• Freethinker Forum: Theocracy vs. Reproductive Rights

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    Join us for a discussion of the politics, theology and ethics of abortion bans and their opposition. In light of the latest increasing attacks on reproductive freedom in several states, we will turn a critical eye toward the ideology behind the legislation. We will also consider a selection of pro-choice responses from Humanist and progressive religious voices. All are welcome to join in a lively discussion where a diversity of viewpoints are encouraged and respected. Contact: [masked] *Parking Info If you come to the 10AM service at UU Santa Monica, free parking is available in the UCLA medical center structure on the SW corner of 16th and Arizona (enter on 16th St.). Ample street parking is available during the afternoon at meters (free on Sunday) along Santa Monica and Wilshire. --- More background: Michelle Goldberg, Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times, writes: "Feminists sometimes say, of threats to legal abortion, 'We won’t go back.' But it’s important to understand that we’re not necessarily facing a return to the past. The new wave of anti-abortion laws suggests that a post-Roe America won’t look like the country did before 1973, when the court case was decided. It will probably be worse... today’s legal context has been transformed by decades of anti-abortion activism equating abortion with murder, as well as by mass incarceration. Further, the abortion bans in the new wave are harsher than most of those that existed before Roe. At that time, most states prohibited abortion in most circumstances, but according to the historian Leslie Reagan, author of the book “When Abortion Was a Crime,” there was little legal conception of fetal personhood." (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/opinion/alabama-abortion-georgia-roe.html) At the The Humanist, author and activist Sikivu Hutchinson writes: "Atrocities like the Alabama abortion bill are one of the reasons why I’m an atheist and a humanist. Barefoot, pregnant, and bombed back to the Stone Age continues to be the clarion call for dominionist lawmakers who are bound and determined to hijack women’s rights. As other abortion rights’ advocates have pointed out, these bills are most prevalent in states that have some of the worst health and poverty indices for women of color and children in the nation. Georgia has the second highest black maternal mortality rate in the country (according to the Centers for Disease Control, black women in the state died at a rate over three times as high as white women during childbirth). Alabama ranks forty-ninth in infant outcomes, a compilation of poor scores in infant mortality, low birthweight, neonatal mortality, and preterm birth. Poor and rural women consistently struggle to find adequate maternal care providers in these states, further belying the claim that laws outlawing abortion “protect” children. Despite all their claims of Christian charity, issues of poverty, child care and social welfare have never been of concern to the theocrats of the religious right who passed these laws on the backs of women of color." (https://thehumanist.com/commentary/keep-god-and-theocrats-out-of-our-wombs)

  • Journey of the Universe: Encore Screening for Sunday Cinema

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    Another chance to view and talk about this film, this Sunday evening!* "Journey of the Universe" is a unique odyssey of cosmic, biological, and cultural evolution that offers insight and inspiration for our present ecological challenges. In a single 60-minute narrative, writer and host Brian Swimme guides us through a scientific and meaningful Great Story, from the birth of the universe to the emergence of complex structures, from the dawn of life as we know it to the conscious present moment. The whole experience is framed by a single day on the Greek island of Samos, a crossroads of history and discovery. Different from purely scientific approaches, ”Journey” is the first film to integrate arts and humanities into the cosmic big picture. Drawing on the work of the late Fr. Thomas Berry (http://thomasberry.org/), a cosmologist, historian, and eco-theologian, “Journey “ won an Emmy Award for Best Documentary in 2012 and has birthed an online video series and podcast, as well as a sequence of online courses through the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. (https://www.coursera.org/specializations/journey-of-the-universe) A discussion will follow the film and we'll have a chance to offer reactions and further questions. A Diversity of viewpoints is appreciated! Learn more and see the trailer at the official website: https://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/ *This screening is the features Second Sunday Cinema event for May, and comes on the heels of Second Sunday Supper, a monthly community potluck at 6PM. You are welcome to join members and friends of UUSM for the meal in Forbes Hall. If possible, please bring a side dish, dessert or drink to share. Questions? Contact [masked] More info from the filmmakers: Journey of the Universe narrates the 14 billion year story of the universe's development, from the great flaring forth at the universe's inception to the emergence of simple molecules and atoms to the evolution of galaxies, stars, solar systems, and planetary life of greater complexity and consciousness. This is a story that inspires wonder as we begin to understand such complexity through science and appreciate such beauty through poetry, art, history, philosophy, and religion. It also awakens us to the dynamic processes of evolution that are chaotic and destructive, as well as creative and life-generating. The Journey of the Universe is a cosmology, although not just in the scientific sense of the study of the early universe. Rather, it is a cosmology in the sense of being an integrated story that explains where both humans and life forms have come from. All cultures have had such stories. We now have the capacity to tell a comprehensive story drawing on astronomy and physics to explain the emergence of galaxies and stars, geology and chemistry to understand the formation of Earth, biology and botany to envision life's evolution, and anthropology and the humanities to trace the rise of humans. Journey draws on all these disciplines to narrate a story of universe, Earth, and human evolution that is widely accessible. Journey weaves science and humanities in a new way that allows for a comprehensive sense of mystery and awe to arise. Such an approach expands the human perspective beyond an anthropocentric worldview to one that values life's complexity and sees the role of humans as critical to the further flourishing of the Earth community.

  • Journey of the Universe: An Earth Sunday Screening

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    Join us on Sunday, April 28th at 1PM for a special Earth Sunday screening of Journey of the Universe, a unique odyssey of cosmic, biological, and cultural evolution that offers insight and inspiration for our present ecological challenges. In a single 60-minute narrative, writer and host Brian Swimme guides us through a scientific and meaningful Great Story, from the birth of the universe to the emergence of complex structures, from the dawn of life as we know it to the conscious present moment. The whole experience is framed by a single day on the Greek island of Samos, a crossroads of history and discovery. Different from purely scientific approaches, ”Journey” is the first film to integrate arts and humanities into the cosmic big picture. Drawing on the work of the late Fr. Thomas Berry (http://thomasberry.org/), a cosmologist, historian, and eco-theologian, “Journey “ won an Emmy Award for Best Documentary in 2012 and has birthed an online video series and podcast, as well as a sequence of online courses through the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. (https://www.coursera.org/specializations/journey-of-the-universe) A discussion will follow the film and we'll have a chance to offer reactions and further questions. A Diversity of viewpoints is appreciated! Learn more and see the trailer at the official website: https://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/ More info from the filmmakers: Journey of the Universe narrates the 14 billion year story of the universe's development, from the great flaring forth at the universe's inception to the emergence of simple molecules and atoms to the evolution of galaxies, stars, solar systems, and planetary life of greater complexity and consciousness. This is a story that inspires wonder as we begin to understand such complexity through science and appreciate such beauty through poetry, art, history, philosophy, and religion. It also awakens us to the dynamic processes of evolution that are chaotic and destructive, as well as creative and life-generating. The Journey of the Universe is a cosmology, although not just in the scientific sense of the study of the early universe. Rather, it is a cosmology in the sense of being an integrated story that explains where both humans and life forms have come from. All cultures have had such stories. We now have the capacity to tell a comprehensive story drawing on astronomy and physics to explain the emergence of galaxies and stars, geology and chemistry to understand the formation of Earth, biology and botany to envision life's evolution, and anthropology and the humanities to trace the rise of humans. Journey draws on all these disciplines to narrate a story of universe, Earth, and human evolution that is widely accessible. Journey weaves science and humanities in a new way that allows for a comprehensive sense of mystery and awe to arise. Such an approach expands the human perspective beyond an anthropocentric worldview to one that values life's complexity and sees the role of humans as critical to the further flourishing of the Earth community.

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  • Freethinker Forum: Untangling Our -Isms!

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    It's time to unpack and untangle all our "-isms" -- that is, all the labels and terms that are so prevalent in the world of freethought and post-religious organizing that we might identify with (or be stridently against)! What's the difference between atheism and non-theism? Is agnosticism something that can overlap with either, or is it a difference of degrees? Are secular humanism and religious humanism differences of context, or fundamentally different philosophies? And why is Humanism sometimes capitalized?? What's the distinction between theism, deism, pantheism and panentheism? Might you be a social democrat but not a democratic socialist? Should we just kill all the labels? Join us for a lighthearted but informative dive into the (sometimes surprising) meaning of the words that often get thrown around in our communities and lives.

