Minister’s Message (Page 3)

Once a month, UUCE’s previous minister Rev. Leland Bond-Upson publishes a message for the UUCE community, sharing his thoughts on topics relevant to the congregation, its ministries, and current events.

Let’s Be Cheerful

It seems to me that there is new cheerfulness abroad in the land, fueled by two developments, namely the vaccination project, and the Biden administration’s ‘seizing the time.’ I am willing to give Orange 45’s Administration some credit for its Operation Warp Speed, which contributed to the success of the vaccination rollout, and which exceeded Blue 46’s promise to vaccinate 100 million of our people in his first 100 days. I liked the guy, Monced Slaoui, who was running the…

UU Conscientious Objection

From the Introduction to Used to Be UU published January 2021, by the 5th Principle Project: … Unitarian Universalism is the inheritor of values from our heritage denominations. We value self-expression, reason, logic, science, and critical thinking from the first U in our combined denomination. We value compassion and love from the second U. Mostly, we have the freedom to pursue our own path, to search or not search. It is not that UUs are rudderless, characterized as some pejoratively…

They’ve Put a Spell on You

Them In the breakout group I was in last Sunday, someone mentioned two movies of interest. One was Them, which is a surreal story of a Black family who have moved from North Carolina to Compton, California in the 1950s, when Compton was an almost all-White Los Angeles community, and not the almost all-Black community it soon became.  In this Amazon Prime movie, the whites uniformly and horrifyingly oppose the arrival of the Black family, as if there were no liberals at all in White southern California. Malevolent White…

Sick and Tired

“I’ve been sick and tired all my life, and now I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,” said Fannie Lou Hamer in June of 1964. She was being interviewed by a reporter for The Nation magazine, about her campaign to represent her part of Mississippi as a delegate of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention, held that year in Atlantic City, NJ, and she was talking about life under Jim Crow, where Blacks could not vote,…

Baby photos and more defiance of the UUA and UUMA.

Presenting my granddaughter Aurora means ‘the dawn;’ Amalthea means ‘tender goddess.’  She nursed baby Zeus (the future king of the gods) and protected him from his murderous father Kronos.  Emma is a Bond family name going back to at least the mid-19th Century.   As Norskis, the Stenehjem family branch of the Bonds emigrated to North Dakota, and many are still there.  This little cherub looks like she is preparing to take wing. And now for something completely different I want…

More on UUA Authoritarianism-Creep

There’s a new entry in the controversy about the UUA and its illiberality regarding the growing resistance its imposition of a kind of ‘groupthink’ in our anti-racism attitude and work.  A few days after my sermon last Sunday about the UUA’s dogmatic attitude and punitive actions toward dissent, a book titled Used to be UU, came out, authored by Frank Casper and Jay Kiskel, both from the Atlanta area. (So much ferment in Georgia these days!) The following is from a…

Big Brother Should Not Be Allowed to Watch You

I propose the formation of a cabinet-level Department of Privacy. There are all manner of intrusive and even perilous electronics impinging on our lives, and it’s getting worse. Elon Musk’s Tesla 3 cars are being investigated for the cameras that are already installed in the rearview mirrors, and which will soon be turned on–focused on the driver and passengers!  Facebook and the others assure us that they are only gathering unidentifiable market research (and targeting of ads). The auto insurance companies are giving…

Here Comes the Sun

It was a year ago this week that the United States joined the countries that were restricting ordinary human socializing on account of COVID-19. I had been visiting in Hawaii for a couple weeks and was preparing to return to Elgin when I heard that Gov. Newsome of California was ordering everyone in the Bay Area to quarantine. Then I heard that Gov. Pritzker was considering something like that, and suddenly realized there wasn’t much point in going back to…

It was 56 Years Ago Today

Fifty-six years ago this week, the Rev. James Reeb was clubbed by a Klansman on a street in Selma, Alabama. My future friend, Rev. Clark Olsen was walking on one side of Jim, and Rev. Orloff Miller was walking in the middle, with Reeb on the outside, curbside. They had finished dinner at an integrated café, were returning to the church where Dr. King would soon be speaking. Three men came out of a bar across the street and approached…

Is Dr. Seuss is a Victim of ‘Cancel Culture’?

Dr. Seuss is a victim of ‘cancel culture,’ say a lot of people in the past three days since the announcement that after a year of study, six of Seuss’ books will not be reprinted due to portrayals that are ‘hurtful and wrong.’ The six books are And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, On Beyond Zebra, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer. I happen to own the first three,…

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

About the BLM accomplishments. Last week the sermon spoke to the BLM (Black Lives Matter) record of non-violence, and its self-discipline. We spoke of BLM-led demonstration following the George Floyd murder ranged somewhere from 15 million participants, to 26 million. That’s a big range, produced by large polling differences: The Pew poll reported an estimated 16 million NORC reported an estimated 18 million Civis Analytics reported an estimated 23 million Kaiser Family Foundation reported an estimated 26 million Even if…

Warmup for the Next Round of a 21-day Challenge for Racial Justice

Our Service this coming Sunday will address the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement, and BLUU (Black Lives UU), and Antifa (the loosely organized anti-fascist assemblage).  This is the first of 3 or 4 services that will address racial justice, and U.S. history.  February is Black History Month, and I hope many of you are taking advantage of it. I personally have fallen behind in this area.  I have only watched the first segment of the excellent The Black Church, hosted by Harvard professor…