Tesla Factory a Shrine?

Because I’m a minister long-concerned for the ethics of how we get and use energy, my recent trip to tour the Tesla factory to the San Francisco bay area (Fremont) had an inspiring feel to it, like going on a pilgrimage to a shrine. Tesla doesn’t advertise or use dealerships, yet it is rapidly transforming the car world.  This isn’t just for money.  CEO and early investor Elon Musk’s life-intention has a “massively transformative purpose.”  Above the doorway to the factory it reads, “Our Mission:…

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Hail Haley? We’ll See

President elect Donald Trump has a chance to actually make America great and secure a lasting heroic role in history. Or he could could be remembered as just another fascistic glory-glut who does lasting damage before being deposed. I have a lingering glimmer of hope he isn't as bad as he's been portrayed.  He seems more pragmatic than ideological.  He's no King Ashoka ("he who is without sorrow and regards everyone with affection") but he could be remembered as the surprise president who healed a…

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The Well-Tuned Brain Reviewed

Doctor Peter Whybrow's 2015 book The Well-Tuned Brain: Neuroscience and the Life Well Lived offers biological and psychological mechanisms for failing societies and successful ones.   Would that we read and heed. He opens quoting John Dewey's test of all political institutions and industrial arrangements: whether "they make to the all-around growth of every member of society."  Who asks such questions these days, and who has answers? He reminds us of our recent context.  Our population has doubled since the 1950's and our economy has increased…

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God’s Goods: Human and Natural

God’s Goods: Human and Natural I’m so glad you’ve invited me here today and that you’ve come.  This brief sermon has been forty years in the making.  They say preachers really only have one sermon that they then elaborate on.  This is that one.  It says what I most care about and intend to serve the rest of my life. I’ll be using some religious terms here.  I hope and trust that doesn’t dissuade the more humanistic of you from listening past them to the…

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Global Warming Explained – 4 Good Resources

Friends know I’ve been spending lots of time learning about and addressing Global Warming. What is it? What to do? Here are my favorite sites for easy-to-picture, comprehensive, and reliable information. Click around on the many links in each for a fast and fun view of the slow and problematic predicament we’re in. You might want to visit and bookmark each now for easy reference later. From NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration): http://www.climate.gov/ From NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration); http://climate.nasa.gov/ The World Bank:…

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THC, MDMA, LSD, DMT, etc.

These letters are acronyms for four kinds of drugs that I would like to explore in this sermon. Basically, I will recommend them as possibly problematic but potentially beneficial for persons and society. On the whole, and especially compared with the Counter Culture, I have not found a lot of interest in entheogens or other drugs in our UU culture. UU’s have concern for civil liberties, curtailing a needless and excessive police/prison state, the right for people to live their own lives as long as…

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Sex? Yes!

(I believe in human wholeness – not fragmentation, not partiality, not alienation.  Does this include sex?  Yes!  What the Creator built in we should not shame and alienate.  The topic is vast, the approaches to it are many, and the feelings about it can be prone to upheaval.  What I offer here is limited, provocative, reasonable, and sincere.  I appreciate my liberal congregation, which took this in thoughtful stride.  The version they heard was about half as long as what here follows.)   “Oh, God!”…

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Alternatives to the War on Drugs (2002)

Thirty years ago as a young student minister in Michigan I preached against our government’s persecution and prohibition of drugs. In the back of the room the local police and prosecutors sat, glowering. In the front, in the pulpit, I rolled what appeared to be a joint. However, because marijuana was illegal, I had to use imaginary marijuana, relying only on the placebo effect for our shared spiritual experience. I toked it up, held my breath, and passed it around as a communion. Most people…

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What and Wither, Really?

What and who are we, and whither would we go, and why, really?   I start to answer these questions, not by copying what others say, or by mouthing what others expect me to say as a minister, but by honestly saying what I think I know.   As you know, I entered ministry via a route through embalming.  At 18 I looked closely into death.  It awakened a wonder at the structure of our bodies and an appreciation for our precious, limited life.  Too…

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Visions of Whole, Healed, Healthy, Happy World

What ever became of vision?  Our current political and religious leadership have visions so dark and backward we forsake ever hoping for better.  Can we look past these dreary scenarios?  Dare we?   The visionaries of the past left failed results, leading us to cynicism.  Skinner’s meager Walden II was at least a fair attempt at being fair.  The Farm in Tennessee and the Oneida Community in upper New York were limited to limited communes.  The great socialist vision of a worker’s paradise descended into…

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