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  • "Humanitas: A Conscious Coloring of Kindness" West Coast Premiere

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    Join us for an exclusive screening of a unique new film that explores humanism, racial justice, and some little-known history! Filmmaker Jé Hooper, a leader-in-traning with the American Ethical Union, will be present for a Q&A. Felix Adler (Ritchie Szoke), the founder and philosopher of the Ethical Culture Movement, and W.E.B. DuBois (Joe Tolbert), the author of "the Souls of Black Folk" and activist-scholar, are re-imagined in this histo-contemporary retrospective of July 1900. (View the trailer: https://youtu.be/wbWi1eEzUro) Throughout this experimental film, we journey with Adler and DuBois through a series of poetic prose, soulful music and choreo-movements, as they stir in one another justice through a new lens of nonreligious ethics, African-based spirituality, and civil philosophy. DuBois, after completing a variety of lectures and books is endowed by the "spirit-of-rightness" with a new love for the intersectionality of Africaniety, where all lives can't matter until black lives matter. As a result, his passion becomes contagious to anyone who comes in contact with his infectious conscious-kindness--his heart-work becomes the coloring of white spaces. Through an encounter with DuBois, Adler "weighs the soul" of the young negro leader and establishes a life-changing relationship that is solidified at the first Pan-African Conference at the Westminster Hall in London. Adler is also challenged by this consciousness, conflicted by the thoughts of other intellectuals, who reveal a hidden unethical, racist agenda for scholastic fame, and a refusal to acknowledge the true souls and spirits of black folks. This event is co-sponsored by AAHS and the UU Santa Monica Peace & Social Justice Committee in collaboration with the Ethical Culture Society of Los Angeles.

  • Freethinker Forum: African American Humanism, Past and Present

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    Please note: Slightly later start time due to the silent auction bidding in Forbes Hall that ends at 1PM. In honor of Black History Month, AAHS continues to explore the legacy of freethought and humanism within African American thought and culture, and its impact on efforts for racial and social justice in our time. We will consider some short reading excerpts and video clips, emphasizing the scholarship and thought of Dr. Anthony Pinn, scholar of religion and Humanist philosophy, professor at Rice University, and an African American Atheist/Humanist. Join us for a thought-provoking and lively conversation! A diversity of viewpoints are always welcomed and encouraged. Contact: [masked]

  • Freethinker Forum: Atheism, Civil Rights, and the Radical Beliefs of MLK

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    At our January Freethinker Forum, we will look at the unsung legacy of atheists and humanists in the civil rights movement, which is well-known for its religious overtones and the participation of many progressive clergy members. Has history overlooked the influence and legacy of Humanism in this struggle for freedom, which overlapped with the work of many decidedly unorthodox thinkers and radical labor organizers such as A. Philip Randolph? We will also consider the true theology of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which remains little known outside of academic circles. Some recent scholarship from writer Be Scofield on "the unknown faith of MLK" illuminates the deep religious and philosophical thought of a man who communicated in high oratory, using classical religious imagery and Biblical references, but had some humanistic beliefs about God, Jesus and the arc of justice that might really surprise you. Join us Sun. Jan 27th from 1PM-3PM in the Cottage. All are welcome to participate in a lively but moderated discussion where diverse viewpoints are respected and appreciated. *Parking Info If you come to the 11AM service at UU Santa Monica, free parking is available in the UCLA medical center structure on the SW corner of 16th and Arizona (enter on 16th St.). Ample street parking is available during the afternoon at meters (free on Sunday) along Santa Monica and Wilshire. Contact: [masked] Our Private Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/467213783350025/ Our Meetup Group: https://www.meetup.com/AAHS-Atheists-Agnostics-Humanists-Secularists/ AAHS is a local group of the UU Humanist Association (huumanists.org). More info: AAHS (Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists & Secularists/Skeptics) is a group that meets monthly (4th Sundays) for discussion and fellowship at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica (www.uusm.org). All are welcome! "The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions the world over are under the necessity of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism." -Humanist Manifesto 1, 1933

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  • RiZe Up with Roy Zimmerman!

