I love Unitarians. The only thing I like more than Unitarians is a good Unitarian joke, which is one reason I've decided to remain a fan of Garrison Keillor. I mention all this because the theme at Goat Rope these days is the life and thought of 19th century Transcendentalist sage Ralph Waldo Emerson.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, New England went through a theological sea change from the days of settlement in the 1600s to the 1800s. Originially, a hard core Calvinistic Puritanism prevailed. Over time however, the theological fever cooled and Unitarianism gained ground. Emerson himself was a former Unitarian minister.
One of his most famous, and notorious essays/lectures was the 1838 Harvard Divinity School Address, in which he pulled off a feat that would be hard to replicate today. He gave a talk in which his views were so unorthodox that even many Unitarians couldn't take it--and as a result, he wasn't invited back to talk to his alma mater for 30 years.
(If it was too much for them, imagine what the Baptists would have thought!)
This week, we'll take a look at what set them off.
JUST DO IT. Here's another good article on why WV Governor Tomblin should expand Medicaid.
DEFICIT HYSTERIA is unnecessary, according to Krugman.
POLITICS ON THE BRAIN. I find articles like this one interesting, but think there's a danger in essentializing a contemporary trend. People seeking a genetic basis for our current polarization may be forgetting that this probably isn't an eternal fact of human nature but rather something that changes over time.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED