Oct 14 Service about Use of the Democratic process in OHIO
The fifth of seven UU principles is the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregation and society at large.Â This week Amber Evans came to our congregation to speak about Issue 1 on the Ohio ballot.Â Â
This issue is not a hard sell for people who believe in compassion.Â The initiative's biggest opponent is the for-profit prison industry.Â It does not take a lot of in-depth thinking to figure out that the for-profit prison industry is never going to be on the side of compassion in an argument such as this one.Â The prison industry gives contributions to the county prosecutors, and the prosecutors are the ones on record as opposing the ballot initiative, not the for-profit prison industry.
This would be a good time to point out why a for-profit prison is never a good idea.Â When states run the prison, the bills to run the prison are paid by the state and that is that.Â When politicians create a for-profit prison, the prison owners get paid more than what it takes to run the prison and then divide up the extra money:Â some for themselves, and some for the politician who keeps the money rolling in to keep the for-profit prison system in place.Â That extra money that the prisons get and share back from the prison to the politician comes ultimately from the taxpayers.Â
Meanwhile, the advertising about this ballot initiative boils down to this:Â Everyone agrees that sellers of illegal drugs can stay in prison, the issue is only about those who end up in prison because they used illegal drugs.Â If you believe that communities are torn apart when part of the family is torn out and sent to prison and it hurts the families, the community, and the employers who need workers, then you are probably in favor of this issue.Â If you believe that sending drug users back into the community will just reward drug sellers with more customers, then you are probably not in favor of this issue.Â Â
The issue is set up to take the money saved from the prison system and use it to help drug users get off of drugs.Â That is clearly not in the interests of the for-profit prison industry.Â It probably is the best thing for the community however.
Compassion is what heals communities, under issue one, you can vote compassionately.
Oct 7, 2018 Service about Compassion
Â Love and compassion is necessary for human survival.Â That statement is true, of course, because we are a cooperative species.Â We survive because we have a society and culture that allows us to act in concert with one another.Â But it is also true of individual humans.Â Those humans among us who lack love and compassion, will live shorter lives (and much more unhappy lives.)Â Â Part of our identity as humans is defined by who we love and who loves us.
But we rarely stop to examine compassion.Â Justice we think about often, but compassion... not so much.Â With that in mind, today we had a long discussion about the ideas of Joan Halifax, director of the Project on Being and Dying.
What is compassion?
-the ability to see into the nature of suffering
-the aspiration to be able to make a difference in alleviating suffering
-the capacity to not be attached to the outcome.
Fear, pity, moral outrage are all the enemies of compassion.Â Compassion seems to be innate in every human.Â We all feel compassion for somebody... or for our dogs if nothing else.Â But, compassion has to be nurtured.Â If you do not nurture your compassion, it diminishes.
Why don't we train people to be compassionate?
Why do we not vote for a country that is more compassionate?
One notable thing about the person most recently added to the Supreme Court of the United States here in 2018 was that he gave long speeches all of which lacked compassion.Â He demonstrated pity, and moral outrage.Â He even used fear when he told the senators who opposed his confirmation that "what goes around comes around."Â He did not show compassion.Â His previous rulings in the lower courts do not contain mercy.Â Mercy, said Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice, "is an attribute to God himself."Â Shakespeare added, then, that a person who possesses the power to dispense justice is most like God, when 3062489262
We had a very lively discussion today about compassion.Â If you think you would like to have a place to go to talk with other people about thoughtful topics like this, then I invite you to come by and meet us.Â We are a spiritual community that is open and does not have a creed which dictates to you what your spiritual beliefs will be.Â We even count atheists among our numbers.Â So come and visit, or come back and visit if you have been here before.Â We welcome new ideas in our discussions.
Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.-Mark Twain
Sep 30, 2018 Service about Sustainability
Today,Â guest speaker Russell Adams came to talk about Sustainability.Â Unfortunately, I wasn't there.Â So, I will have to find someone who took notes.Â More interesting discussions lined up for next week though.Â Come join us.Â If you have visited before, and are embarrassed that its been several months, don't worry, We just like having people stop in and contribute a little bit to the general sharing of ideas that inevitably comes after each Sunday service.Â Come participate... also coffee and a snack.
Sep 23, 2018 Clean Celebration
Today we had a day dedicated to cleaning.Â Cleanliness is next to Godliness they say.Â We are an open minded, open hearted spiritual community helping people to lead lives of love, learning, hope and social justice.Â We meet together to give support and friendship to one another.Â And today, we spent time fixing the place up.