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    We are cross posting this fun event — Roy is loved by freethinkers and people who care about peace and justice in our world. — Laughter and encouragement for the Resistance! "Roy's lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection." -- Joni Mitchell "Lyrical brilliance. Just excellent." -- "Weird Al" Yankovic "I congratulate Roy Zimmerman on reintroducing literacy to comedy songs.” -- Tom Lehrer In the current national nightmare, we need to laugh, and we need to hope. Roy Zimmerman’s signature blend of heart and hilarity has never been more necessary. RiZe Up is ninety minutes of Roy Zimmerman’s original songs, a funny and forceful affirmation of Peace and Social Justice. Roy’s songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime, and his videos have garnered tens of millions of views. He has recorded for Warner/Reprise Records. He’s shared stages with Bill Maher, Ellen DeGeneres, Holly Near, Robin Williams, Arlo Guthrie, John Oliver, Kate Clinton and George Carlin, and he tours the country constantly with his wife and co-writer Melanie Harby. Video links: “Sweeney Trump” – https://www.facebook.com/39171898761/videos/2112435605738601/ “Thoughts and Prayers” – https://www.facebook.com/39171898761/videos/10155446314448762/ “The Don” – https://www.facebook.com/39171898761/videos/10155428827098762/ “My Vote, My Voice, My Right” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-X-uBIqeVM Don’t miss his concert on Sunday, December 9th at 8 PM! Bring your friends! $20 at the door, or pay what you can.

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  • Freethinker Forum: Sexuality, Consent, and Humanist Values

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    This month, we're excited to bring you a much-anticipated interactive program on sexuality and consent, a timely and important topic! Humanism is the ethical philosophy or lifestance that's important to many people who don't believe in a god or higher power from which morals are derived. Without the supernatural, it challenges us to be reasonable, compassionate, fair, and accountable. And central to Humanist thought is the principle that all people (should) have inherent dignity and worth, and are entitled to human rights. But how does Humanism translate to sexuality and relationships? What is its response to patriarchal forms of oppression that persist in our society? What does it say about recent political developments and the revelations of the #MeToo movement? There's much to discuss and much to learn. Fortunately, we'll be joined by expert sexuality educator Emmalinda MacLean, co-founder of More Than Sex Ed (http://www.morethansex-ed.org), a local nonprofit that promotes comprehensive, inclusive, and fact-based understanding of human sexuality to redress negative sexual attitudes, behaviors, and consequences in our culture. (Homophobia, misogyny, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and more.) We'll have time for discussion and reflection as usual, and Emmalinda will lead us in a fun, interactive exercise that will help provide a deeper understanding of consent and bodily autonomy. **PARKING INFO: Street parking is available (check signs) and is most plentiful along Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, where meters are free on Sundays. OR if you enter before 11:30AM, you can take advantage of free UUSM Sunday service parking in the UCLA structure on the SE corner of 16th and Arizona, two short blocks away. Print this parking pass: http://www.uusm.org/sites/default/files/parkingpass0810.pdf More Info about our partnering presenter: Emmalinda MacLean is a proud graduate of the Unitarian Universalist "Our Whole Lives" program, which she attended as a 7th grader, and to which she credits the many healthy, caring, responsible, fulfilling relationships she’s had since. She is now not only a trained OWL (https://www.uua.org/re/owl) facilitator for grades K-12 (and has taught hundreds of students comprehensive sexual health classes over the past 8 years), but is approved to train others as OWL facilitators. In addition to being a co-founder and facilitator with More Than Sex-Ed, she served Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church as Director of Religious Education from 2010 until 2018. She volunteers with children and teens at Camp de Benneville Pines. She holds a BA in theater from UCLA and has also served as the education director of a clown troupe, a Lego-robotics instructor, a children’s theater teacher, and a really good listener. http://www.morethansex-ed.org

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  • Freethinker Forum: Humanism vs. Fascism in 2018

    Unitarian Universalist Community Church

    It is the eve of midterm elections and we are in strange and troubling times. In 2018, racist/misogynist/homophobic street gangs brawl in liberal major American cities, authoritarianism seems to be on the rise around the world, and the government of our own country attacks the press, promotes conspiracy theories, and unabashedly violates human rights to promote fear and division. Democracy and liberty depend upon truth and justice. Humanism has long been a movement toward more reason, empathy, compassion and fairness in the world. We will consider what tools and resources we might draw from in a time when fascism may once again be rearing its ugly head on our fragile, ailing planet. Featuring some timely video clips and short readings relevant to this topic, including consideration of ideas from the new book, "How Fascism Works," (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/opinion/fascists-leaders-america-trump.html) by Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley. Join us for a lively discussion. Everyone is welcome and and a diversity of viewpoints are respected. **PARKING INFO: Street parking is available (check signs) and is most plentiful along Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, where meters are free on Sundays. OR if you enter before 11:30AM, you can take advantage of free UUSM Sunday service parking in the UCLA structure on the SE corner of 16th and Arizona, two short blocks away. Print this parking pass: http://www.uusm.org/sites/default/files/parkingpass0810.pdf

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