Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Back from the Border


Last week, members of University Christian Church and the Congregational Church of Austin traveled to the Lower Rio Grande Valley seeking to understand more about the immigration issues that are so constantly in the news. We were participating in a program called Courts and Ports, which investigates our quickly evolving immigration situation. We were the twentieth group to be on such a trip sponsored by Texas Impact.

 Here's my short take on what we learned a day and a half in after walking the bridge for Brownsville, TX to Matamoros, Mexico.


Deep Ecology Platform


 In the midst of all of our narrow political struggling, the Deep Ecology movement challenges us at a much more profound level.   Imagine:

The Deep Ecology Platform

1. The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: inherent worth, intrinsic value, inherent value). These values are independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes.
2. Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves.
3. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs.
4. Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.
5. The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.
6. Policies must therefore be changed. The changes in policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.
7. The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent worth) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great.
8. Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to participate in the attempt to implement the necessary changes.
—Arne Naess and George Sessions (1984)


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stop the Settlements!

Message sent to the following recipients:
Senator Cornyn
Senator Cruz
February 16, 2017
Dear Senators Cornyn and Cruz,
As an American vitally interested in Israel and with a life-long passion
for peace in the Holy Land, and as one who has lived in Israel for months
in 1973, 1998, and 2004, I have never been more concerned about the
dwindling opportunities for a sustainable peace there. I am writing to
urge you to speak out against the expansion of Israeli settlements and for
a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Recent developments make the need for action even more urgent: Since the
beginning of this year, the Israeli government has approved over 6,000 new housing units in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. And on February 6 the Israeli Knesset passed a bill retroactively legalizing some
settlement outposts built in the West Bank on privately owned Palestinian
land. While the bill, which is being challenged in Israeli court, makes
these outposts legal under Israeli law, in fact, all settlements are illegal under international law.
The rapid expansion of settlements and this latest effort in the Knesset
to legitimize some outposts undermine the prospects for a just peace
between Israelis and Palestinians. The problems with expanding
settlements, however, are not just in diminished prospects for peace.
Settlement expansion also means ongoing suffering for Palestinians. As
settlements expand, Palestinians are pushed out of their homes and off
their lands, homes are demolished, trees are uprooted, and the West Bank
is carved up by settler by-pass roads, making travel for Palestinians
arduous if not impossible.
I ask you to speak out against Israeli settlements and for peace. As a
person of faith who seeks the welfare of all persons, I believe an end to
settlements will serve the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians by
helping lead to a just peace.
Charles Kutz-Marks

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

You've GOT to check this out...
It is TOO cool.  See the birth of the universe and find out how long before galaxies coalesce.   We are so late in coming.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Renita Weems brings our sixth week of Lent meditation...


Monday, March 11, 2013

Rabbbi Greenstein (no mistake here) brings our fifth week of Lent meditation...