Tag Archives: choice

an ugly insight from history

I am currently dealing with a number of good people who are angry. Much of that anger is being expressed at me, but I understand why they are angry and what is motivating their anger. The source of their anger and the pain that is causing it is far deeper than me or my words and actions.

Dealing with ugly realities is never easy, and it is especially difficult in a society where we have always desired not dealing with anything ugly, messy or painful. An example is this quote by Voltaire. It is an ugly truth that will immediately make many reading it upset and angry. That, however,m doesn’t change the truthfulness of the quote.

It’s o.k. to get angry at ugly truth and painful facts. But, if we analyze the reason for our anger we have the opportunity to grow from it.

We can then work to either accept or change the ugly truth which makes us angry. Or, as in the case with some of those who are now directing their anger toward me, we can ignore the truth until it becomes an infection of anger and bitterness causing us to lash out in pain.

The only problem with the latter approach is that the source of the infection, that ugly truth still needs to be dealt with, doesn’t it?

 

Our First Amendment

We must not forgive that we have rights. Some of these rights are already under attack by the #BLOTUS administration. We all need to speak up to defend the basic rights granted to the American people by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The right of a free press is already being targeted. And the right to assemble is also receiving pressure. This is a dangerous and slippery slope, and the first steps of any totalitarian regime. We all must stand up for every one of these rights.

today’s sermon: WWDD

We have entered a time in the life of our nation when faithfulness to the Gospel is about to “get real” as they say. The chasm between patriotism and discipleship is growing ever wider. Executive orders are being issued daily that are in direct opposition to the values of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel lesson for this morning is Matthew 5:1-12. It’s the Sermon on the Mount, also known as the Beatitudes. As I have struggled to prepare a meaningful sermon for my small and aging congregation I have tried to be open to the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

I could not stop the tears on seeing this teeshirt,  Jesus as a refugee again brought home the ugly reality of authoritarian rhetoric being enacted into law.

I know that Jesus promises to bless us, I know that Jesus teaches us to live lives of love, mercy, nonviolence and compassion. The issue I am grappling with now is how to demonstrate that in a nation that is bowing down to one who ignores, even flaunts Christ’s example and teachings.

I know WWJD. What truly frightens me, is that I also know WWDD. The two are diametrically opposed.

I have committed myself to following the man from Nazareth. That means I cannot follow BLOTUS. I am truly saddened that many of my congregation are not able to make the same choice.

in your hands

This has always been true. Each of us has the glorious opportunity to create the world we want. We can make a difference in the lives of thousands, even millions who live in crushing poverty and never escape the shadow of hunger,

Working together we can change the world forever. We can rewrite history. We can become a part of a global movement that truly ends hunger in our lifetime. This is my goal. And it’s always been the vision that drives Stop Hunger Now. Join with me and let’s create a better and more just world for all.

on the road to hell

After just recently rereading 1984, I am struck by the timeliness of this statement by Orwell. All of us have heard the old saw that we have the government we deserve. Orwell states it even more directly.

In a democracy we have the ability to choose. We don’t have, however, the guarantee that we will necessarily choose wisely. None so blind as those that refuse to see. And most of our nation has become so afraid that they refuse to open their eyes. And a people that willingly swallows lies can never be set free by the truth.

We are not only on the road to hell, we are helping pave it as we go.

nonviolence is a lifestyle

Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Jesus said that if we hate a person we have already committed murder in our hearts. There are far too many of us who need to ask for forgiveness for carrying murder in our hearts.

As Christians we are asked to love without limits, and to be bearers of grace and reconciliation in every situation. We need nonviolent spirits. We need the peace of Christ in our hearts.

we must take sides

I am alarmed  that the number of documented hate crimes has risen dramatically since the election of President-elect Donald Trump. This isn’t just a coincidence.

Our newly elected President’s ugly rhetoric, and viperous verbal attacks on our nation’s marginalized have encouraged many of his followers to act out their own hatred of those they they fear and those with whom they do not agree or understand.  This cannot be allowed to continue.

Those of us who live in love have to take sides. We have to speak out against every hate crime we see, and we must, likewise, take every opportunity to prevent hate crimes from occurring. Silence on this issue is not an option.

We must take sides. We must stand with those being oppressed. And we must speak out against anyone (including the President, or any other leader), who engages in or promotes hate crimes, either verbal or physical. There is no neutral ground on this issue.

Silence in the face of hate crimes is acquiescence. And I, for one, will not stand in silence in the face of intolerance and hatred.

We must take sides. I am standing on the side of the victims. Whose side are you on?

 

a lie is a lie

A lie is a lie no matter how many times it is repeated. It is the opposite of the truth, Wrong is the opposite of right. Evil is diametrically opposed to good.

It doesn’t matter how many times a lie is told, or evil is lifted up as good, a lie is a lie and evil cannot be good. Rick Warren is right about this. It doesn’t matter how many accept a lie or agree that evil is good. A lie can never be the truth and evil can never be good.

This is especially critical for us to understand during this Presidential Campaign.  We all recognize a lie when we hear it. We all know the difference between right and wrong. We have all been taught the difference between good and evil.

I will cast my ballot for the candidate who has not repeatedly been caught lying during this campaign, the candidate who does not have a long history of racism, bigotry, fear-mongering, inciting violence, and defrauding all those possible. I cannot in good conscience vote for a pompous, egotistical, self-aggrandizing braggart whose bullying is already legendary.

Some of the values I have learned from my faith are love, humility, gentleness and service to others. One candidate reflects these values with a lifetime of public service. The other consistently demonstrates just the opposite.

For me the choice is simple. I recognize a liar when I hear one. I know the difference between right and wrong. And like you, I definitely know the difference between good and evil.