Pastor Preaches Against Islamophobia

January 29, 2016

Here’s the link: http://unitarianuniversalistchurchofarlingtonva.yourstreamlive.com/ Just click on archive. It is the sermon for 1/22/16.

Anti/Islsmophobia sermon by pastor of UUCA church.

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13 Years Later

September 11, 2014

All of us can remember when 13 years ago President Bush promised to “destroy”, what was then a small and unknown organization known as Al-Qaeda. I for one can admit to having never heard of Al-Qaeda on September 10, 2001. After Bush’s disastrous invasion and “nation building” program in Afghanistan (and attempting the same in Iraq in 2003) we now have Al-Qaeda all over the entire MENA region. And make no mistake, ISIS is an offshoot of Al-Qaeda.

And now President Obama is adopting the exact same policy as Bush which HAS NOT WORKED. More and more war only succeeds in metastasizing the extremist cancer further. Millions of Muslims and other people of faith around the world have paid the price for this broken policy with their lives, death of loved ones, and dislocation. All of this creates the environment for yet another cycle of war and violence.

Only the work on the ground of speaking to youth and coming to common understanding can solve this problem long term. The wars only help to make the weapons contractors richer and makes the work of those of us calling for peace much more difficult.

I pray that someday a just peace will finally be achieved, but if we do not change our policy, we will memorialized 9/11 in the same way each year – wondering why the problem of extremism is spreading and not receding.


Time to “Man Up”!

September 10, 2014

Jonah Goldberg has an interesting article stating that Western ISIS recruits are losers! I have been saying this for years about these young men who join these radical groups

While this is definitely true, simply writing them off as losers will not solve the problem at hand. The larger problem is that we have a generation of young men and boys of all races and faiths that are disenfranchised and are essentially “checking out” of society because we have largely marginalized them. This is especially true as our society has put more emphasis on educating our girls while leaving our boys to the X-box, social media and/or the basketball court.

This manifests itself in different ways in the various ways: from boys entering college less to the decrease in marriage. However, in the Muslim communities it is manifesting itself (albeit in rare cases) in young men reaching out to join radical groups that are (falsely) offering them meaning to their lives.

The problem of these “loser” boys has grown to such an extent that we do not even understand these young men at all and have largely left them to raise themselves. We need to change course and actively engage them and challenge them to grow up! But before we do that, we must talk TO them and stop talking ABOUT them. Before we can challenge them to grow up, we have to show them what “grown up” actually means. We older men must accept our own responsibility in leading these boys and young men to the path of being REAL men. We are going to have to enlarge the sphere of – and I’m sorry to have to say this – manliness.

We need to teach our boys (on a daily basis) that a REAL man takes care of his responsibilities and does not run away on some foolish adventure! A real man recognizes that there is beauty in the world and that it is not all dystopian and doom and gloom.  There are some beautiful things out there. We men are actually going to have to be men in our lives again.  The men have to start putting their foot down and start running their families as a family. (Does it need to be said that I do not mean here a dictator who beats his wife and kids? The fact that some would take it that way shows just how far astray we are on this problem)

We need to become examples that show by word and deed of what a real man is known for and not leave them to the malicious demagogues that yell, scream and hurl names and insist we look at the world through a jaded lens.

Raising men is not all about K-12, SAT scores, and college prep. Although those things are important there’s an awful lot more to be learned about being a man.  A real man does not simply provide for his children (again extremely important) but goes further by spending time teaching them (in word and deed) valuable lessons on financial responsibility, keeping one’s word, facing up to and solving problems, being committed to finishing a project, being considerate, and standing up for the weak. This is what it means to be a REAL man. These boys who join groups like ISIS do the opposite by shirking their responsibilities, lying and stealing money from their parents, and running away from facing the real world. Groups like ISIS are stealing our young men and robbing them of their future.

We need to re-commit to right the ship of our marriages, families and our communities.  If we do this, our communities will be strong and our families will be strong. If we can do this then we will raise children that will see the false message of groups like ISIS (or whoever comes after it) and dismiss it out of hand.

This “man up” challenge extends to each of us to become inspired to do what is needed to own up to OUR OWN responsibility to shape the future by doing a better job of what God put us on this Earth to do: Be good Fathers and lead our wives and children to heaven.

Actionable items:

– Start a mentoring program for boys above the age of 12. This is a good example that should be repeated across the land

– Suggested reading for men and young men to read together: ‘Millionaire Manners’ (visit the website here)


Rule of Engagement With Extremists

August 29, 2014


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Rule #1

Don’t help them magnify their message.
“Never pass the megaphone to the Heckler”

megaphone

 

 

 

Rule #2
Deny them dignity
“The “so-called leader” of these fanatics”.

Rule #3

Did not allow the leadership to be identified with the title.
“their “self-appointed president” said…..”

 

 

Rule #4
Never recognize the opposition as an equal.
“if any of you (Extremists) would like to meet/negotiate with us (Establish) we can make an appointment with any individuals”

Rule #5
Degrade their opportunity for recognition
If there are all proposals for change, new policies that need to be employed, or shortcomings that have been identified, they cannot be considered the “province” or “agenda” of the extremist. =/= The extremist makes a good point!!!
Nothing about the Lord Resistance Army is Christian. Call them LRA
Nothing about The Islamic State is Muslim. Refer to them as ISIS
They are not Fundamentalist they are fanatics

Rule #6
Don’t Let Salt mix with Sugar-Look Similar-Taste Different
We both can’t be in the same group.
If this is what you believe, then stop they you are the leader of our group. We don’t believe in what you believe and we are in the majority.

Rule #7
Never use their extremism to justify yours