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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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The Problem of Religion and the Promise of Creation

The Problem of Religion and the Promise of Creation Have you noticed that the three great monotheistic religions of the world are also the three great problem makers in the world? Is God the problem? Does God want these vast forces to wage war with the others? We’re told lately that society has gotten too secular, too wayward, and that we should return to our religions and have more faith. But should we? Haven’t religions often been the source of problems – from stifling knowledge…

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