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Showing posts from September, 2012

The Election Sermon

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I mentioned to some folks today that it's an old tradition to have an "election sermon," and some of the people I was speaking with had never heard of this tradition, so I thought I'd do a little research and write on it.  It turned out to be a lot more complicated than I thought.  From how I understand what I'm reading, it seems there are two sorts of "election sermons" -- one is a sermon preached just prior to election day, and the other is called an "election sermon" but is preached before government officials but on inauguration day, which was called, confusingly, "election day."  So, for example, this "election day" sermon from 1790 --
-- was preached on "the day of general election," apparently before the newly elected officials.  Likewise, this Gad Hitchcock text from 1774 was preached to the elected officials on "election day."  Similarly, in 1830 Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing preac…

Politics and Preaching

Watching the national political conventions is a great opportunity to study the art of public speaking--the rhetoric and the oration.  There's a lot one can learn about effective public speaking, and thus preaching, by listening to these top-level politicians.  Four years ago, I remember thinking that Barack Obama, love him or hate him, was the greatest orator of our age, and, as I sit down and wait to listen to him tonight, it's a good time to reflect on some of what I've heard in the conventions so far, not from a political standpoint, but from the perspective of public speaking.  Now, I didn't watch much of the RNC.  I haven't actually watched that much of the DNC, either.  So I really only have a few to speak about, so I'll give you my thoughts on those, ranking them low, middle, and high.

The best I've heard...

Michelle Obama

I think Michelle Obama's come a long way as a public speaker in her four years as First Lady.  I remember not being terribly …

Politics and Staying Friends

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One of the reasons I created my RevCyn Facebook page was so that I could post about religion and social justice issues without subjecting ALL my Facebook friends, which includes conservative relatives and high school chums, to the full extent of my politics and faith.  I then post such things less from my own account.  One exception, however, is that because I try to draw a fine line between partisan politics and my ministry, and because I see the RevCyn page, and this blog, as an extension of that ministry, I try to refrain from endorsing a candidate here, or making statements about Republican and Democratic candidates that could be seen as an endorsement.  But my personal Facebook account,  however, is where I do feel free to be political, just as I do in my front yard and the bumper of my car.  Thus, as the election draws near, I run into more and more occasions where I risk alienating the conservatives among my Facebook friends.  The liberals among my 754 Facebook friends vastly o…