This coming Tuesday New Zealand “celebrates” ANZAC Day for the 101st time since the battle of Gallipoli where 7447 young Kiwis died or were wounded for “King and Country”. Forty young men from our congregation were in their number. Six, or 15%, did not return. Continue reading ANZAC Day…A time to imagine peace→
This week it was reported that one of Donald Trump’s surrogates, his first campaign manager, told Fox News that President-elect Trump had saved Christmas from Obama. Apparently he had won the war on Christmas, declaring it is now safe to say “Merry Christmas” again. In a world of fake news stories where pizza joints can be shot up because of outrageous lies generated by fake news sites, it isn’t surprising President Obama was plagued by such stories. One in particular was that being a “Muslim,” he never said, “Merry Christmas” or called a Christmas tree a “Christmas tree,” in spite of hours of videotape recording him doing just that. Continue reading How Unitarians Saved Christmas→
My prepared talk is blissfully short. I intend it to be an introduction or stimulus for open discussion when I finish.
It’s Spring, season of renewal. The earth and all its inhabitants are enlivened. Many of mankind’s institutions are reinvigorated as well, like churches, eh? Like this church, bringing UU principles to Auckland and environs these past 114 years. New people, new programs, old and new issues receiving appropriate attention.
Except, there may need to be some Spring cleaning to clear our space of the remnants of the elephant in the room. There is one, you know, an elephant – in the room. Who here does not know what this saying means? Continue reading Spring Cleaning→
War has defined my generation. In fact, as an American I’m highly qualified to discuss war. I was born in the shadow of World War II in which my father served. The Korean Conflict conscripted him back into service and moved us from one side of the country to the other. The Cold War had us scurrying under our primary school desks in the event of an atomic attack and holding our breath for six days in May during the Cuban missile crisis. Vietnam, which I narrowly escaped by luck of the draw, maimed and killed many in my generation and scarred the psyche of the nation. In my first year of ministry, Reagan invaded the tiny island of Grenada in part to divert us from the humiliation of a Marine barracks being bombed in Beirut two days earlier. It was a swift victory leaving plenty of resources for the war in El Salvador, which diverted arms to Saddam Hussein. Bush One, who claimed to dislike taking America to war (at least alone) invaded Panama, and then convinced the “coalition of the willing” to join him in the first Gulf War to repel Iraq’s forces from Kuwait. Flushed with success he then intervened in Somalia with less success, giving us the movie Blackhawk Down. The Bosnian War gave us a break from impeachment hearings during the Clinton years. For the last fifteen years we have been at war in the Middle East without let-up, first with Iraq, then Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and now Syria. That Iran is not on the list is a disappointment to Republicans. Continue reading Making Peace With The War On Drugs→
I confess I am sometimes subject to flights of fancy. I had an episode a few days ago. I wondered what Jesus would think if he actually came back as some Christians believe he will some day. “Came back from where?” is a question that comes to mind. But never mind. It would be especially intriguing to hear his reactions to what he would find if he came back at this time of year. What would he think? Continue reading Christmas: A Holiday without Borders→