Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

Ten years ago, when I was still blond and clean shaven, I delivered this sermon in our former church building to try to give an honest and academic explanation of the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke. This year I am speaking out of state so we will re-run this video and I will be back next week to share with you the message I am delivering in South Carolina this weekend. Merry Christmas!

Direct download: 20211226_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

In 1971, in the early days of the “War on Drugs,” then President Nixon appointed a commission to study marijuana and to release their results and policy suggestions. More than 80 people worked for most of a year to produce a nearly 4000 page long report and even though Nixon commissioned the study, the results were that pot was no more dangerous than alcohol and they recommended that it be decriminalized and managed in the same way as alcohol in the interests of public health. The report even named the danger of the growing trend of incarceration on marijuana charges which was likely to make keeping people in jail an income stream within the prison industrial system. Obviously, Nixon ignored both the facts and the recommendations of his own commission but, even worse, every president for the past 50 years has done the same while deaths from lethal drugs have increased by more than 500% since the failed “War on Drugs” began, we still waste billions of dollars in police and prison resources devoted to marijuana “crimes.”

Direct download: 20211219_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

A familiar image from the Advent season is leveling the mountains so that all "may walk safely." One example of this process in our own times has been the increasing emphasis on healing trauma, especially since marginalized people disproportionately experience trauma. From ACEs to trauma-informed care, to emerging approaches that are healing-centered and asset-informed, we wholeheartedly welcome resources to prevent, heal, and transform trauma. At the same time, we recognize and celebrate that we are more than our trauma. Together, we are leveling mountains and creating communities where thriving can be the norm, rather than the exception.

Direct download: 20211212_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Stephen Colbert observed that, like most of us, not being a lawyer, it is hard to judge whether 17-year-old, Kyle Rittenhouse, broke any laws when he took a semi-automatic rifle to the demonstration in Kenosha and ended up killing two demonstrators. But, if he didn’t, then the laws need to be changed. Years of progressively liberalized laws regarding open-carry and the availability of military styled weapons is a part of the fabric of a society in which a teenager, imagining himself to be a conservative superhero, ends up killing liberal demonstrators and then being found “not guilty” in the justice system. Clearly, he is guilty of a monstrous crime . . . it just wasn’t “illegal,” which means that state legislatures and maybe even all of us, are guilty of these murders. America must come back from the brink of gun insanity.

Direct download: 20211205_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT