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Showing posts from September, 2008

Christian Perspectives on Immigration

please note: this is my sermon from last sunday.

Today we begin a new sermon series, or, more accurately, continue one from last spring: "Ripped from the Headlines.” We’ll call this one Part II. Christians face difficult questions in everyday life, but do not know how to address them. They know their faith is a tool, but they do not know how to use it. The goal of that series last April/May, and the goal of this one, is to help us learn to use our faith as a sort of viewfinder to understand these issues. It is not the responsibility of pastors or 24-hour cable news talk-shows to help us think about moral questions. Too often the only voices speaking to these issues within the Christian Church are those from the extreme fundamentalist end of the spectrum. While no one is saying they are wrong, I am saying that there are other points of view to consider. My goal is to help each of us use the Bible, our experience, the tradition of the Church, and our intellect to make a dec…

in search of common ground

this sunday i begin a new sermon series, which is actually a sequel to a series from last spring: "ripped from the headlines." the sermons address topics that are in the news, or at least should be, in an election year. an unfortunate reality is that preaching on "hot topics" has become a very rare thing in so-called mainline denominations like the united methodist church, leaving only far-right leaning preachers doing this work. which leads to people thinking all Christians must think the same way.

this series will be different from the one last april/may, which dealt with topics from capital punishment to prayer and the Bible in public schools. in that series, i selected the topics from the news-- the hottest issue off the press i dealt with was the question of spiritual advisers to leaders (ironically this has become a hot issue again in recent weeks). for this series, i chose two topics (immigration and the environment) and members of the church chose two…

reactions to the speech

yesterday i said we should let the issues inform our decisions in the election, not hype or rumors or feelings about private matters. like millions of others, i tuned in last night to see and hear how sarah palin would use the opportunity of her speech to reveal herself-- the part we should properly consider in the voting booth. i was as riveted as anyone as she stepped to the podium.

and then she began to speak.

it was clear from the beginning that her speech would not be about policy or issues. it was about setting a tone. as unfair as just about everyone has been toward her over the last week, she returned the attacks against the aggressors. did they deserve it? yeah. they did. but could she have set a different tone, taking the high road and speaking about things that really matter to people outside of the convention? she could have. she did not.

she took this opportunity to show us she could be tough and strong. she would not back down when attacked. and it's what the folk in…

two months and counting...

please note: from time to time on this tiny little space i write about politics. i preach sermon series on political issues (next one starts sept. 14-- mark your calendar!). the posts are generally not meant to support one candidate or ideology over another, and when i do get into that territory i try to name it specifically. and of course i speak only for myself; no one else.

i do not know sarah palin. i've never been to alaska. but as she prepares for her big speech at the republican convention tonight i can't help but think about how she must be going nuts right now. a week ago few people outside of "the 'a' state" (my texas geography professor in college would not mention its name, because when it was granted statehood it replaced texas as the largest state in the union) knew her, and now it seems like everyone is talking about her-- and not the way john mccain imagined. frankly, politics aside, i don't like it. i would post a picture of her h…