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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Christmas truce of 1914

The Christmas truce of 1914

Informal truces and small armistices have often taken place during prolonged periods of fighting … the military history of the last two centuries, abounds with incidents of friendship between enemies. The fact that these events occur are assurances, for all of us, that man is, in his inner most being, a creature of compassion and peace.

In the Peninsula War British and French Troops at times visited each others lines, drew water at the same wells and even sat around the same campfire. In the Crimean War British, French and Russians at quiet times also gathered around the same fire, smoking and drinking. In the American Civil War Yankees and Rebels traded tobacco, coffee and newspapers, fished peacefully on opposite sides of the same stream and even collected wild blackberries together. Similar stories are told of the Boer War, in which on one occasion, during a conference of commanders, the rank and file of both sides engaged in a friendly game of football.

The Christmas truce of 1914 does not stand alone; on the other hand it is undoubtedly the greatest example of its kind… in which thousands of soldiers English, French, Belgian and German at the fifth month of the savage 52 month World War I…left their trenches and joined together in no man’s land to celebrate Christmas together….

A Christmas Truce - by Kevin Radcliffe

On the frozen fields of Flanders, one cold December night,
Across the field of battle, all was very calm and bright.
As the stars shone down upon, each opposing side,
Crouching in the trenches, between No Man's Land divide.

It was Christmas in the trenches, no yuletide carols were sung,
As men huddled in their fox holes, brushing off the frost that clung.
Then a young German voice, from across the great divide,
Sang the carol "Stille Nacht" known throughout the worldwide.

As soon as he was finished, there was a reverent pause,
Then cheers broke out on both sides with tremendous applause.
"God rest ye merry Gentlemen" sang a young British boy,
And both sides joined in chorus with "Tidings of Great Joy."

Suddenly there appeared upon the plain so bright
The figure of a German lad, holding a truce flag tight.
Singly from the trenches, men walked into No Man's Land
Without guns and ammunition, they met there hand to hand.

Exchanged chocolate, cigarettes, scotch and cognac
Showed photographs of home, slapped each other on the back.
Played a game of soccer, on the field so bright.
After that talked "peace on earth" under the starlit night.

On frozen Flanders' fields, as the dawn broke through,
Men met in the middle of No Man's Land, to bid a sad adieu.
As they walked back to the trenches, they waved a last farewell
And thought about the weeks ahead, when the going would be hell!

It's Christmas Day in Flanders, as the snow lies on the ground
A grey haired German mother kneels amid crosses all around.
She prays for her young son Hans, who held that truce flag tight,
On the frozen fields of Flanders, on that cold December night.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Are We Teaching Our Kids To Be Fearful of Men?

Are We Teaching Our Kids To Be Fearful of Men?

By Jeff Zaslow

When children get lost in a mall, they're supposed to find a "low-risk adult" to help them. Guidelines issued by police departments and child-safety groups often encourage them to look for "a pregnant woman," "a mother pushing a stroller" or "a grandmother."

The implied message: Men, even dads pushing strollers, are "high-risk."

Are we teaching children that men are out to hurt them? The answer, on many fronts, is yes. Child advocate John Walsh advises parents to never hire a male babysitter. Airlines are placing unaccompanied minors with female passengers rather than male passengers. Soccer leagues are telling male coaches not to touch players.

Child-welfare groups say these are necessary precautions, given that most predators are male. But fathers' rights activists and educators now argue that an inflated predator panic is damaging men's relationships with kids. Some men are opting not to get involved with children at all, which partly explains why many youth groups can't find male leaders, and why just 9% of elementary-school teachers are male, down from 18% in 1981.

People assume that all men "have the potential for violence and sexual aggressiveness," says Peter Stearns, a George Mason University professor who studies fear and anxiety. Kids end up viewing every male stranger "as a potential evildoer," he says, and as a byproduct, "there's an overconfidence in female virtues." . . .

TV shows, including the Dateline NBC series "To Catch a Predator," hype stories about male abusers. Now social-service agencies are also using controversial tactics to spread the word about abuse. This summer, Virginia's Department of Health mounted an ad campaign for its sex-abuse hotline. Billboards featured photos of a man holding a child's hand. The caption: "It doesn't feel right when I see them together."

More than 200 men emailed complaints about the campaign to the health department. "The implication is that if you see a man holding a girl's hand, he's probably a predator," says Marc Rudov, who runs the fathers' rights site "In other words, if you see a father out with his daughter, call the police." . . .

Mr. Walsh, host of Fox's "America's Most Wanted," began advocating for missing children in 1981, after his son was killed by a stranger. He knows some men are offended by his advice to never hire a male babysitter. But as he sees it, if a teenage boy wants to experiment with sex, you don't want him using your kids.

Um, hasn't Mr. Walsh seen the many stories (even just here in the Detroit area) of adult women preying on teen-age boys for sex? Come on. Wake up. Women are becoming just as predatory as we're taught to believe men are.

"It's not a witch hunt," he says. "It's all about minimizing risks. What dog is more likely to bite and hurt you? A Doberman, not a poodle. Who's more likely to molest a child? A male."

John Walsh says men are now Dobermans?! (Except him, of course.) Sounds like he's been watching too much Oprah and "The View."

Airlines use similar reasoning when they seat unaccompanied minors only with women. They are trying to decrease the odds of a problem. Certainly, many men would be safe seatmates for kids, but sometimes, especially on overnight flights in darkened cabins, "you have to make generalizations for the safety of a child," says Diana Fairechild, an expert witness in aviation disputes. Airlines have had decades of experience monitoring the gender of abusive seatmates, she adds, quoting a line repeated in airline circles: "No regulation in aviation takes effect without somebody's blood on it."

I think I smell a perfectly justified class-action gender-discrimination lawsuit against airlines.

Most men understand the need to be cautious, so they're willing to take a step back from children, or to change seats on a plane. One abused child is one too many. Still, it's important to maintain perspective. "The number of men who will hurt a child is tiny compared to the population," says Benjamin Radford, who researches statistics on predators and is managing editor of the science magazine Skeptical Inquirer. "Virtually all of the time, if a child is lost or in trouble, he will be safe going to the nearest male stranger."

Right on, Jeff Zaslow. If only America's conventional wisdom was actually infused with this kind of common sense.

Posted by Debbie at August 23, 2007 10:19 AM


'Women are becoming just as predatory as we're taught to believe men are.'

What a ridiculous (I'm being polite here) comment. Despite the reports in the media of women seducing teenage boys, they hardly equal the amount of sex crimes (on adults and children) committed by men. This is just retarded conservative propaganda run amok.

"[Adam Walsh] knows some men are offended by his advice to never hire a male babysitter."

Howard Stern gives the same advice. It's just common sense.

You conservatives really kill me some times. Many of you like to say Christians aren't as bad as Muslims or that Whites don't commit as much crime as Blacks, but when it comes to sex or violent crimes, conservatives are the first to say Women are as bad as Men. Conservatives are real idiots at times.

Posted by: jaillibby2 [TypeKey Profile Page]at August 23, 2007 11:39 AM


You are wrong about women not being involved in sex crimes. It is just the statistics have not been reported in the past.

The equality movement is finally biting them in the ass and the statistics prove it now that LE is recording female sex crimes.

The vast majority of sexual assaults by school teachers are committed by females.

Posted by: ScottyDog [TypeKey Profile Page]at August 23, 2007 12:47 PM

Small list of women offenders:

High school coach resigns after sexual assault arrest
Kimberly Dawn Hollis has now resigned from Hightower High School in Fort Bend County after confessing to having sexual conduct with a 15-year-old-girl

Female Coach Allegedly Had Relationship with Player
A female high school coach is facing serious charges. She's accused of having a relationship with a player on her team who was just 14-years-old! This case is unfolding in Nazareth, Northampton County.

Ex-coach accused of endangerment
LAURENS _ The former girls softball coach at Laurens Central School has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a child younger than 17.

Counselor Sentenced For Having Sex With Autistic Student
Becci M. Hill, of Martinsville, was accused of having a sexual relationship with the 15-year-old, whom she had mentored at one point, according to authorities. She was a special-needs counselor with the Wayne Township school district in Indianapolis.

Counselor-In-Training Convicted Of Sexual Abuse
Maywood Court Associate Judge Gilbert J. Grossi convicted Kathy Miraglia, in her 30s, of two counts of criminal sexual abuse and eight counts of criminal sexual assault during a bench trial Thursday, according to a Cook County State�s Attorney�s office spokeswoman

Oregon woman sentenced for having sex with high school boy
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) � A 34-year-old woman will spend a month in jail after admitting she had sex with a teenager she counseled at Klamath Union High School.

Teacher Allegedly Had Oral Sex With Girl At School
The former soccer and softball coach is accused of the unthinkable, having sex with a female student on campus during school hours

Teacher turns herself in on sex charges
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- A former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher surrendered to police Wednesday after she was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a female student.

Student Testifies About Sexual Relationship With Teacher
Shanikka Campbell, 26, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual abuse of a child on Monday.

The former Aldine Independent School District English teacher admitted to having sex with a 16-year-old 11th-grade student she met at Carver High School last Spring

Jailed teacher in sex case fired, remains silent
23-year-old middle school instructor in S.C. accused of sex with five boys

Teacher, Alleged Sex Victim Did Witchcraft,2933,140486,00.html
SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. � A teacher and a 14-year-old former female student whom she is accused of sexually assaulting participated in witchcraft together and even "wed" in a pagan ritual, police said.

Elizabeth Miklosovic (search), 36, a teacher at South Haven's Baseline Middle School, was arraigned Thursday on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct

Woman charged with sexual assault
A 19-year-old Fayetteville woman was charged Thursday by the Fourth Judicial District Prosecutor�s Office for having sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl.

Three Women Accused Of Sexual Abuse Of 16-Year-Old Boy
Teen Being Cared For At Group Home
Police said that through their investigation, they learned that Koreene Avery, 38, and Robin Lawrence, 24, both counselors at the M.S. Youth Services group home, also were having sex with the boy at the home.

Posted by: eloopd [TypeKey Profile Page]at August 23, 2007 01:29 PM

The cautionary approach suggested in the post parrallels the cautionary approach that is offered when discussing males of Arab/Muslim descent.

It is OK to be cautious of male Arab/Muslims as potential terrorists.

It is OK to be cautious of male adults as potential pedophiles.

The closest arguement for/against is that it depends on their actions. Recent news accounts offer a picture of two Arab/Muslim looking guys on a ferry 'acting suspicious.' Then what of the coach who pats a kid on the behind and leaves his hand there an inordinate amount of time. And, what is an inordinate amount of time? I don't know.

I really don't know. I am going to take each case one at a time and avoid jumping to conclusions before I have a greater knowledge of the situation. Then if the situation merits, I'll put my foot up the pedophile's and terrorist's behind.

OK, that's being a man, and you don't have to worry, because I am out there, (and there are alot of us) and I got your back if it is a pedophile or terrorist.

Posted by: zyzzyg [TypeKey Profile Page]at August 23, 2007 01:30 PM

@ Jaillibby

"Many of you like to say Christians aren't as bad as Muslims or that Whites don't commit as much crime as Blacks.."

First of all how many Christian acts of terror do you know about since 9/11? Guess how many Terror acts in the name of Islam have been committed in that same amount of time? How about more than 9,000.

Next you say:

"Whites don't commit as much crime as Blacks.."

The US Department of Justice would like to argue that point with you.

Blacks are 7 times more likely to murder someone than whites and 9 times more likely to committ any violent crime.

Posted by: sickboy [TypeKey Profile Page]at August 23, 2007 01:55 PM

As a Black male in America, I graduated from Harvard with a degree in physics and computer science. As a senior, we were required to complete a research project. I completed mine on black americans and the relationship to incarceration, the one factor that stood above all, was the fact the black males that were in jail for greater than 1 year had a greater than 90% chance of have a negative or no role model. Almost all had a female dominated household that taught that being a male was negative.

Posted by: Dallas1972 [TypeKey Profile Page]at August 23, 2007 08:33 PM

Thanks for supprting us men, Debbie. Have you heard of the site Respecting accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting. It discussing the discrimination towards men and basically they are taught to view every family problem as the man 100% bad abuser and women 100% good victim and most family problems that is not the situation. A man is physically bigger that is true but this should make him automatically guilty. Can a younger brother or sister can do what they want to a bigger older brother or sister? Of course not. They also use their services to brainwash women that everything is a guys faut and if a women doesn't share their views they can harm her too. Feminist don't believe in different ideas especially from other women.

I also have to say in the Orthodox Jewish world at least in NY metro area the things that are said about Jewish men are just horrible and mostly untrue. I have been a victim (in many different area's) of the hatred that goes on in many Orthodox circles towards men. The Rabbi's are very naive at best because they work in a field that has no women so they many times have an exaggerated sense that women are vunerable and believe anything they say about men. My only family situation thank g-d has become somewhat better but you know my parents invite my younger sister every Jewish holiday and don't rotate since my parents are unable to deal with the two of us together. Doesn't anybody say anything? Not that I know. And outside where I grew up I have had people tell me they would throw me up of the community if I mention my family situation even if it is just to get advice and to try to improve which without anyone's help it has become somewhat better. I spend most Jewish holidays alone because I don't feel comfortable with the male hatred that some Rabbi's preach which of course they are the exception. This is in Orthodox Judaism. An Aish Rabbi once wrote me that divorce is all the man's fault because women have more intuition when I and many others complained about an article that specifically picked on men. Claims this is torah. I am only mentioning two area's but I have the same vicious behavior towards me in other areas too when I have dealt with Orthodox Jews in any area they for the slightest thing they think you are a monster. I know it isn't everyone but too many seem to fit this mode and it has scared me away from being involved in Orthodox Jewish life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What I believe . . . . from NPR

I believe that Fathers make a difference.

My earliest coherent memories are of my Father. I recall him telling me and my brother to always tell the truth, and to share books. Whatever he told us, he himself lived. My father was a good man, and what I know about being a good man, I learned from my father. Fathers make a difference because they set examples.

My father bought us tinker toys, tin airplanes, and cap pistols. He took us everywhere he went: to work (he was a sanitary engineer), to the midway, on train rides. He taught us how to fish. He grew up in West Texas, and he made sure that we learned how to ride. He sang Hank Williams songs to us. He took us to cowboy movies. Fathers make a difference because they appreciate the importance of fun.

There were times, when I was growing up, that I found the going tough and simply wanted to quit whatever I was doing. My father always managed to arrange to keep me going. One day, at the end of my senior year at Stanford, I called him to tell him that I was not going to graduate. He spoke to every one of my teachers and found out what it would take to get me through. He commissioned my brother to keep an eye on me while I did what would take. I graduated. Fathers make a difference because they have an abiding interest in their children's strivings.

When I went off to graduate school at the University of Texas, my father went down to Austin with me to help me find a place to live. Then he went back home to Dallas. If he ever worried about my making my way in this world after that, he never mentioned it to me. Fathers make a difference because they know how to say “Fare thee well” to their children, and really mean it.

The truth is, I am writing not so much about fathers as to fathers. I hope that you who are fathers will hew to what is essential in fathering. The brand of baby food you buy your son is small stuff; that you are there when he is learning to ride a bike is immensely important. That your daughter goes to school without her mittens is small stuff; that you are there to talk to her boyfriend is immensely important. That you sit down to dinner with your children is immensely important. That you are there to take them up a mountain that they don't think they can climb is immensely important. It is immensely important that you stick up for them when they need to establish their independence from their peers, from the authorities or even from their mother.

If nothing else, Woody Allen's words apply to fatherhood with a vengeance. He said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” This I believe.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Note: Try as a convenient (and cheap) source of this books (new & used)


The Abuse of Men : Trauma Begets Trauma- Barbara Jo Brothers

Wounded Boys, Heroic Men: A Man's Guide to Recovering from Child Abuse- Daniel Jay Sonkin

Abused Men : The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence-Philip W. Cook

Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse-by Mic Hunter

Broken Boys / Mending Men: Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse- Stephen D. Grubman-Black

Alone and Forgotten : The Sexually Abused Man- Rod Tobin

In Cabin Six : An Anthology of Poetry by Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse- Jill A. Kuhn

1. A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive

2. The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family

3. A Man Called Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness- Dave Pelzer

Betrayed as Boys: Psychodynamic Treatment of Sexually Abused Men- Richard B. Gartner

Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren't Supposed to Know- Thomas B. James

Victims No Longer: Men Recovering from Incest and Other Sexual Child Abuse- Mike Lew

Leaping upon the Mountains: Men Proclaiming Victory over Sexual Child Abuse- Mike Lew, Richard Hoffman

Violence and Gender Reexamined- Richard B. Felson

Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men

Volume II in the trilogy, Beyond the Fall of Man - Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young

Spreading Misandry : The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture

Volume I in the trilogy, Beyond the Fall of Man - Paul Nathansen and Katherine K. Young

The Minds of Boys : Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life - Michael Gurian

WHY GENDER MATTERS: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences - Leonard Sax, Ph.D., M.D.

Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren't Supposed to Know - Thomas B. James

Insult to Injury: Rethinking our Responses to Intimate Abuse - Linda G. Mills


And Reasons Why There Are So Few- Bryan G. Nelson

Violence and Gender Reexamined- Richard B. Felson

Spreading Misandry : The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture

Volume I in the trilogy, Beyond the Fall of Man- Paul Nathansen

Real Men or Real Teachers? - Paul Sargent

Boys and Girls Learn Differently - Michael Gurian

When She Was Bad : Violent Women & the Myth of Innocence- Patricia Pearson

A Circle of Men: The Original Manual for Men's Support Groups- Bill Kauth

Mythopoetic Perspectives of Men's Healing Work : An Anthology for Therapists and Others -
Edward Read Barton


Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction - Patrick J. Carnes

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior - Patrick Carnes

The Clinton Syndrome : The President and the Self-Destructive Nature of Sexual Addiction - Jerome David Levin Ph.D.

Bill W.: A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounder Bill Wilson -Francis Hartigan

Ebby: The Man Who Sponsored Bill W. - Mel B.

