Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

Black churches have traditionally talked about civil rights and organized voter events like Sunday voting bus trips called "Souls to the Polls." But do predominantly white churches talk about voters' rights? Now that many states are eliminating polling places in minority neighborhoods, ending Sunday early voting, discouraging mail-in voting, and adding onerous ID requirements to vote, shouldn't all churches be concerned about the growing influence of institutional racism? Maybe it is time for us to pause and reconsider what we mean by "salvation" if we are passively watching people having their human rights taken from them?

Direct download: 20220828_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

While we have watched news reports about Brittany Griner's trial in Russia with shock and horror, similarly insane court proceedings have taken place in our own country. The Supreme Court's decision to strike down Roe v Wade came at the same time of another decision that would have commanded public attention if it had not been for the furor over the abortion case. Early in May, in a decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the state of Arizona was given permission to execute Barry Jones, after it had been proven in court that he was innocent of the murder charge for which he has been on death row for 27 years. Thomas wrote that mere innocence is not enough to prevent the state of Arizona from carrying out the death penalty against Jones. We do not have a justice system. We have a legal system and that system sometimes becomes the enemy of justice which is not acceptable when it happens in Russia but it is even more unacceptable in the USA.

Direct download: 20220821_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

The world is witness that gun violence does not have to be the norm. But until the United States is willing to reckon with the deep structure and enduring legacy of our own gun culture, we will not escape it. Gratefully, for all of us who long for healing, and the peace that comes from belonging to a place without the constant threat of violence and death, we have a way forward.

Direct download: 20220814_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

In 2013, an Italian programmer named Alberto Brandolini observed that - "The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than is needed to produce it." It became known as Brandolini’s law, although it is an astute observation rather than a scientific conclusion. Unfortunately, we’ve had nearly a decade to observe just how often this is true, with the flowering of conspiracy theories and proliferation of disinformation all around us. Though the situation is daunting, with a better understanding of why humans are so susceptible to conspiracy theories, we can chart a way forward.

Direct download: 20220807_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT