The tag line is “A public dialogue about belief – one essay at a time.” What do you think you might say if you were to write such as essay for NPR? Perhaps you would focus on God or some aspect of God as Susan Cosio, a hospital chaplain from California did in her essay when she said, “I believe in a daily walk to listen because that is when I am close to God, that is when I find my way.” (, 2006, p 45) Or you might say something like what Actress Helen Hayes concludes: “I must help myself, yes, but I am not such a self-contained unit that I can live aloof, unto myself.
This was the meaning that had been missing before: the realization that I was a living part of God’s world of people.” Or perhaps the opposite. Not believing in god is easy, you can’t prove a negative, so there’s no work to do…
For examples of this kind of essay, read some of the prize-winning essays on this web site: https://thisibelieve.org/essays/featured/ Here are some helpful guideline on writing a winning essay in this category: https://thisibelieve.org/guidelines/ Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Send to: [email protected]: “Essay contest entry” Winners will be announced on Friday, August 23rd.
In these staples of Unitarian Universalist religious education curricula, we ask participants to write a Credo statement, an “I believe” statement.
We slip when we allow the religious equivalent of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ to close down our attempts at open conversations.
I think we, in this congregation in Binghamton, are a little more relaxed and willing to talk about beliefs.This I Believe II is also available on CD as an unabridged audiobook. In 'The Right to Be Fully American,' Pakistani-American Muslim attorney Yasir Billoo describes the anguish of being made to feel like a foreigner in your homeland, while virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma expounds the benefits of cross-fertilizing cultures, both in life and in music.In 'The Faith That Brings Me Peace,' Betsy Chalmers describes how the implicit belief in marital faithfulness has enabled her to remain committed to her 30-year marriage to a convicted criminal; in 'God is God Because He Remembers,' Elie Wiesel puts the value of shared history into stark perspective.Believing there is no god gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-0, and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.” (ibid p129-31) Remembering the guideline to ‘stay positive,’ Jillette made that distinction between not believing in god and believing there is no god.For what it’s worth, Jillette’s essay continues to be the top most viewed essay on the website.For example, General Colin Powell, when he wrote his NPR This I Believe essay, said, “I believe in America, and I believe in our people.” (ibid p184) In the original 1950’s series, First lady Eleanor Roosevelt said, “I am pretty much a fatalist.You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.” (ibid p203) What would you write about?In the foreword, co-producer Jay Allison describes This I Believe as 'a snapshot of the convictions of our age.' Even a preliminary reading of the book will reveal that these varied convictions arise from a diverse range and depth of experiences."—Aisha Motlani, Shepherd Express (Milwaukee)"In his introduction to This I Believe II, Jay Allison writes, 'In an age of irony, an earnest statement is a target.' Yet the long-running NPR series from which this collection of essays is drawn, and for which Allison is the host and curator, is exactly that: the earnest statements of people of every age, gender, race, religion and station of life about what is most significant to them. divisiveness' and 'raise a flag for thoughtfulness.' These essays do that but they also do something more: They speak to the best in all of us and leave us in awe of the unheralded virtue that surrounds us every day."—Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor"With times as bad as they are, perhaps a bit of inspiration is needed.Almost every one of the 500-word essays is surprising in some way. If so, This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women fits the bill. Infused with gratitude and hope, these declarations are at once grounding and uplifting."—Booklist"Allison and Gediman's newest omnibus highlights 75 more essays from the archives of the successful NPR program, a contemporary version of Edward Murrow's classic radio show.Each piece, whether poignant or humorous, compels the reader to think about how they have formed their own personal beliefs and about the extent to which they express them to others.This edition also contains an appendix on how to write a This I Believe essay. "This I Believe II features 75 pithy essays by authors young and old, famous and unknown, and engaged in every walk of life.