Gambling Addiction: The Problem, the Pain and the Path to Recovery - John M. Eades

The Gambling Addiction Patient Workbook - Robert R. Perkinson


The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life - Michael Gurian

Angry Young Men: How Parents, Teachers, and Counselors Can Help Bad Boys Become Good Men - Aaron R. Kipnis

The War Against Boys - Christina Hoff Sommers

The Good Son: Shaping the Moral Development of Our Boys and Young Men - Michael Gurian

Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different-And How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men - Steve Biddulph

Raising Cain : Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys - Daniel J. Kindlon, Michael Thompson, Dan Kindlon, Dan Kindion

Lost Boys : Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them - James Garbarino

Real Boys : Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood -William Pollack

A Fine Young Man : What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do to Shape Adolescent Boys into Exceptional Men -Michael Gurian

As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl - John Colapinto

The Wonder of Boys : What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do to Shape Boys into Exceptional Men -Michael Gurian


Marked In Your Flesh: Circumcision From Ancient Judea To Modern America - Leonard B. Glick

A Surgical Temptation : The Demonization of the Foreskin and the Rise of Circumcision in Britain - Robert Darby

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision: Untold Facts on America's Most Widely Performed-and Most Unnecessary Surgery - Paul M. Fleiss, Frederick M. Hodges

As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl - John Colapinto

Circumcision: The World’s Most Controversial Surgery -David L. Gollaher

Circumcision Exposed : Rethinking a Medical and Cultural Tradition -Billy Ray Boyd

Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective - Ronald Goldman

Circumcision, The Hidden Trauma: How an American Cultural Practice Affects Infants and Ultimately Us All - Ronald Goldman

Sex As Nature Intended It: The Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Making Love, but No One Could Tell You Until Now - Kristen O'Hara, Jeffrey O'Hara


The Good Father: On Men, Masculinity, and Life In the Family - Mark O'Connell, Ph.D.

The Spirit of Fatherhood: Embracing Our Role as Fathers and Reclaiming Our Children - S. Bruce "Olamina" Stevenson

In Search Of Fatherhood-transcending Boundaries: International Conversations On Fatherhood - Diane A. Sears

Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is As Essential As Mother Care for Your Child - Kyle D. Pruett

The Wonder of Boys : What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do to Shape Boys into Exceptional Men - Michael Gurian

The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters - Michael Gurian

Fatherloss : How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms With the Deaths of Their Dads - Neil Chethik

Father and Child Reunion - Warren Farrell

25 Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers - Mark Brandenburg

60 Tips for Fathers to Create Happy, Connected, and Responsible Kids - Mark Brandenburg


Father's Rights: Hard-Hitting & Fair Advice for Every Father Involved in a Custody Dispute - Jeffery M. Leving

Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap -- and What Women Can Do About It - Warren Farrell, Ph.D.

Read Excerpts, Watch Why Men Earn More Video Presentation

DADMOM: The Definitive How-to Manual for Custodial Parents -David P. Crowley

Throwaway Dads: The Myths and Barriers That Keep Men from Being the Fathers They Want to Be - Ross D. Parke, Armin A. Brott

Ceasefire : Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality- Cathy Young

Divorced Dads : Shattering the Myths - Sanford L. Braver


Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness... and Basically Everything - Thomas Ellis

Equality: A Man's Claim: The Equality Issue from the Male Perspective, and an Ethical Society's Viewpoint - Alan Millard


Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men, Volume II in the trilogy, Beyond the Fall of Man -Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young

Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture, Volume I in the trilogy, Beyond the Fall of Man -By Paul Nathansen and Katherine K. Young

Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back - Norah Vincent


Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness... and Basically Everything - Thomas Ellis

Nothings Wrong: A Man's Guide to Managing His Feelings -David Kundtz

Violence and Gender Reexamined - Richard B. Felson

Good Will Toward Men: Women Talk Candidly About the Balance of Power Between the Sexes -
Jack Kammer

My Soul Said to Me: An Unlikely Journey Behind the Walls of Justice - Robert E. Roberts

It's a Dick Thing: Secret Thoughts of Silent Men - Don Koberg

The Envy of the World: On Being a Black Man in America - Ellis Cose

Fatherloss : How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms With the Deaths of Their Dads - Neil Chethik

How Can I Get Through to You: Reconnecting Men and Women - Terrence Real

The Elder Within: The Source of Mature Masculinity - Terry Jones

A Man You Know is Grieving:12 Ideas for Helping Him Heal from Loss - Tom Golden

Swallowed By A Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing - Tom Golden

If Men Could Talk: Here's What They'd Say - Alon Gratch, Phd.

Growing Yourself Back Up - John Lee

What There Is to Love About a Man - Rachel Snyder

Standup Guy: Masculinity That Works - Michael Segell

I Don't Want to Talk About It : Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression - Terrence Real

Understanding Men's Passages : Discovering the New Map of Men's Lives - Gail Sheehy

The Myth of Male Power - Warren Farrell

Iron John : A Book About Men -Robert Bly

The Sibling Society -Robert Bly

Flying Boy : Healing the Wounded Man - John Lee

Facing the Fire: Experiencing and Expressing Anger Appropriately -John Lee

The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire - David Deida

Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man -Sam Keen

King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine -
Robert Moore

The Masculine Mystique: The Politics of Masculinity -Andrew Kimbrell

The Prince and the King: Healing the Father-Son Wound : A Guided Journey of Initiation -
Michael Gurian


The Smart Couple's Guide to the Wedding of Your Dreams : Planning Together for Less Stress and More Joy - Judith Sherven and James Sniechowski

The New Intimacy: Discovering the Magic at the Heart of Your Differences -by Judith Sherven and James Sniechowski

Be Loved for Who You Really Are : How the Differences Between Men and Women Can Be Turned into the Source of the Very Best Romance You'll Ever Know- Judith Sherven and James Sniechowski

Opening to Love 365 Days a Year - Judith Sherven, Ph.D. and Jim Sniechowski

The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wife's Heart Forever - Scott Haltzman

The Man's No-Nonsense Guide To Women: How To Succeed In Romance On Planet Earth - Marc H. Rudov

Being the STRONG MAN a Woman Wants: Timeless Wisdom on Being a Man - Elliot Katz

Straight Talk for Men about Marriage : What Men Need to Know about Marriage
(And What Women Need to Know About Men) - Marty Friedman

What Could He Be Thinking?: How a Man's Mind Really Works - Michael Gurian

Courting a Woman's Soul: Going Deeper Into Loving and Being Loved - John Lee


How to Build the Relationship You Always Wanted with Your Dad -Dr. Linda Neilsen

Why Men Don't Listen: And Women Can't Read Maps: How We're Different and What to Do About It - Barbara Pease and Alan Pease

Keys to the Kingdom - Alison A. Armstrong

No More Mr. Nice Guy!: A Proven Plan For Getting What You Want In Love, Sex And Life - Robert A. Glover

Ten Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives -Joe Kort

Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say : The Myths That Divide Couples and Poison Love - Warren Farrell

Flying Boy III : Stepping into the Mystery - John H. Lee

The Maiden King : The Reunion of Masculine and Feminine - Robert Bly, Marion Woodman


Creating Deeper Understanding and Love in Our Relationships -Aaron Kipnis and Elizabeth Herron

Men Talk : How Men Really Feel About Women, Sex, Relationships, and Themselves - Alvin S. Baraff


Over the Edge: Journeying Together to Recapture the Heart and Soul of a Man - Jared Feria & Lance Hastings

The Way of the Superior Man : A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire - David Deida

No More Christian Nice Guy: When Being Nice--Instead of Good--Hurts Men, Women And Children - Paul T. Coughlin


Younger Next Year: A Man's Guide to Living Like 50 Until You're 80 and Beyond - Chris Crowley, Henry S. Lodge

Dr. Peter Scardino's Prostate Book: The Complete Guide to Overcoming Prostate Cancer, Prostatitis and BPH - Peter Scardino, M.D.

Breast Cancer Husband : How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond - Marc Silver

"The Men's Club": How to Lose Your Prostate Without Losing Your Sense of Humor - Bert Gottlieb and Thomas J. Mawn, M.D.

The Testosterone Revolution: Rediscover Your Energy and Overcome The Symptoms of Male Menopause - Malcolm Carruthers

The Whole Man Program: Reinvigorating Your Body, Mind, and Spirit After 40 - Jed Diamond

Surviving Male Menopause: A Guide for Men and Women - Jed Diamond

Male Menopause - Jed Diamond

How Men Can Live As Long As Women : Seven Steps to a Longer and Better Life -
Ken Goldberg

NOVELS ABOUT MEN (Fiction and non-fiction)

For My Children - Dror Rofe

Big Russ and Me: Father and Son--Lessons of Life - Tim Russert

Flyboys A True Story of Courage - James Bradley

My Losing Season - Pat Conroy

Ten on Sunday: The Secret Life of Men - Alan Eisenstock

The Bedford boys: One American Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice - Alex Kershaw

Accidental Playboy: Caught In the Ultimate Male Fantasy - Leif Ueland

Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter - Shelly Brady, William H. Macy

Flags of Our Fathers - James Bradley

The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Generation Speaks - Tom Brokaw

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man and Life's Greatest Lessons - Mitch Albom

Playing Catch With My Mother : Coming to Manhood When All the Rules Have Changed - Greg Lichtenberg


Sleeping in Public -Poetry by John Lee

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Favorite Quotes of Famous Men

But I know somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars


In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.


Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. MARTIN LUTHER KING

If a man hasn't discovered something that he would die for, he isn't fit to live.


We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.


