unTapped Topic: Sweet Land of Liberty

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
~George Bernard Shaw

This week at unTapped, we will discuss the meaning of liberty and freedom, as we approach Independence Day. What does it mean to you to be free? Does Freedom mean that our nation is merely politically independent from other nations, or does it mean that the United States is a geographic zone of personal freedom? Does your belief in freedom make you more or less patriotic? What does it mean to have freedom of religion to you?

We will be meeting at Moka this Thursday, 7pm. Join us for a conversation about freedom, faith and patriotism!


unTapped Topic: Who is Missing?

REMEMBER: This week we are meeting at MOKA

I heard a conversation between two people who were discussing the United States' Constitution. One of the people claimed that the US Constitution was weak because it failed to include the voices of women and ethnic minorities. "Rich white men wrote it for rich white men" he insisted. At the time the Constitution was written, there was very little interest in including African-Americans, Native Americans, or women. In fact, just being poor left you out of the process (only land owners could vote or run for office). But, this seeming injustice was merely a reflection of the time that the document was written.

Most faiths depend on traditions and texts that were written hundreds or thousands of years ago. Only recently, however, have people of faith purposefully attempted to include those who were left out of the formative processes.

So, who was left out of your faith's formation? Has that changed?

join us tonight at MOKA for a discussion of faith, theology and the missing voices.


unTapped Topic: Many Faiths One Truth?

Join us, this week at MOKA (7pm) in downtown Bellaire for a discussion on interreligous harmony, and compassion.

A few weeks ago, the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times (click here). In his opinion, religious people need to be ardent adherents to their faith, but must also seek to learn from other faiths. He says that all major faiths contain a "strong unifying thread" and that thread is compassion. The Dalai Lama pleads for people of faith to refocus on the religous mandates for compassion. He says "mutual understanding among these traditions is not merely the business of religious believers — it matters for the welfare of humanity as a whole."

A Boston University religion scholar, Dr. Steven Prothero responded to the Dalai Lama's op-ed in a piece that Dr. Prothero called "The Dalai Lama is Wrong" (link). Prothero writes,
Religious exclusivism is dangerous and naïve. But so too is pretend pluralism. The cause of religious harmony is not advanced in the least by the shibboleth that all religions are different paths up the same mountain.
Prothero contends that compassion is not at the root of all religions and he calls the notion of religious harmony based on compassion "youthful naiveté".

What do you think?

Join us, this week at MOKA (7pm) in downtown Bellaire for a discussion on interreligous harmony, and compassion.


unTapped Topic: Judgement Day

REMEMBER: This week's conversation will take place at MOKA!

judgement dayThe topic this week comes from Barb!

Recently, our area has heard much about a tragic story (found here) where a mother (Susan Avery Miller) was accused of killing her own teenage son. While awaiting trial, she committed suicide. There was a lot of speculation and chatter after the suicide. Amidst the chatter was an opinion expressed in several letters to the editor and internet message boards that Avery-Miller had not escaped justice and that Judgement Day would be her true sentencing.

Nobody knows the truth of this particular case and it is probably not up to us to judge. So, who is it up to? Do you believe in a Judgement Day? Who will be the Judge?

Join us for the conversation this week, 7pm, at MOKA in downtown Bellaire!


unTapped Topic: Ceremonial Faith

REMINDER: tonight's discussion takes place at MOKA

Weddings and Funerals are two events that go far in defining our lives and the lives of most families. What is the purpose of these ceremonies? What is accomplished by them? Is a relationship unconsecrated if there is no ceremony? Is a person's future in jeopardy if there is no funeral ceremony?

Usually, these ceremonies are almost always spiritual or religious events. Some faith traditions see weddings and funerals as a worship service (or mass). But, should they be religious ceremonies? What are the important things to have at a funeral or wedding?

Join us, tonight, at Moka for a conversation about weddings and funerals.


In order to live man must believe in that for which he lives.
- Huston Smith
unTapped is a conversation about faith and spirituality. There are many people frustrated by being forced to think of faith in the same old patterns, and would prefer to explore spirituality in different ways.

Anything goes here. No matter where you are or who you are, we want to hear from you. Feel free to join in the conversation!

You can also join us in person, every Thursday night at Short's Brewing Company in Downtown Bellaire, MI.