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Jobs, Jobs and Job

Jobs, Jobs and Job Jobs, we all want jobs. Or so we repeatedly hear. I don’t join that throng. I’m at that place in life where I only want to do what I want to do, and that is to serve this wayward, wanting world. Yet, as I listened to C-SPAN programs of election debates across the country in this 2014 election season, “creating jobs” was the main mantra. Millions of offshored jobs, and then a lasting recession. People are desperate for jobs, any jobs,…

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Homosexuality in the Human Community

I stand before you today with a mixture of trepidation and daring. Like often, I think we can consider touchy and complex issues with broad-minded thinking and good-hearted caring. I’ve no particular authority or expertise other than tending to think for myself and speak out loud in a setting of the “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” So I dare, though I am uneasy; I trust we can handle it together. The topic is easy for some, unsettling for others. Homosexuality is a…

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Father’s Day Interview

I was interviewed by my dear friend,  Aletha Nowitzky, on her Saturday morning (10 - 11AM) radio show "Tasty Topics and Tantalizing Tunes" on KSKQ in Ashland, Oregon.  (A low-power local station, but you can listen live on line.)  She posted the show on their archive.  Take a listen; it does a good job of exploring fatherhood, especially from my dad and for my three sons:

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Better than Guns

Better than Guns "Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important. . . Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you. Thank you."  Gabby Gifford I do not mock Gabby here; I join her in desperate vulnerability. We’re all vulnerable.  We’re vulnerable to a whole host of problems before and beyond  guns –…

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America the Beautiful Because of Liberals and Conservatives

America the Beautiful Because of Liberals and Conservatives   An eagle soars high only on two wings. If such a grand bird were to use one of its wings against the other, it would be only crippled and crazy.  America is a bird divided against itself.  Instead of having a higher view, it flops and flounders on the ground.  Such a bird needs psychiatric help or prophetic warning.  That is my intent here today: I want to help America soar again. I see my beloved…

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Minor Mind Mending

Minor Mind Mending   An outgoing, uplifting stage personality killed herself recently.  Who would have suspected such a powerhouse of positivity would have such a dark side as to tragically die too early because of it?  Everyone was shocked.  Towards six hundred people attended her memorial service at our university in Ashland. I wanted to put her loss to the community’s gain and so joined an ad-hoc group.  We wanted somehow to help prevent suicides.  Quickly, we entered the difficult and overwhelming world of mental…

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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…

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Faith and Foolishness

Two weeks ago this Thursday I heard the “click of no return” during Stephen Mansfield’s answer to whether a sense of faith is necessarily a good thing, Columbus being an example of deluded faith. He replied that Columbus did things “contrary” to his own faith. Not so. My point was he did those atrocities because of his faith - a god-ordained, self-righteous pillaging, raping, and murdering. Because I couldn’t differ with his first pious fiction he then went into a worse second one: that Bush was in Iraq to “eradicate the militant wing of Islam.” Not so. Iraq was one of the only secular states in the Muslim world.
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“The Passion of the Christ” Confounds Compassion with Cruelty

[Intro to this post.]  Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” is offensive. It starts dreary and goes gory. The brave honesty and loving kindness of Jesus is absent. Undeserved agony is the only story. Then, in the end, poof! He’s all cleaned up and fresh again, miraculously. It offends as Christianity does, making Jesus fit its scheme: An inscrutable God sends his own son to suffer and die for the sins we do in order to save us from the even more hideous hell…

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Who Rules Your Living and Dying, and Why?

We all will eventually die; moralists in congress want to make sure we’ll die slowly and expensively. Piously pretending to protect our human dignity, they instead rob us of it, commanding we subject our private lives to their national drug laws and presumptuous morality, no matter what we want. Lawmakers may deny the right to decide to die, but people usually have had the power to do so, when and how they choose. As a funeral director and clergyman, I’ve seen lots of people die.…

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