The price of greatness is responsibility. WINSTON CHURCHILL

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. WINSTON CHURCHILL

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last.


One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. WINSTON CHURCHILL

You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true and also fierce you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her. She was meant to be wooed and won by youth WINSTON CHURCHILL

It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time WINSTON CHURCHILL
Courage is not limited to the battlefield

or the Indianapolis 500

or bravely catching a thief in your house.

The real tests of courage are much quieter.

They are the inner tests,

like remaining faithful when nobody's looking,

like enduring pain when the room is empty,

like standing alone when you're misunderstood."


There is nothing in the world so much admired

as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference. ROBERT FROST

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change. CHARLES DARWIN

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Destiny is not a matter of chance,

it is a matter of choice;

it is not a thing to be waited for,

it is a thing to be achieved. WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.


I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.


Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.


We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.


Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?


There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, popular, or political; but because it is right.


Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.


The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.


For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's futures, and we are all mortal.


When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.


Be sincere; be brief; be seated.


Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.


The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.


Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.


The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.


Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.


A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.


We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.


Imagination is more important than knowledge.


I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.


It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.


Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.


Love is a better teacher than duty.


Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.


When you lose, don't lose the lesson DALAI LAMA

Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all your actions DALAI LAMA

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.


Be gentle with the earth. DALAI LAMA

. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other. DALAI LAMA

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.


A man is what he thinks about all day long. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

All life is an experiment. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

As we grow old, the beauty steals inward. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.


Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.


Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.


It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.


Nobody can bring you peace but yourself. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding


People only see what they are prepared to see. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

The only way to have a friend is to be one. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

We gain the strength of the temptation we resist. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

We must be our own before we can be another's. RALPH WALDO EMERSON

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.


I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.


Prayer for Men

Creator God, we pray for men; those whom you have created to share in the conception of life, and share in the responsibility of raising children.

We ask that you would help them be all that you have created them to be. Help them to see themselves as whole persons, so that they can help their partners and their children be themselves as well. Help them to be present to their families if they've been too long absent. Help them to speak out against injustice where they've been silent; help them to be understanding and supportive of the pro-choice decisions of their sisters, mothers, wives, and female friends.

But most of all God, give them the love and tenderness they need to be loving and faithful partners. May they welcome the opportunity to be supportive of the children they help bring into this world. Give them courage and strength to live according to your guidance and wisdom always.


Friday, October 19, 2007

How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?

Dick Lourie*

How do we forgive our Fathers?
Maybe in a dream
Do we forgive our Fathers for leaving us too often or forever
when we were little?

Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage
or making us nervous
because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.

Do we forgive our Fathers for marrying or not marrying our Mothers?
For Divorcing or not divorcing our Mothers?

And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning
for shutting doors
for speaking through walls
or never speaking
or never being silent?

Do we forgive our Fathers in our age or in theirs
or their deaths
saying it to them or not saying it?

If we forgive our Fathers what is left?

* This poem was read during the closing credits of the incredible film "Smoke Signals". It was originally published in a longer version titled "Forgiving Our Fathers" in a book of poems titled Ghost Radio

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Martin Luther King - Quotes for Group Discussion

Martin Luther King

Success and Failure

Politics, Government and Power

All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.


Courage and Fear

Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?

Expediency asks the question - is it politic?

Vanity asks the question - is it popular?

But conscience asks the question - is it right?

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right

Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Truths, Ideas, Ideals to Live by

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

But I know somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.

One who condones evils is just as guilty as the one who perpetrates it.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

If a man hasn't discovered something that he would die for, he isn't fit to live.

Optimism and Pessimism

Mistakes, Oversights, Misfortune


Comebacks, Humor

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.


Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'

Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

...And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man.

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values -- that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.

I’ve seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say:”We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you.... But be assured that we’ll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.

Wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete. There may have been a time when war served as a negative good by preventing the spread and growth of an evil force... If we assume that life is worth living, if we assume that mankind has the right to survive, then we must find an alternative to war.

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.


We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.

Perspective on Life

I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

We have flown the air like birds and swum the seas like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

God is not merely interested in the freedom of brown men, yellow men, red men and black men.He is interested in the freedom of the whole human race.

We must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.


Rich, Poor, Generosity

Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?

The time is always right to do what is right.

Education, Personal Development, Personal Responsibility

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, popular, or political; but because it is right.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Male Manifesto - Tom Owen-Towle


I am profoundly honored to be the first Unitarian Universalist Men's Network lecturer. I bow in gratitude. There is no more important soulful and prophetic work that I have pursued as a practitioner of Unitarian Universalism than comforting and challenging men precisely where I'm planted—in San Diego, throughout the Pacific Southwest District, and across our continental landscape.

One of my perennial mantras has been the Zen Buddhist invitation to "hasten slowly."

Therefore, as we launch the newly formed continental organization, UUMeN, I urge us to "hasten slowly." Hasten, because our task is prodigious and time is fleeting; slowly, because ours is not an ad hoc, quick-fix project, but a life-long quest that will occupy Unitarian Universalist men and women all our days.

The central phrase of our UUMeN's mission, "nurturing a positive liberal religious masculinity," summons the membership to be a revolutionary force for greater justice and joy within our chosen religious tribe of Unitarian Universalism and beyond. For the white, heterosexual males among us who occupy seats of abundant franchise, our UUMeN's behest is even more specific —-urging us to redistribute power and to resist further injustice, while rejoicing in our own maturing masculinity.

Incidentally, our UUMeN's enterprise to dismantle patriarchy and build a more equitable gender community is being inaugurated at the same time there is a burgeoning men's movement within America's radical religious right called "Promise Keepers," replete with a $28‑million budget and a staff doubling from 75 to a planned 180. Last year, 280,000 evangelical men packed seven football stadiums, glorifying God, slapping "high‑fives," and pompously greeting one another with "Thank God you're a man." Their uncompromising objective is to "take the nation for Jesus Christ."

"Promise Keepers" refer to gays "as stark raving abomination against Almighty God." They proclaim the primacy of the male in the household and unabashedly command one another to "take back the reins of spiritually pure leadership God intended men to hold." One of their pastoral leaders Tony Evans, upon instructing husbands how to recover their manhood, declares: "The first thing you do is sit down with your wife and say: 'Honey, I made a terrible mistake. I gave you my role. I gave up leading this family, and I forced you to take my place. Now I must reclaim that role.'" He goes on: "Don't misunderstand me, men. I'm not suggesting that you ask for your role back, I'm urging you to take it back... Be sensitive. Listen. Treat the lady gently and lovingly. But LEAD!"

"Promise Keepers" target "sissified men" as the main cultural problem in America. They invite racial reconciliation without even mentioning systemic racism. And when they talk about "privilege," they aren't referring to unearned male entitlements in modern society, they are talking instead about the privilege of knowing Jesus.

Well, their promises and ours are substantially different, and while these fundamentalist men are sincerely trying to regain male supremacy, our Men's Network aspires to forge a more just and merciful intergender reality. A brutal clash of religious worldviews prevails in our land and, ready or not, the men and women of our Unitarian Universalist faith must rise up and be counted for an inclusive, compassionate, life‑affirming sacred path.

Prophetic and healing reverberations will echo throughout the entire interdependent web of existence when men pursue increasing maturity of soul and behavior. May we remain faithful to our fundamental charge as an affiliate UUA organization! However, if UUMeN should ever deteriorate into but another, self-serving chapter of the "good old boy's club," then may our members be sensible enough to bury the project!

Lest we contemporary Unitarian Universalist male standard-bearers get carried away with expanding egos and lofty dreams, let it be known that we aren't the first cluster of men to organize within either our Unitarian or our Universalist folds. Hence, an abbreviated history of continental UUA men's organizations is in order.

Our first such alliance of men was created in 1907 and named the National League of Universalist Laymen, later becoming the Order of Universalist Comrades. This fellowship was organized primarily due to the comparative lack of involvement of men in ongoing church affairs. The Order focused on engaging every man in special projects in his local church, thereby strengthening the overall Universalist faith. This enterprise also promoted recreational and educational plans for boys in every community where there was a Universalist church.

Additionally, our Universalist forebrothers promoted an annual Layman's Sunday and recruited men for the ministry. Sound business professionals, they raised considerable money, and attendance of males at Universalist worship services took an upswing. In the early 1960s the shrinking 300 member Universalist Men's Association merged with the larger Unitarian Laymen's League, forging a significant philanthropic and prophetic endeavor.

The Unitarian Laymen's League emerged shortly after the end of World War I, during the period when American society spawned legion men's clubs and organizations. Prominent League members included United States President William Howard Taft and several U.S. congressmen and senators, plus an assortment of writers, academics and scientists. In its heyday the League boasted a membership of over 10,000, comprising more than 150 chapters and a membership-at-large.

In reflecting on its history, Robert Hohler, one-time executive director of the Laymen's League, recounts that "perhaps its most significant contribution was to the growth of the overall Unitarian denomination through its sponsorship of an innovative advertising campaign in magazines and newspapers. The ads that asked 'Are You a Unitarian Without Knowing It?' evoked a flood of inquiries from people wanting to know more. This campaign still stands as the most successful outreach program liberal religion has ever sponsored."

