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America’s Health Care Debate and What it Reveals

The idea that a few of the Congressional majority would actually force America into default and bankruptcy, bringing on, the Europeans feared, a world wide depression in order to stop people from getting health care, left them disillusioned with America’s political leadership.

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A Manifesto! The Time Has Come!

I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is “an abomination to God,” about how homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle,” or about how through prayer and “spiritual counseling” homosexual persons can be “cured.” Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy. I will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those who advocate “reparative therapy,” as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired. I will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people. I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality “deviant.” I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that “we love the sinner but hate the sin.” That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement.

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Thanks for Nothing

A Commentary for Thanksgiving in an Age of Anxiety

American retailers have essentially pre-announced that the annual Thanksgiving observance — when we presumably pause to gratefully remember everything we have — has been cancelled so bargain shoppers can get an even earlier jump-start on their holiday shopping for all the things we don’t have yet.

Meanwhile, halfway around the world a typhoon of record proportion hit landfall only a few weeks ago; nearly wiping an island nation off the face of the earth, and leaving those who survived with virtually nothing. Then last week an unseasonable swarm of twisters flattened whole towns across the Midwest. By comparison, it all makes the plight of those first pilgrims facing the harsh realities of their first Thanksgiving in a brave new world look like a walk in the park.

And, all the while, the airwaves and media have been filled with docu-dramas and documentaries commemorating the half-century mark of those events that shattered an age of relative innocence for those of us old enough to remember it; ushering in an age of extraordinary upheaval and anxiety, starting with what social critics and historians alike attribute to the assassination of JFK. Juxtaposed and taken together, these events represent a seeming un-reality that hasn’t really abated much in the last fifty years. We live in an age of anxiety.

Jesus masterfully taught in the philosophical tradition known as Jewish cynicism, with such parabolic tales and quaint-sounding imagery as the “lilies of the field.” And he did so at a time and age that – while seemingly ancient to our modern way of thinking – may not have been all that different from our own anxious age. Consider then our fretful, misbegotten ways, and the wild lilies of the fields.

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Naked in Church

I have many “naked” dreams, easily explained because I sleep in the buff. That may be T.M.I., but it lessens attempts to over-psychologize these dreams, though much could be made of an introvert having such dreams! Of course, I have dreams about being naked in church as well. And it always seems normal and I am unashamed, but sometimes think perhaps I should be, because I am the only one in the nude.

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The Case for a New Christianity

This paper addresses recent discoveries of previously unknown Christian scriptures which predate the orthodox canonical gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Surprisingly, these earlier writings reveal a totally different kind of Christianity – one which could very well speak to the needs of the lost Christians of today.

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I Knew Jesus

I didn’t see him often because he was always moving about. But those few times we spoke together, were enough to last me a lifetime – maybe an accumulation of only four or five hours total.

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I Am

I am,
said God to Moses from the burning bush.

I am the light of the world…
I am the way…
I am the gate…
I am the vine…
I am the bread…
Before Abraham was, I am…
said Jesus.

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Religions are the Languages of Faith- Sermon Video

All religions are the product of a culture’s attempt at expressing their most closely held beliefs, values and the morals they want to pass on to the coming generation. We should no more say that one religion is better than another than we would claim that one language is superior to another or that my favorite music is “right” any everyone else’s favorite music is “wrong.” There are healthy and unhealthy religious beliefs and practices but in the 21st century we need to learn from one another and challenge one another to repent of our prejudices, oppressive practices and out dated values so that we can all become the best Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. that we can be.

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Review of A Joyful Path, Year Two

One of the major challenges for Progressive Christians in the years to come is paying more attention to “equipping the saints.” The dictionary meaning for “equipping” is “to supply with intellectual, emotional, or spiritual essentials.” It is derived from an old French term which means “to put to sea, to embark.” The Center for Progressive Christianity has picked up this challenge and provided congregations and parents with two years of relevant and imaginative curriculums for the 21st century. They have taken the lead in reframing Sunday school teachings and made them into invaluable resources for “equipping the saints” as they head out on the sea of our culture. Whether you are a parent, a Sunday School teacher, a preacher, a spiritual seeker, or just someone who likes to look at ideas from a child’s point of view, this one’s for you.

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A Few Things About Us You Might Be Surprised to Learn…

You might be surprised to learn that we are a small non-profit with a small budget and only four part-time staff members. You might be surprised to learn that our President/Director works full time as a volunteer. You might be surprised to learn that we funnel most of our donations right back into the meaningful projects that we have taken on to help evolve and support faith communities. You might be surprised to learn…

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Clean Up After Your God

Religions, like puppy owners, often don’t do a good job of scooping up the messes they leave behind. But that’s not a compelling enough reason to give up on either your God or your dog.

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Milton’s Secret- The Movie

A dramatic feature film based on the book by Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman. Milton’s Secretis a coming of age story about an 11-year-old boy growing up in an economically depressed suburb, and the elderquest of his grandfather. Milton’s troubles seem to be coming from every direction. His mother and father are workaholics with marital and financial problems, and he is being bullied at school. Fear and dread are everywhere. When his unconventional grandfather visits, Milton learns that rehashing bad experiences and worrying about the future are preventing him from finding true happiness in the Now.

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Is the Kingdom of God Built of Vegetables?

We find ourselves in a food economy that sickens us. Health is divided along race and class lines: the food economy particularly sickens those whose wages do not allow them to buy the foods that can cure us of the diseases industrial “foods” cause. Corporations, who do not speak the language of human love and health, wrangle to profit from the stream of ill Americans falling from the industrial foods conveyor belt. But we know that type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some cancers are fully preventable by replacing part of what we eat with fruits and vegetables. Why, in a wealthy, fertile country are we wrecking the environment to produce foods that kill us?

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Food democracy: Rule of the people or corporations?

When it comes to faith in our democracy, this year has raised some eyebrows. In the case of food and agriculture policy, a disturbing fact emerges: Our democracy is increasingly a façade. Agribusinesses have been subverting the democratic process from Washington D.C. to state legislatures across the country to ensure that people know less and less about how their food is produced and distributed. Moreover, they have engaged in a determined effort to obstruct opportunities for citizens and legislators to engage in the democratic process. Consider the following to illustrate the point.

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