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Saturday Sermon: All or none

By By the Rev. Chuck Freeman
Sept. 21, 2012 at 4:21 a.m.

Chuck Freeman

"All or none."

This is what Woody Guthrie wrote on the line of the hospital form "religious preference." We just celebrated the 100th birthday of Woody and his dust bowl, common citizen view of America.

I love Woody's clear and crisp expression of the faith we share. All religions have beautiful, wondrous truth and all are eternally marred by human smallness.

As the Dalai Lama writes, "All religions have a piece of the truth."

Religious and human tribalism is in hospice care. Let it die. The spiritual tribalism of Islam is getting the most press in our era, but it goes on in every religion. Have you heard of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda that prays to Jesus before going to commit atrocities? Yes, some tribal Muslim's are wreaking terrible carnage around the world and it is morally indefensible, period.

Muslim bashing in America and Europe misses the deeper issue. When religions are caught in the past and refuse to be in active conversation with the evolution of consciousness the consequences are cancerous.

It's time to embrace "All or none."

We see this same tribal power play going on in the attempts to enact voter ID laws. We see it in the health care culture war. We see it in the Wall Street bailouts while Main Street picks up the tab. We see it in the immigration wrestling match.

I heartily endorse Woody's spiritual declaration as a prescription - "All or none." We all have basic rights to vote, have health care, have a fair economic playing field, to feed and clothe our families through honest work, or none of us do.

Woody wrote this anthem that expresses the heart of the American genius. "In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people, by the relief office I seen my people; as they stood there hungry, I stood there asking is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway; nobody living can ever make me turn back. This land was made for you and me."

Sing it America - "All or none."

Rev. Chuck Freeman is minister of the newly formed Free Souls Church of Round Rock. He is a guest minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Victoria.

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