Hohler also recalls that "the League played a leading role in the Memorial Society movement, stood in the vanguard of civil rights, promoted anti-Vietnam policies, and was staunchly behind the empowerment of minorities and women...Ironically, the one issue that divided the League most bitterly had nothing to do with public policy, but centered rather around the admission of women to its membership...a move that did not endear the League either to the Women's Federation or to many of its older male members. When the League 'integrated' in 1968, several of the major chapters protested and refused to follow suit. This opposition led to the return of previous policies which signaled the ultimate end of the organization."

Nothing structurally emerged among continental Unitarian Universalist men until the 1983 General Assembly when a General Resolution entitled Support Groups for Liberal Religious Men "affirmed the commitment to the equal treatment of both sexes; and encouraged the formation of support groups for liberal religious men within their respective Districts and communities." That imperative and blessing assisted, however modestly, in nourishing some of the embryonic men's groups throughout our faith during the past twelve years.

In 1990, Bill Gardiner (Director of the Department for Social Justice at the UUA) and I plotted the formation of a revisioned male-specific fellowship within our Associational ranks. Our aim was to create and sustain an organization that would prove responsive to both the cultural shifts of our era and the enduring imperatives of our life-affirming faith, while building upon the solid foundations of our Universalist and Unitarian forebrothers.

For eons, the entire globe, including our Unitarian Universalist bailiwick, has lived under the governorship of "generic man," wherein maleness has been the presumed reference and norm for everything human. In so living we not only have denigrated the feminine perspective but have also lost men's authentic experience insofar as it is specifically male. One reason for the genesis of UUMeN has been to understand better and support more intently the experiences of masculinity as distinctive male phenomena rather than as pseudo-universals. Hence, our Network will emphasize the history and biology, the gifts and poverties, the yearnings and imperatives of Unitarian Universalist men.

It seems evident to UUMeN why we need male-based (not male-biased) chapters across the continent, but some women and men still question the value of our mission. So here are but two bedrock reasons for establishing local Unitarian Universalist brothering communities.

First, there are gender-specific angers, hopes, and fears that are more naturally shared male-to-male. This has long been acknowledged among women; the same wisdom obtains for men. Mixed company tends to derail men and women from experiencing the necessary camaraderie for developing our distinctive souls. The whole world needs the fullness of each of us. Consequently, women and men must labor independently but alongside one another to create a globe of greater gender justice and joy. As Alice Walker comments: "As a womanist, I am committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. I am not a separatist, except periodically for health."

Second, there is lots of healing to be achieved among men because we have been pounding on, climbing over, and even destroying one another ever since Cain snuffed out his brother Abel. We hanker to learn more respectful ways to be brothers—not our brother's boss, keeper or lackey, but our brother's brother.

A primary way for men to heal our brother-caused wounds is to spend intimate time sharing our real stories, as peers, in supportive, non-competitive places. UUMeN is dedicated to nourishing such stations of brothering throughout our religious movement.

The governing mission of our Unitarian Universalist Men's Network is to establish an intentional community of brothers and sister‑allies committed "to building a positive liberal religious masculinity that is pro‑feminist, gay-affirmative, culturally and racially inclusive and diverse...We understand such positive masculinity, working in alliance with various movements for social justice, as essential for personal and social progress, healthy spirituality, and the good life" (by-laws adopted on August 18, 1993). This lecture will offer beginning notes on what a "revolutionary manifesto" of the UUMeN might entail for the invigoration of our common and cherished religious movement.

Why Revolutionary?

When selecting the title for this address, I agonized over the use of the term "revolutionary," wishing neither to tame our organizational vision into polite irrelevance nor to espouse a concept that might unnecessarily alienate mainline Unitarian Universalists. But it has become increasingly clear to me that contemporary times require more than new information, more even than the gradual reformation of attitudes; they demand the full‑fledged transformation of being, wherein our male lives might be turned both outside-in (reflectively) and inside-out (prophetically).

UUMeN exists to remind men that we could benefit from an overhaul and that, with grace and grit, the perils and tyrannies pervading our lives can be diminished. (MEN FIXIT STUFF !) And we men, both individually and organizationally, must take the lead in our own growth! Consequently, the founders and supporters of UUMeN are not solely interested in the evolution of male consciousness but more critically in the revolution of male conduct. Altering the psyche of Unitarian Universalist men(?!!!)and changing ingrained gender patterns throughout Associational life will necessitate nothing short of a revolutionary manifesto.

The word revolution comes from a Latin word meaning to "roll back, to unroll." (NOT CORRECT ! THAT IS FOR EVOLUTION… revolution, from Late Latin revolution-, revolutio, from Latin revolvere to revolve) Therefore, the unclouded purpose of UUMeN is to roll back the assumptions, biases, and behaviors that suppress men's emotions, oppress women socially and economically, and wreak ecological havoc. Rolling back the negatives so that positives might be unrolled is the joyous duty of practicing revolutionaries committed to growing a mature liberal religious masculinity.

I appreciate the way Kate Millett phrased it in her trenchant book entitled Sexual Politics (1970): "Guys still have it in their heads that a revolutionary is a murderer. Uh-uh. A revolutionary is a changer, a teacher, somebody who hangs in and keeps at it, and keeps loving people until they change their heads." And I would add: until they change their hearts and souls as well! Norman Mailer, in Christians and Cannibals, made a similar observation: "Masculinity is not something given to you, something you're born with, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor."

Although the term "warrior" is sullied, perhaps irredeemably (what with its legacy of paid soldiers whose single purpose is to find and destroy opposition), there resides in the sacred literature of contemporary women and men a useful interpretation of the warrior archetype as denoting those individuals who are fiercely compassionate, protectors of righteousness, boundary setters, and guardians of goodness.

Countless men know only too well the harm of cowardice when determination and force are called for in the endless struggle to combat evil and approximate justice. It is difficult for temperamentally sweet guys like myself to ruffle feathers, raise unseemly voices, or, God forbid, engage in disorderly conduct in the hallways of any smooth-functioning "patriarchal" institution. It would be so much more comfortable to remain a thoughtful, stand pat liberal and ignore the unsettling requirements of the summons to liberation. But, alas, UUMeN won't let us transact business as usual.

The operative word for me, as a reluctant yet aspiring revolutionary, is FORCE, a term spineless do-gooders are loath to claim. Yet being a resolute force is precisely what is needed within and beyond our religious association. Our male lives must be sufficiently evolved to practice forceful alternatives to hostility and withdrawal, to incarnate what Gandhi called "satyagraha," which translates as "soul or truth force."

Every contemporary problem facing us as men—whether among family or friends, between races, governments or religions—will be addressed ultimately either through violent or nonviolent force. The sagacious and stouthearted Unitarian Universalist men among us will learn how to employ the force of justice, the force of healing, the force of noncooperation, the force of unyielding resistance to wrong, the force of imaginative, radical ideas.

Life is a partisan fray, and the tests and tribulations facing the men of our Unitarian Universalist Association are colossal. To confront our own stubborn aches and buried wounds will require revolutionary honesty. To modify the course of our chosen faith-tribe will require revolutionary defiance. To cultivate inner soil while navigating political waters will require revolutionary balance. To stop the emotional and physical harm we daily perpetrate on women, children, other men, and ourselves will require revolutionary courage. To bridge the power gap between whites and men of color, and to melt the fear paralysis between straight and gay men will require revolutionary chutzpah.

Forming a continental organization specifically to challenge the privileged status of one's own gender takes what African-American writer Toni Cade Bambara terms "sheer holy boldness."

To evolve from being males, our biological fate, to brothers, our relational destiny, requires revolutionary strides.


Being a brother to other men and women, to plants and animals, to the deities and demons roaming the universe signals nothing less than a radical passage from dominator to collaborator. To trade in the attitude of power-over for power-alongside all living entities demands extraordinary masculine fortitude and, yes, will extract a substantial cost.

Christian philosopher Beatrice Bruteau reminds us that the greatest revolution in the history of humanity occurred on Maundy Thursday when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Until that moment the whole point of human reality had been for someone, invariably a man, to get ahead or on top! My sisters and brothers, in envisioning a revolutionary manifesto we counsel the men of our liberal religious faith to do the riskiest thing imaginable: to fashion a truly mature masculinity—both soulful and prophetic!

UUMeN, while not a thriving revolution yet, is, indeed, searching for more than a few good men. We are shamelessly agitating for every registered Unitarian Universalist man and every supportive sister-ally to join our revolutionary voyage. Our by-law objectives are clear and simple: we "challenge men to confront gender injustice, homophobia, racism, loneliness and distrust between men, and violence by men against women, children, other men, themselves, and the earth." And to do so at our places of residence, work, play, and worship. Now, if that's the kind of organizational manifesto that reflects your Unitarian Universalist credo, then we urge you to accompany our caravan.

As Alice Walker reminds us: "When Martin said, 'Agitate non-violently against unjust oppression,' I assume he meant in our own home, if that's where the oppression was." So, wherever injustice rears its ugly head in our own household of faith is exactly where we ought to be focusing our revolutionary fervor. We Unitarian Universalists are notorious for feverishly passing resolutions toward changing institutions in the outside world while failing to modify the policies and deeds of our own religious clan.

Don't expect the revolution we are pursuing at UUMeN to be either effortless or pleasant. We are still, for the most part, a male-entrenched and controlled operation, and manifold men and some women will not easily alter the comfortable arrangement in our religious tribe from which so many of us gain considerable and unquestioned benefit. Heterosexism, racism, and sexism remain intractable and insidious monsters in our own progressive religion.

