Saturday, June 23, 2007

Stumped at Synod

from United Church News:

Moyers challenges the UCC: Drive out the money-changers

Bill Moyers gave a rousing keynote address to a full-house this morning. He spoke truth to power and preached the Gospel as only a former Baptist can. Here are a few highlights:

He quoted Paul's inner struggle, saying that we love the truth yet live the lie. To illustrate his point Moyers went on to describe Jefferson's relationship with his slave Sally Hemmings. Though he authored the words "all men are created equal", "endowed with certain inalienable rights", still he loved her in secret and did not free the children he gave her until after his death. Not much has changed in this world. This is the war within each of us, and we need courage in order to live the truth we love so dearly.

Moyers spoke of poverty and the ever-increasing gap between the wealthy and the working poor of this country. If one hundred people were invited over to eat pie, and the pie was sliced into five pieces, one would get four slices while the other 99 would have to share one slice amongst them. Can you imagine they would fight over it? No wonder then, that we feel the way we do about government when we look at our decreasing wages and rising taxes. "We have a government of the few at the expense of the many," he declared, "and it is time to drive the rascals out!"

"God is not a conservative or a liberal, not a Democrat or a Republican--She may be a Baptist", he quipped, "but look at the record to see whose side God is on: the widow and the orphan, the poor and the outcast". "Nothing seems to embarass the political class these days," he lamented. Indeed, we are the richest nation with the hightest percentage per capita of children at risk. "Too many children are being left behind, despite the slogan", he said pointedly. Yes, he was preaching to the converted, but sometimes it's good to be reminded of how difficult yet compelling the gospel message is.

It was a wonderful morning.

On the other hand....

The Audacity of Obama

I thought to myself before this afternoon, that Barack Obama had better not stump during his address. This is a church gathering, his church, and I wanted to hear about his faith and how it influences his public policy, not campaign boilerplate. There was some of the former but he also crossed the line into what he was going to do in his first term if elected. In the end he pulled back and went to Scripture, to Deuteronomy 30, calling us the 'Joshua generation', the ones who do the hard work of getting to the promised land. Trouble is, they had to kill a whole lot of people to live there. Sounds like we're right on track.


Mystical Seeker said...

It's funny, Bill Moyers was himself part of the political class at one time (in the Johnson administration). I like him a lot better as an independent voice who is willing to take on the political class. His recent PBS show on the way that the press collaborated with Bush's war hysteria is an excellent critique of the political class and the way the press has served its interests.

As for Obama's comments about Joshua and the promised land, you raise a very good point about the killing. I personally would not choose to use Joshua as any kind of role model.

Cynthia said...

We were instructed by Edith Guffey, the associate general minister, to not wear buttons or t-shirts or wave any banners during Obama's speech, that this was not a political rally. I just wish he had been given similar instruction.

You would have thought by the crowd's response that UCC members had already hailed him "Chief".

Moyers' background is what gives him so much credibility, in that he was thick with the establishment and can speak as one who knows. He was absolutely fabulous, ten times better than Obama by my standards.