Moderate Radicals

Corporate media and political parties try to reduce the election process into identity politics which has more to do with a beauty contest or a horse race than it does a deliberative choice of policies and values.

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State Mandated Sexual Assault

Missouri, in an attempt to make obtaining an abortions more difficult, expensive, and humiliating, recently required a medically unnecessary second pelvic exam for all women who sought to obtain an abortion. This inexcusable and invasive addition of a medically meaningless invasive exam can only be called sexual assault, made much worse because it is mandated by the state government.

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When AIDS Was Funny

During the early 1980’s, when AIDS was first discovered, the Regan administration not only did virtually nothing in response, but when asked about it in press briefings, the response was laughter and gay bashing jokes.

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What Do We Do With Our Grief?

The mortality rate is 100% and while traditional religions often offer unverifiable assurance that death is not final, this progressive message seeks to take reality on in honest acceptance. From this perspective, death does not call for either denial or the anesthesia of false hope. Rather, it asks us to cherish those whom we love and to make the most of the life that is known to us.

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Whitman on Orthopraxy

In the horrible crucible of the Civil War and the Indian Wars, Walt Whitman, in the Leaves of Grass, attempted to describe American greatness, not in our legislatures or executives, but in the inherent goodness of individual Americans. Many of us have lately been humiliated by the juvenile tweets of our chief executive and the morally bankrupt race in several southern states to take away women’s rights, but, as Frankel said, no one can take away from us our ability to decide how we will react to what they do. We get to choose who we are and to reject being defined by the racism, sexism, misogyny, classism, and xenophobia of our current political environment.

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Mother’s Day and Equal Rights

Nearly a century has passed since the Equal Rights Amendment was first proposed. Every other western democracy’s constitution includes a statement regarding gender equality but in the USA, we still need one more state to approve this long over due change. Women still earn significantly less than men and women of color earn even less. Sure, get your mom and card and flowers for Mothers’ Day but realize this: what she really wants is equal rights!

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The ‘is’ and ‘is not’ of the Green New Deal

The Green New Deal proposes a set of goals that enumerates the changes necessary to simultaneously save our environment while transforming our economic system. We have already started the 6th period of mass extinction in earth’s history and to avoid a repeat of “the Great Dying” of 250 million years ago, the changes recommended in the Green New Deal are not radical, they are, realistically, necessary.

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Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Poor

    May Day is recognized as a workers’ holiday in 66 nations but not in the USA. In America, May Day has been too closely associated with communism and labor unions and so, from the 1950’s, …

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Brand New Spirit

Dr. Flunder is an American singer and Senior Pastor of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland, California and Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in the Church of God in Christ.

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They Tried to Bury Us

Inspired by a couplet written by the Greek poet, Dinos Christianopoulos, the rock group, Violet and the Undercurrents, wrote a song entitled “They Tried to Bury Us,” and Dr. Ray based an interactive Easter sermon on the music of Violet and the Undercurrents to produce a sermon about a revolutionary way to think about resurrection. Violet and the Undercurrents performed life in this service but we used their YouTube versions of their songs because of the quality of their professional recording.

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No Human Being is Illegal

Sermon by Rev. Elizabeth Durant delivered on June 18, 2018 at First Congregational UCC Portland.

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Would it Hurt You to Lighten Up a Bit?

The world is not short on hostile insults and senseless arguments, but the world is quite bereft of kindness. Much of the social hostility we encounter comes from the pain that people have experienced that we know nothing about. We are surrounded by the walking wounded who do not need to discover how quick we can be with an eviscerating retort. What they need from us is kindness . . . undeserved, perhaps, but we can help the world to become more deserving if we will scatter seeds of kindness.

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Sensible Gun Laws Save Lives

Six days after the attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand has outlawed military style weapons. Australia had done the same thing just 12 days after the Port Arthur massacre. From Columbine to the present, we have had more than 50 well publicized mass murders. While we can be frustrated by a government that ignores the fact that 75% of Americans want more sensible gun laws but what can we say about the silence of 400,000 churches in the face of this crazy situation?

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Augustine, Scripture, and Science

While there are many factors that lead up to tragedy like the mass murders in mosques in New Zealand

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Embrace Your Mortality in MYSTERY: Ash Wednesday Our Wake-up Call!

An Ash Wednesday Reflection: Our changing understanding of what it means to be human, changes the nature of Ash Wednesday’s wake-up call.

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The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!

A Reformation Sermon – John 8:31-36

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Let me take a moment to face the truth about who we are as Lutherans. The truth is that from the beginning Lutherans have participated in hate-filled tribalism that gives rise to anti-Semitism. The irony of attempting to commemorate the Reformation on the day after the slaughter of Jewish sisters and brothers cannot be ignored. Sadly, our church’s tragic participation in anti-Semitism goes all the way back to Martin Luther himself. Luther’s anti-Semitic rants provided the theological grounding that empowered Nazi’s to fan the flames of the Holocaust. It took until 1983 for the Lutheran World Federation to confess and repent Luther’s words.

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Jesus – Teacher of Radical Compassion

The one sentence from the gospels that even the most critical Biblical scholars tend to agree was quoted directly from the historical Jesus is this: Love your enemies. The first century of the common era had dozens of Jewish messiahs, many of whom were said to be exorcists and miracle workers. The titles of “king,” “Lord,” and even “Savior,” were all ascribed to the Caesar as well as to noted religious leaders. The early Jesus movement may have created narratives and titles to distinguish Jesus as being a rival to the empire or on an equal footing to Moses or Elijah but his truly unique message was a call to radical compassion.

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Reality 101 – Widening Our Circle of Compassion

Rev. Michael Dowd’s guest sermon at Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North on February 10, 2019.

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