April 8, 2018 Service about the Death Penalty

Abraham Bonowitz of the http://deathpenaltyaction.org/ spoke to us today about abolishing the death penalty.  The Ohio Supreme Court building proclaims "Equal Justice Under Law.  However, in this country, we treat people differently in the legal system based mainly on the geography of where the trial takes place.  This is largely because it is more expensive to impose the death penalty than it is to incarcerate someone for life without possibility of parole.  Jurisdictions with tight budgets don't seek the death penalty.  The prison guards then experience a bizarre situation in which they have to guard inmates in the regular prison population who have committed more horrific crimes than the prisoners on death row.  The prisoners on death row had the bad judgement to commit a crime in a jurisdiction with a well funded prosecutors office.

This situation assumes that the person on death row even commited the crime they have been found guilty of.  The innocence project has freed more than 100 prisoners off of death row by simply re-examining the evidence that trial lawyer failed to examine thoroughly.  We know innocent people are convicted of crimes.  No one thinks that they will be convicted of a crime that they did not commit, but if it someday happens to you, The death penalty may end your appeals before you are ready to give up on proving your innocence. 

Many conservative groups are coming to the realization that the death penalty should be abolished.  https://conservativesconcerned.org/ is one place to find information.  Prominently among their arguments:  the government is sufficiently incompetent in everything it attempts, that we cannot trust the government to always prosecute the correct perpetrator of a crime.  Also, it is fiscally irresponsible.  It is far cheaper to lock the person up and throw away the key.

Some people should be taken out of society and never allowed back to mix with us.  We can all accept that as truth.  However, there is a moral issue of making a state employee participate in killing someone as a job requirement.  It is not often talked about that executing people is not good for one's soul.  Even in ancient times, the executioner would wear a hooded mask... because executioners are not well thought of by the community.  Let us stop. 

Visit www.otse.org.

Peace,

Rick

April 1, 2018 Service

We enjoyed an Easter Pot-luck this morning.  Fellowship:  a company of people with the same interests.  Friendship: the condition of being friends.  Sometimes, all it takes is a pot luck for us to see how closely these two concepts resonate.  Please come join us on a Sunday and find out.  We're pretty friendly.

Peace

Rick

March 25, 2018 Service about Spring in many cultural traditions

Today, Lessa spoke to us about the common themes of spring across many cultures.  She spoke from her experience at the Magical Druid Spiritual Resource Center (Located here in Columbus, OH.)  In all the western religious traditions, spring rituals seem to feature the concept of emerging from the darkness into the light.  As with a seed, these traditions often involve a lead character going underground (usually to the underworld such as Hades) and then emerging back into the light in the spring.  Leesa touched on the Norse, Celtic, Jewish, Muslim, Egyptian and Persian cultures in her discussion.

An additional theme of balance crept into the discussion because the religious traditions are always tied in some way to the Vernal equinox.  What other day provides such a time as when cultures discuss the balance of life and death, joy and sorrow.  The equinox, afterall, is the obvious day of perfect balance.

Another sub-theme came about when she pointed out that Mars is both the god of war and the god of civic responsibility.  That is an interesting balancing act.  

If this is a discussion you would like to have with friends, but can't find the right friends to have this discussion with, then come join us on Sunday mornings.  We are a pretty liberal humanist-like congregation of free-thinking theologians (see last weeks write-up.)  We are here every Sunday, and we have coffee.

(next week we just gave up on trying to compete with Easter, so we are having a small pot-luck.  Come meet us and see what pops up in conversation.)

Peace,

Rick

Mar 18, 2018 Service about Sprong, er... Spong (sorry)

Today Stan lead a discussion of the book "Unbelievable" by Rev. John Shelby Spong.  Spong is a liberal Christian theologian, and, amazingly, a retired bishop of the Episcopal Church.  Theologians who embrace humanism and existentialism are rare these days.  But, our Sundays are filled with lively discussions about humanism.  Frankly, existentialism doesn't come up often though.

If this sounds like an interesting way to spend an hour with people who just might become your new friends, then come visit us some Sunday.  Its different every week, so you never know what you are going to encounter.  Come join us.

Peace,

Rick