I was out of town during the Democratic primary, so I got an absentee ballot. I wanted to vote against the war in Iraq. I wanted to cast a vote against the havoc that Bush and Company have wreaked. I need to hang on to a slim thread of hope that we can stop the moral dominoes from falling and bringing this great nation to its collapse.
I don’t know much about Ned Lamont, but I’ve known his great uncle, Corliss Lamont, since the 60’s when I became interested in Humanism as an alternative to anthropomorphic Theism. He suggested a philosophy of religion that is naturalistic, scientific, and democratic – the kind that traces its roots to Socrates, Aristotle, Dewey, Jefferson, Emerson and Thoreau.
Corliss Lamont was a champion of civil liberties. He stood up to McCarthy – he was a victim of harassment by the CIA, who used illegal means to spy on him. He was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award in 1981, when he was 78 years old.
But I didn’t vote for Ned Lamont because he had a ‘great’ uncle. I voted for Ned Lamont because I’m struggling to hold on to hope – hope that we will not allow the terrorists to win by foreclosing on this great experiment in democracy. This nation, as Lincoln said, was “…conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men (persons) are created equal. Now we are testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived can long endure.”
Ecclesiastes, also called ‘the preacher,’ says, “For everything there is a season…a time to keep silence and a time to speak up.”
It’s time for ‘the preachers’ who believe in this great, noble, sacred experiment to speak up, and to speak out. To keep silence in the face of the moral disaster that is unfolding in our country would be grossly irresponsible, not only for the timid preacher, but for everyone who still believes in the principles on which our nation stand
I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do have a responsibility to ask questions, honestly and openly, and without fear of censure. Fear is being used to silence dissent in insidious ways.
Soon we will gather in our Homecoming service to re-dedicate ourselves to the work of this church, to remember loved ones, including Lois Porro and Allan Senie who died this summer, and who shared the values which unite us as a religious community.
Together, we will look honestly and openly at what’s happening in the world. I plan to take a look at the disturbing revelation of the Nobel Prize winning German writer, Günter Grass’s youthful membership in the SS. His autobiography is titled Peeling the Onion, which reminds me of a line from Sandburg: “Life is like an onion. We peel off one layer at a time, and sometimes we cry.”
I’ve had a good summer, and I hope you have, too. I look forward to seeing you on September 10 as we gather on the lawn, distribute symbols that represent various aspects of our religious community, then process in to the sanctuary where we’ll hold up the names of members who have died, be re-introduced to Margie Allen and all the staff as we move forward into the new year and a new chapter of our congregation’s life.