Good news this week: Jeny had her heart catherization and she was given a clean bill of health. She has a very manageable genetic heart condition with a very unmanageable name.

In Mobile, we have the yard clean from the hurricane. The beach house needs only minor repairs. Shane lost some clothes and tools they had in storage.

We are thankful and our hearts go out to those who suffered greater losses.

I also noted two good models for civil discourse.

Ginsburg- Scalia: With the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, among the many well-deserved accolades she received, she was lauded for her relationship with Antony Scalia. What a model relationship for all of us. Two lions of judicial discourse, on opposite ends of the judicial spectrum, having respect for each other and a friendship that transcended differences. Dialog, intelligent discourse about complex issues performed with respect for each other, is what our country needs. I hope more people gain appreciation and adopt the model.

General McMaster. Another person who is a clarion for civil discourse is General H. R. McMaster, a brilliant scholar and assistant professor at Stanford. He was a national security advisor to President Trump. He wrote a new book, “Battlegrounds” on the current state of foreign affairs.

He was interviewed by 60 Minutes. I found him to be very even handed and fair. He begins his book by stating the book is not a tell all about the inner workings of the Trump administration, but rather his assessment about how both the Obama and Trump administrations have weakened us.

He pointed to the great need for thoughtful dialog in our country. He believes the Russians are fomenting the extremes in our country to try to destroy us from within. It made sense to me.

 In my opinion, we are falling into the trap of us versus them and it is just what the Russians want. They support Trump only in as much as his presidency is divisive. Both sides are falling into the trap.

To develop my thinking about us versus them I want to consider some possible situations:

White Power

If I drove down the street and saw a group of people,

dressed in all brown,

standing at attention

with arms raised in salute

chanting white power,

I would assume particular motives and be distressed.

Black Power.

Next I drive down the street and see a group of people,

dressed in all black,

standing at attention

with arms raised in salute

chanting Black power,

I only changed two words. So, the primary issue is – are the motives and underlying attitudes the same or different in the two situations?

If so – how and why?

I raise the issue and look forward to dialog with anyone interested in responding.

Human Power. I contrast those two situations with the following to try to make my point about “us versus them.”

 I drive down the street and see people of all races, cultures and genders signing love and chanting love power.

I continue to believe – “we” is better than them vs us in the battle for social justice. We will make better strides by working together than attacking each other.

I continue to believe our social problems are problems of the soul found in all humans. Changes of heart will do more to address social injustice than politics. The primary concern is how to make changes to the heart.



PS — I have had requests for my sermon—if you would like a copy, I will be glad to email it—just let me know.


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