado. On Sunday afternoons when I was a kid, it was off to the garbage dumps, known and unknown.  Along with us would come one of my uncles, who had been a Japanese prisoner of war and came home . . . not quite right. One …
  • Corn Grows at Night: Reflections on Flood, Drought, and Climate Change
    As a farmer myself, I know that drought and flood are part of life. Still, it’s tough to watch 
  • I is Always We
    In the United States, the pandemic has revealed an astonishing national immaturity.
  • Despots in the Trees? Think Kudzu
    Two French philosophers, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, in a pair of books together titled Capitalism and Schizophrenia, set out to change our way of thinking, away from hierarchical patterns and into integrated patterns.
  • It’s All in the Cards; I Mean Stars; I Mean . . .
    Astrology, mysticism, Tarot, oh my!
  • Getting Your Mystic On
    And now playing in religion news is Gen Z, which appears to be a generation with even less trust in religious institutions than Millennials. (Even among those who do participate in institutionalized religion, 52% say they don’t trust the institution.) 
  • So Below
    they were right even though they were wrong.
  • Oh, Grow Up!
    One aspect of a mature relationship with reality is understanding that there is no view from nowhere. No unbiased way of seeing. When we think we are thinking in a completely neutral way, that’s exactly when we have been mastered by assumptions. It’s exactly when we are puppets on a string. 
  • Sacred Art and an Artful Sacred
    With so many people thinking artfully, shouldn’t religions be lots more fun?
  • How to Go to Heaven
    Most Americans believe in a multi-cultural, multi-religious, and accepting America. But it’s a vague set of beliefs. Most Americans haven’t thought that much about it. Too many Americans have not committed to examining those values and working for them.
  • Theocracy and Its Discontents
    In my youth, the school cafeteria at my public school served fish on Fridays in an attempt to make us all fasting and pious non-meat eaters at school. The result was piety of another sort.
  • Wait! Where’s the Mystery?
    One thing about Humanism that catches people up is that we don’t have any secret words, elaborate handshakes, esoteric stages of enlightenment, or locked doors.
  • Get Your Narthex On Out of Here
    That the character of Jesus is a Rorschach test of one’s personal politics should perhaps give us pause, but such is the nature of American Christianity.
  • What We Think They’re Thinking
    When Christopher Columbus wrote a report concerning his first voyage, he described the people he found: “they are timid and full of terror” and “they are very guileless and honest.” Timid. Terrified. Guileless. Honest. Notice that the first two assessments—“timid” and “terrified” can be read through observation of physical reactions. “Guileless” and “honest,” however, came …
  • Appropriately Appropriative
    The question of cultural appropriation is real and complex.
  • The Neighborhood of Boston
    Nowadays, Boston is a multicultural city, but the Boston that created Unitarianism was not. 
  • Whose Cakes, What Cakes: Testosterone and Monotheism
    The God of the ancient Hebrews did not answer all the needs of the people. The religion had a patriarchy problem. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam still do. 
  • Unbelievers
    Belief. It’s one of the most beautiful of human emotions; it’s one of the most evil of human emotions. It’s one of the most complex of human emotions.  It’s one of those foundational words in the vocabulary of English. I “believe” that the sun will rise tomorrow. I believe that the earth is part of …
  • Religions, Shoes, and Cobblers
    Religions are now consumer products in the US. How did that happen?
  • Selling at the Marketplace of Ideas
    The Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius proposed a rather large educational enterprise when he wrote, “We exist for the sake of one another. Teach them, then, or accept them as they are” (Bk 8:59). I wish this were not the wisdom of the ages, but experience indicates that it is: teach people the way of tolerance …
  • Skepticism and the Drowning
    Our inherent human moral imagination tells us that saving the drowning is a moral good. To choose to ignore this intuition takes . . . well, value judgments.

Older entries

The following articles are available only on, a subscription service, but you can read them without cost using these links.

Rewalking the Paths of Humanity (April 16, 2021)
To Be Is To Be Becoming (April 1, 2021)
Humanism: What’s the Story? (March 25, 2021)
Lived Experience/Regular Experience (March 18, 2021)
Religionless Imagination (March 12, 2021)
Resonance, Not Relevance (March 5, 2021)
Unexamined Faith and Continuous Revelation (February 25, 2021)
Self and Consequences (February 18, 2021)
Kicked Off the Cathedra (February 11, 2021)
Darwin’s Declaration of Interdependence (February 4, 2021)
Wrestling with Ideas (January 28, 2021)
Your New Religion (January 21, 2021)
Policing the Borders of Humanism (January 14, 2021)
Use Your Words Or They Use You (January 7, 2021)
Resolutions for the New Year: Of Strings and Images (December 31, 2020)
The Difficulty You Are Experiencing . . . (December 24, 2020)
All In On the Illusion of Control (December 17, 2020)
America, I’m Revoking Your Poetry License (December 10, 2020)
Being Being, Not Labeling (December 3, 2020)

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