Showing posts from 2017

Jesus was a refugee

There is so much tradition and nostalgia around Christmas, the customs and traditions cast big shadows. They are often seen as the principal signs of the holiday, instead of as garland. But tonight, let us remember... Christmas is real. Now I love Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s Wonderful Life, and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I like Christmas trees and houses decked with lights and reindeer. I love carols and candles, giving and receiving gifts, and holiday food and parties as the nights have been growing longer. But forget the cartoons. Forget the little drummer boy and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, and Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. Forget Ebenezer Scrooge, and the jolly old fat man in the red suit. Forget even the nativity scenes. There’s nothing wrong with these, some are perfectly lovely, some are true expressions of faith. Every now and then we need to go back and remember that the actual baby Jesus was not a character in a story. Like every other newborn child, he wa

A Unanimous Declaration

That's not true, really. The states were not unanimous on July 4, 1776 (the New York delegation abstained).* But the 13 states were far from united, and certainly not unanimous. While there was a lot of sentiment for a new independent nation, it is doubtful that a majority supported rebellion against the Crown to achieve it. Yet the Declaration was vindicated by history as true enough. The citizens who supported the cause and the troops who avoided disaster and outlasted the British won the day and eventually the hearts (of most) of their countrymen. Nothing of any great importance will be acheived without risk and without opposition. As much as we hope for unity of purpose and unanimity about the course to take, it cannot stop our resolve to act when justice and human integrity are at stake. When a person, or group, or a government stands against human rights and dignity, it is necessary to change it. It was the radical, revolutionary idea that government ultimately ser

Where we stand

It seems that Vladimir Putin has won. Of course he succeeded beyond any expectation in getting a destructive, impulsive fool into the Oval Office. He has diminished trust in American institutions and the integrity of democratic elections. He has helped legitimize his own corrupt, brutal, kleptocracy by raising up a pale orange image of himself in a place which should stand for something better. He has elevated racism and fear to national values rather than cancers to defeat. He profits from our descent into governmental chaos (although not as much as China, out of the garish spotlight). And no doubt he has gloated at his perverse genius in crippling a rival, while at the same time feeding his own narcissistic apppetite. This Putin-assisted, self-inflicted national disgrace will continue week after excruciating, shameful week. Because we are obsessed and addicted to this All Trump All The Time train wreck of a too-real surreality show. God help us to turn away from this, and