Truly radical religious experiments that exemplify what Unitarian forebrother Roger Baldwin called "holy discontent" are seldom popular or centrist. So, our Men's Network must persist and plod, remaining true to its purpose, marked by what Gloria Steinem calls "outrageous acts and everyday rebellions," and ever striving to embody the sentiments of Adrienne Rich:

My heart is moved by all I cannot save:

so much has been destroyed

I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely,

with no extraordinary power,

reconstitute the world.

Principles of Our Revolutionary Manifesto

At the height of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, William Sloane Coffin was one of a group of ministers who urged Henry Kissinger to withdraw U.S. troops. Kissinger, pushing the clergy on the complexities of such a proposal, asked, "Okay, how would YOU get the boys out of Vietnam?" To which Coffin, turning to the prophet Amos, responded, "Mr. Kissinger, our job is to proclaim that 'justice must roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.' Your job is to work out the details of the irrigation system!"

Well, today I offer a bold framework highlighting four fundamental elements of what I perceive to be a mature liberal religious masculinity: male-positive, interconnected, inclusive, and balanced. All who join the ranks of UUMeN will be vigorously working out the details of our system in the days ahead.

I. Male-Positive

The last thing we need in any fledgling men's movement today is horizontal contentiousness, men chewing on men.

Unfortunately, that's the case in numerous corners of the secular world. On the far right are reactionaries who disregard male privilege or gender violence, espousing that men are basically as oppressed as women (simply in different ways), and in the opposing camp reside militant leftists who claim that masculinity is inherently flawed, an incurable disease, a hopeless cause.

Whereas men harboring such extremism may join our organization, the fundamental nature of UUMeN does not nurture such zealous views. On the one hand, we contend that male economic and political power is indeed dominant, and, on the other hand, we hold that masculinity is not an irredeemable condition. Simply put, we can be proud of being men without doing so at the expense of others.

When we claim to be a male-positive organization, we are declaring that no matter what social travesties men perpetrate, ours can become a healthy and honorable estate. The history of men is amply filled with both delivering and receiving wounds, but we are never exhaustively described by those wounds. Therefore, in the name of our Network, we do not tolerate the bashing of women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals or persons of color, and we refuse as well to scorn or humiliate men qua men.

We are positive about the male gender. We believe that men can relate, repent, resist, reconcile, and rejoice on the pathway to fullness of humanity. As radical black feminist Bell Hooks urges: "So many people have expressed this real hard-core sense that men are never going to change. And I have thought, can you imagine the despair of black people under slavery had we felt that there was nothing about that system that was going to change, that there was nothing about white people as a group, or as individuals, that would change? One of my favorite statements that I say a the whole notion that 'what we can't imagine, can't come to be.' So, we've got to believe that men can change, and I believe profoundly that we have individual incidents of men changing!"

II. Interconnected

We men are socialized to lead fiercely independent lives, but as a member of our Unitarian Universalist Men's Fellowship in San Diego once remarked: "I'm a self-made man, but if I had to do it over again, I would call in others." All is not lost for this particular individual, for he is now fortified by the transformative embrace of caring brothers in one of our dozen men's support circles.

Our Unitarian Universalist heritage has always revered its rugged individualists like Thoreau and Emerson. However, we seldom remember those distinguished Universalist men who formed spiritual‑prophetic brotherhoods such as the Hopedale Community and the Humiliati. What have we learned from them? We proclaim the interdependent web as an ecological and cosmic principle, and so we should, but we fail to embody it in the smaller kinship groups where we dwell. We remain gravely underdeveloped in the craft of relational power.

Therefore, among the eleven members of the UUMeN's steering council, a group that attempts to represent the varied voices of our movement, we are laboring valiantly to share power, refusing to create yet another monolithic structure of "kings on the mountain." UUMeN abides primarily as a clearing house to start and sustain local Unitarian Universalist men and groups in their personal aspirations and public responsibilities toward shaping a more just, gladsome universe.

A continental men's organization, such as UUMeN, forces us to admit that we are not self-sufficient either as individual males or as autonomous brotherhoods. Mature masculinity necessitates men migrating from solitariness to solidarity, from lone rangers to a brothering community across the gulfs of age, profession, theology, race, lifestyle, ability, and class that continue to segregate men from men.

In every Unitarian Universalist society throughout the land, there exists some form of worship life, religious education, and social action. There are also innumerable programs for singles, couples, and families, and usually a female-focused federation prospers on campus. What we need, as well, in every one of our local congregations is a structured, ongoing men's presence that welcomes adult male members into its fellowship and nourishes them through its program life.

Furthermore, shouldn't every boy who is a part of our children's religious education effort know that he is on a lifespan quest accentuating "positive liberal religious masculinity"—surrounded and guided by exemplary men (other than his own father or brothers) who can serve as challengers and comforters for his religious journey? And what about the importance of girls and women experiencing mature men in our Unitarian Universalist communities?

III. Inclusive

Additionally, our brothering tribes must be spacious and inviting, not merely in print but in deed. As Unitarian Universalist Bernice Johnson Reagon of the singing group Sweet Honey in the Rock says: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition!" Our Unitarian Universalist men's groups need to be available for the countless white, heterosexual men in their 30's and 40's searching for meaningful community, but we must also reach out to other diverse constituencies of men. African-American poet June Jordan cuts to the quick of authentic community when she asserts: "My hope is that our lives will declare this meeting open!"

But every man is our brother - including those men who frustrate, anger, and desert us, including those men who abuse, abandon, and kill women, children and us, and, yes, including those fellows who think UUMeN is irrelevant or worthless.

UUMeN heartily agrees with our forebrother Walt Whitman that "all men are my brothers," not just the progressive, stimulating, agreeable ones of our choosing.

All these men are our brothers too!

As an intentionally inclusive Unitarian Universalist brothering community, we would recognize men of all sexual orientations and celibates as well; men of every capacity, condition, color, class, and conviction—the outcast and the dictator, the hermit and the knight, the foe and the lover, the welder and the lawyer, leaders and followers and those who saunter to their own drumbeat, the magician and the impostor, the right-winger and the socialist, the notable, the heinous, and the incorrigible mixture in us all.

Now, don't misunderstand me, we are not responsible for all these guys, and, most certainly, we will engage in fierce, moral wrestling matches with many of them, but we remain related to them. We share the same gender embodiment, our histories are interlocking; hence, we are beckoned to engage the otherness of fresh and foreign brothers along our life-journey! As Parker Palmer notes: "Community is that place where the person you least want to live with always lives!" Genuine community, that is!

In an intentionally diverse, welcoming male community we also acknowledge our irretrievable linkage to those brothers who have come before us and who will come after us. Generational bridging is conveyed in this adapted poem from traditional West Africa:

Do not seek too much fame,

but do not seek obscurity.

Be proud.

But do not remind the world of your deeds.

Excel when you must,

but do not excel the world.

Many sages and crones are not yet born,

many have already died.

To be alive to hear this song is a victory.

We pay holy tribute to those male ancestors, from the North and South, East and West, in whose debt we stand and who are cheering us onward. Kokopelli, the native American humped-backed flute player; Orpheus, the father of music and poetry; Jesus of Nazareth, an incarnator of love; Francis of Assisi, a brother to the animals; John Sigismund, the first and only Unitarian monarch in history, whose ground-breaking edict established religious toleration and freedom; Unitarian Universalist Whitney Young, Jr., an unyielding warrior for racial justice; Mark DeWolfe, an openly gay Unitarian Universalist minister who, in the throes of dying with AIDS, wrote: "remember your love as a source of strength; remember who you are: lovers tossed by these difficult times." All these prominent and unsung men are truly our brothers, our holy kin.

IV. Balanced

The purpose, objectives, and program venue of the UUMeN are committed to wholism rather than faddish causes or regional preferences. While addressing the deeper hungers of the male mind, body, conscience, heart, and soul, we adhere to Carl Jung's wisdom that "the definition of maturity is holding greater and greater opposites without coming apart."

In our literature you will recognize a fast commitment to balance: being male-positive, gay-affirmative, pro-feminist/womanist, racially inclusive, intergenerationally sensitive, ecologically responsible, and dedicated to bridging with all extant organizations within our movement from the Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation (UUWF) to Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU), from Interweave to the Economic Justice Task Force, from the Black Concerns Working Group to the Seventh Principle Project.

To maintain spiritual and structural equilibrium, the Network encourages its members to encounter the deeper demons and desires of existence, to be mystical activists as well as discerning fools, to embrace life and consent to die, to honor family and welcome the stranger, to delve deeply into poetics as well as ethics, to cherish the treasures of endarkenment and enlightenment, to confess our vulnerability while claiming our might.

But perhaps the quintessential hurdle for men along our revolutionary journey is learning how to juggle the twin vocations of justice-making and joy-sharing in a society that tends to major in either duty or delight to the detriment of the other.

We want to be known as an organization that occasions for men a rhythmic blend of personal growth, social justice, and spiritual awakening.

Justice-building. In the annals of human history it's quite unusual for men, basking in entitlements, to commence an organization essentially to jettison rather than fortify their empire. Yet, according to our Men's Network, now is the time, for the white, heterosexual men of our culture and association, still the single most empowered group of human beings that ever inhabited the planet, to rise from our seats of privilege and to commit the revolutionary deed: extending the realm of justice to enfold every living reality.

