Social action prominent this week, and other UUs in the media

UU sexuality advocate defends Obama plan

In response to the Obama Administration plan—since amended—to require religious employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, the Rev. Debra Haffner, executive director of the Religious Institute and a community minister with the Unitarian Church in Westport, Conn., appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to debate the topic. Mediaite summarized her appearance. She previously faced off against O’Reilly in 2007 over the issue of providing comprehensive sexuality education for all ages. Haffner was also interviewed in a front-page article in the New York Times that primarily focuses on the response of the Catholic Church. (FOXNews, Mediaite – 2.8.12, – 8.17.07, New York Times – 2.10.12)

UUA opposes controversial anticrime bill

The Boston Globe reported that the Unitarian Universalist Association had joined opponents of a contentious three-strikes anticrime bill, which would eliminate parole eligibility for three-time violent offenders. The UU Mass Action Network is coordinating the UU opposition to the three-strikes bill. After a press conference at UUA headquarters, the Rev. Peter Morales, UUA president, joined others in hand-delivering copies of their statement to the office’s of the Massachusetts governer, house speaker, and senate president. (Boston Globe – 2.10.12,, The Patriot Ledger – 2.8.12)

UU author on Radiolab, UUA leaders meet with UCC, and more

Author and UU World contributor Jeffrey Lockwood was featured on NPR’s “Radiolab” series in an episode called “Killer Empathy.” (Radiolab – 2.6.12)

The United Church of Christ reports on the groundbreaking recent meeting of leaders from the UCC and the Unitarian Universalist Association held in Cleveland. UUA representatives included the Rev. Peter Morales, UUA president; John Hurley, director of communications; Taquiena Boston, director of multicultural growth and witness; and the Rev. Keith Kron, transitions office director. ( – 2.9.12)

See UU World‘s coverage: UUA and United Church of Christ seek ways to collaborate ( – 2.10.12)

A solar energy business donated solar panels to the First Universalist Society in Franklin, Mass. (MetroWest Daily News – 2.5.12)

There’s a mention of Rep. Pete Stark’s “non-theism” and membership in a Unitarian church in this Financial Times piece about atheism in America. (Financial Times – 2.3.12)

The Rev. Jack Lewis, acting director of religious education at the UU Society of Wellesley, Mass., became the congregation’s new assistant minister for religious education and social justice. (Wellesley Townsman – 2.1.12)

The First Parish in Milton, Mass., ordained the Rev. Erik Resly. ( – 2.8.12)