Showing posts from February, 2013

"Democracy" in Michigan

Right now the Michigan governor is deciding whether or not to appoint an "Emergency Financial Manager" (EFM) for the city of Detroit.  A Michigan political blog, the Eclectablog, points out that if the governor does so, 49% of African-Americans in the state of Michigan will be residing in places under EFM rule.

Why this is such a big deal, and why the EFM law is such a big deal to begin with, is that an EFM replaces local democratically-elected government with a person appointed by the governor.  The people residing in cities run by an EFM still have a mayor and city council, but the mayor and city council no longer make any financial decisions, which is to say they have extremely limited power.

Here's Rachel Maddow, a year ago, as the first city, Benton Harbor, was getting its EFM explaining how this is anti-democratic. (She starts talking about the EFM law about six minutes in.)

If you think this isn't really anti-democratic, consider this...  Last November, Michiga…

Guns Part 4: The Sermon

This is probably the longest sermon I've ever preached, and it's way too long for a blog post, but I'm posting it all as one anyway.  The members of my congregation that I quoted gave me permission to use their names in the service, but I didn't ask them about the web, so I'm using their initials to give them a small degree of anonymity.  Those who know our congregation will know who they are, and that is okay, since those people could have easily been in attendance, as well.  I've tried to represent their views honestly and fairly, but of course everything is filtered through my understanding, so my apologies if I've represented anybody incorrectly.

I also had some last-minute additions to the service, as members came in and talked with me.  I've tried to recreate those additions and ad-libs in this version, but they may be slightly different.

Lastly, the church was really full of energy this Sunday, and I think it was generated by knowing that this was …