An Hasidic tale underscores the primacy of our male accountability. When Rabbi Ammi's hour to die came, he wept bitterly, not because he wasn't a thoughtful gentleman or a learned scholar of the sacred Torah, both of which he exemplified, but because Ammi failed to become a public servant. He wept because, as he put it: "I was given the ability to extend justice, but never carried it out." If UUMeN progressively embraces rather than eschews our founding mission, we will become imperfect yet persistent justice-builders.

Our classic path as men has been to ascend to power or, as is currently the custom practiced among mytho-poetic men, to descend into ashes. Ascending and descending are both necessary, even noble, paths for men to take, but there is another more difficult bearing for mature men to assume today: that is, to saunter sideways, neither ahead of nor behind, but alongside other human beings—co-existing as respectful allies in the arduous quest of making peace and building justice for all. Our revolutionary manifesto calls us to be men of conscience, laboring both on our selves and our society! Radical gay activist John Stoltenberg puts it baldly: "The core of one's being must love justice more than manhood! Justice-building is acting not in one's self-interest but acting in the interest of one's OWN BEST SELF!"

There are three interlocking and mutually reinforcing zones of justice-building that we are centering on in the Network as evidenced in our purpose: anti-racist resistance, gay-straight bridging, and pro-feminist work. These are, by no means, our only prophetic charges as mature liberal religious men, but toiling in these vineyards will surely embolden us to confront other inequities.

Perhaps the major import of UUMeN will prove to be that men as men will no longer elect to simply meld, even hide out, amid the vast crowd of conscience-workers, but rather, through deliberately forming our own organization, we will face our male culpability and complicity in societal evils and to make the necessary sacrifices in our individual and institutional lives.

Confronting Racism

There is probably no more cantankerous sin for Unitarian Universalists to confess and combat, not as a three-year task force but as a lifetime effort, than our liberal denial of the intransigent racism that permeates Unitarian Universalist culture and results in paralyzing guilt or resignation rather than heartfelt repentance followed by change.

Racism is primarily a white responsibility, and we men must battle it in our souls as well as carry our burden in its institutional elimination. Lamentably, we Unitarian Universalists are often more enamored with maintaining a positive self-image or looking good to the outside world than dedicated to opposing the demon of racism itself. Yet being an agent of revolutionary justice transcends being cloyingly polite or politically correct. It means pursuing the path of prophetic compassion in a society that escalatingly undermines racial and gender affirmative action.

White folks are doing the best they can to keep tight-control of my home state of California, precisely when minorities are rising to power in numbers and the demand for equity. Where will we Unitarian Universalist brothers stand as matters heat up, as lines are drawn, and as the culture clash intensifies across the continent? What will we say and do when the forces of intolerance, bigotry, and exclusion grow more intractable in the outside world, and, subtler within our own religious walls? Will we stand tall for justice as members of the UUA, the UUWF and the UUMeN, or will we step down, back off, and sneak away to a more fashionable social cause?

Diminishing Homophobia

As a religious movement we have been pacesetters in the drive for the full dignity of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered folks, although evidenced by the letters printed in the Fall 1994 issue of the World, the dehumanizing monsters of heterosexism and homophobia are alive and well in our ranks.

Issues of erotic preference cause men to squirm, become defensive and rigid, often lash out belligerently. Conversely, when gay, straight, bisexual, and transgendered persons risk moving from closets to closeness, speaking our deepest truths, venturing beneath surfaces, beyond expectations, and beside prejudices, the results can be utterly transformative. But don't be lulled. We live in a culture that is both homophobic and philiaphobic. This double whammy renders male intimacy a rare accomplishment. So the task of growing affectional honesty, if not friendship, across sexual orientation lines, constitutes a revolutionary adventure.

Repelling Sexism

To be a pro-feminist man means simply to oppose male supremacy and female subordination in our culture and to labor steadfastly for gender fairness socially, politically, economically and religiously. It is critical that men play a relentless, supportive role in women's struggle for equality. The health and welfare of our mutual destinies are interwoven.

As a man I will never discover my full humanity merely by reclaiming my emotions, making peace with my father, or becoming more expressive with my brothers. Ultimately, the way to fully restore our lost masculinity and to heal the fractured earth is through working for a scope of revolutionary justice that will serve the disenfranchised of our globe: women and children; persons of color; sexual minorities; the physically and emotionally disabled; the homeless, the incarcerated, the marginalized.

I often hear my male comrades saying, "I don't have the energy or time to be political. I'm hurting too much myself." I offer two plain responses.

First, I care about the personal plight of my brothers and regularly invite them to join a men's support group. I understand, even applaud, the process of men revealing long-suppressed internal woes and agonies. Wounded animals are the most dangerous, and mature men must positively face our hurts on the road toward healing. But being wounded is only part of our story. Men are also wounders, and we must answer for that. We need to heed the unbearable pain and terror that women and children feel, living in a world in which one in four will be raped and one in six is the victim of child sexual abuse.

Second, since we're incorrigibly social animals, we men can ill-afford to smugly gaze at our navels without being public contributors as well. Mature masculinity requires that we heal both the body personal and the body politic!

Feminism reminds us that women's rights and concerns have not been satisfactorily addressed yet and that sexism has not been conquered even in our liberal Unitarian Universalist community. UUMeN encourages us to be pro-feminist supporters up close with the partners, mothers, daughters, and women who share our personal and professional lives, recognizing that gender justice that is practiced publicly but not privately is fraudulent.

Privilege, while granting men power, causes costly, irreparable damage to our bodies and souls. Consequently, it is the steadfast conviction of UUMeN that feminism lies in men's deeper interests. Working as allies with women to make the ideals of equality substantive is integral to the fullest expression of what it means to be men.

In summation, a "positive liberal religious masculinity" cries out for justice-building. Our Men's Network exhorts all males to do one more thing today for racial and gender, ecological and sexual orientation justice, and one more thing tomorrow than we accomplished today, all the way to the grave. As Thomas Sankara said during his Presidency of the West African country of Burkina Faso, "You can't make fundamental changes in society without the occasional mad act." Brothers, let us dare to engage in mad, revolutionary acts of justice.

Challenge some bit of gay-baiting or lesbian-bashing humor. Care for a child so an overworked mother can have a day that is her own. Be willing not only to assist women caught in harm's way but also to support women in times of their power and glory. Refuse to hold a men's retreat until you have included the presence of blue-collar men and men of color. Dare to be a true husbandman, prudently conserving the earth's resources, cultivating the soil, and exhibiting kinship toward plants and animals.

I confess to believing that racism, homophobia, sexism, and ecological travail will not be eradicated during my lifetime. I cannot hold to optimism, but neither am I a pessimist who cynically throws in the towel. As a Universalist Unitarian, I am rather an inveterate hoper, one who knows that on occasion our faulty revolutionary talk and walk may, as the Native Americans like to say, grow some corn.

However, remember that the justice-building of mature men must be balanced with joy-sharing. Justice-builders quickly turn into grim crusaders unless there is adequate time for foolery and drumming, chanting and gamboling. A joy, deeper than happiness and more enduring than pleasure, is central to any revolutionary program. Therefore, our Men's Network heartily agrees with socialist rebel Emma Goldman who liked to say: "I don't want to be a part of any revolution where there isn't dancing!" You've probably heard about the bishop who lamented: "Wherever Jesus went, there was a revolution; wherever I go, people serve tea!" Well, that's but a partial truth—for, in fact, Jesus was both a party-goer and a prophetic force. And while the Nazarene didn't attend tea parties, he did gravitate to wine feasts.

Even one of our premier work-horses for justice, Theodore Parker, noting the glaring absence of any exuberance among his mid-19th century Unitarian colleagues, was impelled to write: "Most powerfully preaching to the conscience and the will, the cry was ever 'duty, duty! work, work!' They failed to address with equal power the spirit, and did not also shout 'joy, joy! delight, delight!' Their vessels were full of water, but they did not gush out, leaping from the great spring..."

Indeed, our Network hankers for an abundance of laughers, singers, clowns, and dancers among its revolutionary company.

Closing Reflections

While the accomplishments of UUMeN will rarely match our aspirations, we contend that individuals and organizations are finally measured by the size of our hopes and the integrity of our principles more than by the tally of our achievements. Therefore, we march gradually forward—rolling back assumptions and prejudices while rolling in greater approximations of justice and joy.

There is a legend that tells of a contest between an elephant and a thrush. The elephant boasted that it could make itself heard the farthest and dared the thrush to accept the challenge. The thrush did. Then the elephant raised its trunk and sent forth a piercing blast. The thrush quietly sang its song. The judges went forth to find out how far each contestant had been heard.

On and on they went, until they found no one who had heard the elephant's trumpet, yet they could still hear "ever so softly" the song of the thrush. "How could the thrush's song carry farther than the elephant's cry?" asked the befuddled judges.

With gentle insistence the little bird explained "our thrush family has sentinels throughout the forest, and when one sings, another takes up the song and then another and another. So they pass it along until it is carried throughout the land."

Surely, if our song of justice is to resound joyfully throughout the far-flung reaches of our movement, even beyond our walls, then we're going to need men and women alike to enlist as sentinels in the grand and noble transmission of our revolutionary manifesto.

Tom Owen-Towle

delivered at the Spokane General Assembly (June 17, 1995)

Tom Owen-Towle has served as a parish minister since 1967 and a leader in the men's movement since 1972. He is co-senior minister with his wife Carolyn of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego. Tom is a founder of UUMeN and a member of its Steering Council.

Individual and Group Identities

I rejoice in Tom's assertion that "the last thing we horizontal contentiousness, men chewing on men....(W)e scorn or humiliate men qua men." With his continued spiritual guidance, I am confident that UUMeN will avoid those pitfalls. Nevertheless, I do have some concern that "white, heterosexual men" can be set up for a bad rap. This is a phenomenon that I call the "WH-HETMEN" scapegoat. If I were a white heterosexual male (1), I would feel some degree of resentment—if not some anger—at the implication that I am the singular source of relational and earthly destruction! That is, oddly, biblical literalism—the legacy of poor, inept Adam, who couldn't handle creation's first group relationship. I believe that ALL men, of whatever skin color or sexual orientation, face the transformational challenges so brilliantly described by Tom. And we all need each other for this to transpire. As UUMeN grows in numbers, I can foresee the creation of caucuses or special interest groups, e.g., African-American UUMeN, Latino UUMeN, Native American UUMeN, Gay-Bisexual UUMeN—maybe even White Heterosexual UUMeN—but it is my fervent hope that we, with our sister-allies, will be one, unfragmented, dynamic, and loving organization. This will not be easy to accomplish, but Tom has wisely made no promises that our work together will be easy. While all of us need to face the painful truth about our social justice sins of commission and omission, the litany of white heterosexual male mea culpas cannot go on indefinitely. For our spiritual and emotional health, we ought not to wallow in scrupulosity; rather, we ought to grow and move on toward forgiveness, reconciliation, and social change.

Social Justice Priorities

UUMeN is an infant organization, and its developmental future is unclear. Nevertheless, the doing of social justice is a central UUMeN commitment, eloquently stated by Tom. My major concern in this area is that I feel Tom overstates the case for the primacy of anti-racism in our menswork, especially in his dare to men not to "sneak off to a more fashionable social cause." There is a danger here of pressuring us into an orthodox or rigid approach to the work of anti-racism—which I prefer to describe, by the way, as pro-racial equality. I find it more inspiring and energizing to be FOR something than AGAINST something. In any case, I agree with Professor Bill Jones that, in our time, "oppression is the geopolitical megatrend." Wherever men and women struggle for freedom from any oppression, they contribute to racial equality, and I honor them in my heart, if not with my help, whatever the name of their social cause.

If we affirm the interconnected web of all existence, it behooves us to understand critically the interconnected web of all oppressions!

As we creatively and energetically pursue anti-racism education, training, and social action within our UU culture, it is imperative, in my opinion, to step out of paradigm boxes to act for liberation from related oppressions which foster the conditions of racism. No one should be intimidated or shamed that they are sneaking off "to more fashionable social causes." I can assume that this is not Tom's intention, but I would like to prevent this kind of misinterpretation. All of us have our own list and record of social justice priorities. My top four are: sexual ignorance and oppression; the crises in national and global public health; American political oligarchy; and global economic exploitation of workers and the planet.

Time does not permit an exposition of those four social justice issues, but I simply urge all men to contribute generously to the UUA project for producing a new, comprehensive life-cycle program on human sexuality. As one of the core members of the curriculum team that developed the original "About Your Sexuality" multimedia program, I know how costly and time-consuming such a project can be. Yet, as unfortunate as it is that a special fund-raising effort must be made to accomplish the new sexuality curriculum, I plead for UUMeN take an active role in addressing this need. I especially commend Cornel West for his courageous facing of the sex issue in RACE MATTERS (2), and I firmly believe that unless we, in Tom's words, "dare to be mad," we will continue to propagate myriad forms of violence caused by sexual ignorance and oppression. Society at large, including UU culture, just doesn't get it: human sexuality, sex ethics, and gender freedom and equality require a radical reframing of intimate relationships, family structures, and social mores.

Pro-Feminist Alliances

There are feminists and there are feminists, some groups of which are in vigorous disagreement with each other. I would like to qualify Tom's assertion that "feminism is in men's deeper interests," for I can imagine some conflicting positions on some social issues such as the regulation of pornography and the changes in family law related to divorce, alimony, and child custody. There is still a very strained area of conflicting interests in this awkward transitional time in intergender relations.

UUMeN will quickly wither away if it does not pay serious attention to hurting, often angry, men. It is ironic that we have been sensitized to take seriously the victimization of women while, ideologically, we distrust male claims of victimization. The magnificent services of healing conducted by such UUMeN's groups as the Seattle and San Diego chapters are good examples of dealing with the pain of men and women-friends. I anticipate some very exciting and transformative collaborative programs in the future between UUMeN, the UUWF, and other women's groups. Nonetheless, at the risk of occasional tension between some feminists and UUMeN, it is my conviction that UUMeN must be helpful in a variety of ways to enraged males who feel unfairly treated or falsely accused by women. Enraged men are more susceptible to violence and self-destructive behaviors, and UUMeN must have a mission and services for these brothers without fear of being labeled reactionary by some feminists.

The Ultimate Male Power

The ultimate male power is the self-empowerment of saying NO to violence. This transformative power is, however, subversive of political power, and it is feared and must be controlled by the rulers of all nations. Why do you think that the media of this country portray the men's movement as just drum-bangers in the woods and wimpy crybabies rolling in the mud? They don't want us to know about each other and they don't want to assist us in finding each other. Why do you think that the reactionary power elite so vehemently oppose abortion, sexuality education, sensitivity training, and the social change agenda of the men's movement? They need a ready supply of cannon fodder—men who can quickly be transformed into terrorists and mass murderers for the expediency of military solutions to political problems as well as to protect and propagate the entrenched global power of the military-industrial complex. In the contrived and maintained culture of sick masculinity, it is incredibly easy to dehumanize the enemy and glorify the home warriors.

The most amazing men's movement in American history was a watershed in male moral evolution. Although not recognized as such at the time, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War—and all those men who proclaimed at the outset, "Hell no, we won't go!"—put the most powerful nation on earth on the alert: Cannon fodder will not come cheap any more.

Is it possible to grow a global movement of brothers of all faiths and colors to covenant never to take up offensive arms against each other? The answer of my heart and my head is YES, YES, YES! I conclude with three brief stories to illustrate the evolving self-empowerment of men to end violence against each other, and against women, children, and the planet.

The NBA Championship Series

If any of you watched the basketball playoffs this year, you may have noticed some very unusual public service announcements. I do not know who developed them, but they were brilliant and powerful. They depicted young African-Americans in confrontive, potentially violent situations with other young African-Americans. As the endangered person began to clench his fist, a voiceover from an NBA superstar would say something like, "... and one of the hardest decisions of my life was to walk away." The fist would unclench, and the young man would avoid violence by just shrugging and walking away. This is a powerful message to young black men who are murdering each other in horrendous numbers. This is men teaching men a better way.

Ataa Adjiri, Ghanian Woodcarver, Artist and Intellectual

Although he currently has his studio in Seattle, Washington, Ataa Adjiri, now forty-something, spent the first half of his life in his home country of Ghana. Under the mentorship of his grandfather, the boy learned the art of woodcarving. When, with his grandfather, he went to the forest to select a tree for his use, he ritualistically explained to the tree the purpose for which it was being cut down, and he asked the tree for forgiveness. His magnificent carvings, whether in native soapstone or mahogany, reflect his deep spirituality and his commitment to world peace. When I was compelled to enter his studio by a work I saw in a window, he explained to me the meaning of the three entwined moveable men carved from one piece of mahogany. "It has a special place in our culture," he said, "because it represents the unity of the family." Ataa went on to explain several aspects of Ghanian culture, and he shared how he had first missed the nurturance of the men of his village.

It was with great excitement that I shared with him the emotional power that his "Unity of the Family" piece had for me. It symbolized, I said, the enduring and essential unity of all men everywhere—our global brotherhood. And I explained to him that I was on my way to Spokane to be with a gathering of UUMeN, and that I wanted to purchase his piece so that I could share it with UUMeN. I also revealed to him my vision of a universal peace brotherhood. He, too, was very moved, and he said to me, "Only men can teach other men, and even if it takes one man at a time sharing the dream with one other, we can do it; we can create a new world of peace." Inside, my heart was bursting with joy, and, as we embraced, I knew I had found a spiritual brother.

If you are ever in Pioneer Square, Seattle, visit Ataa Adjiri at 214 1st Ave., So. (98104); phone (206) 464-4089.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Perhaps you have read the World War I novel by Erich Maria Remarque (German, 1928; English, 1929) or have seen the movie versions. In any case, I remember one scene as follows. A young German soldier jumps into a shell hole to hide from the fierce explosions around him. Suddenly, for the same reason, a French soldier jumps into the same crater. The German soldier plunges his bayonet into the Frenchman, and then endures the long death throes of his enemy. Out of curiosity, the German reaches into the dying man's pocket and discovers an unfinished love letter to his wife, along with the identity of the man as a baker—a baker with a family, whose blood is now soaking the shell hole. The German holds the now dead Frenchman and says, "If it were not for my rifle and your grenade, we could be brothers. But they don't want us to know that, do they?"