Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, October 05, 2015


Sermon for Oct. 4, 2015

Genesis 2

Genesis is a story. It is not history or biology.

Imagine  an old Jewish man, may be a rabbi four or five thousand years ago. See him talking with a group of children. A kid raises his hand and asks, “Who made the animals?” The old man tells a story, Out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to the man to see. God brought them to the man and told the man to give them a name. That’s an eagle, that’s a canary, that’s a wolf, that’s a crocodile, that is a rabbit. So all the animals got their name.

Remember this is an ancient story. It is not anthropology, sociology or biology. This is story.

Today we have the blessing of the animals. St. Francis of Assissi, used to talk to he birds and loved and respected all the animals. Fr. Richard will bless any animals you brought to church today.

But there is more to the story. The children ask, “Where did mommy come from?” The old rabbi responds saying the man after naming the animals took a nap. You know what God did? He took a rib out of the man and made it into a woman like your mommy.

This story may satisfy young children and has down through the ages. Children today would question the story by the time they got to fourth grade.

We need to look more deeply into the story.

The story was told by a man. Woman was created third. Fist the man, then the animals and finally the woman. The story comes from a powerful patriarchal tradition. Men were seen as having power over women, women were second class citizens. Most of us see men and woman as equals. We see that women can do things men can do. Fight in the military, run major corporations and be doctors and lawyers. Women are still emerging. Growing stronger  in their rights for equal pay, status and recognition.

We can be proud that our Episcopal Church has women deacons, priests Bishops and even the Presiding Bishop. But when it comes to getting a job as a rector of a church. Most vestries still choose men over women.

Jesus was an advocate for women.

In the gospel story Jesus condemns divorce. “What God has joined together let no man put asunder.”

Jesus knew that if a man divorced his wife, she would be destitute, have no means of support and would likely be begging in the streets. A man could divorce his wife, but a woman could not divorce her husband. The man owned her, the money and the property. She and her children would have nothing.

Jesus wide compassion forbade divorce for men in his day because of its harrowing effect on women.

And that’s the way with Jesus. He is compassionate and calls on the world, each of us, all of us to that Christ like Compassion.

For the Hungry, Sick, homeless and immigrants in the United States and those fleeing Syria.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Once more I take computer in hand to write that the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares, “Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion…” It does not say that religious groups may not influence government. Good Pope Francis, all people, religious or not may communicate with the congress and try to influence lawmaking. That is called freedom of speech. The founding fathers “would not be rolling over in their graves” as Randy Fitz worried in the SF Chronicle, September 23, 2015.

Monday, September 07, 2015


Monday, September 7, 2015
Labor Day

Labor Unions are needed more than ever. Workers are expected to be on demand 24/7. Many jobs have no pension or health plans. Without unions workers are demoted, fired and humiliated with no power to defend themselves. Children and families suffer because the absence of fathers or mothers who are forced to work more in order for the families to survive. African-Americans and Hispanics suffer the most. Teachers and nurses are usually underpaid and often have no unions to assist them.

Being against unions is a plank of the Republican Party and most business leaders.

Many workers say they do not want unions. They resent paying dues and other workers who collect their salaries and do little work.

The greedy, get rich, accumulate more ethos of American society has little concern for the sick, poor and unemployed. They see no value for them in helping co-operatively to get fair wages and working conditions for others.

I suppose it will ever be thus. But Labor Day does remind us that there is another way to get fairness and justice for all workers.


The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Manhattan, New York City on March 25, 1911 was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers – 123 women and 23 men[1] – who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged 16 to 23;[2][3][4] of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was Providenza Panno at 43, and the youngest were 14-year-olds Kate Leone and "Sara" Rosaria Maltese.[5]
Because the owners had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits, a common practice used to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and pilferage,[6] many of the workers who could not escape the burning building jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors to the streets below. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers.
The factory was located in the Asch Building, at 23–29 Washington Place in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, now known as the Brown Building and part of New York University. The building has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark.[7]


Thursday, August 13, 2015


I think the Iran deal is the best that can be done at this time to keep the U.S. out of another stupid war in the mid-east. Netanyahu and AIPAC will continue to lobby Congress. The Republicans will do anything to hurt the President and his efforts in anything. Frankly, I think peace would best be served by encouraging Iran to get the weapons they want. Apparently Israel has all the weapons it wants. The cliche, leveling the playing field, may be what keeps Iran and Israel wary and respectful of each other. Iran is a great ancient  nation that wants peace and non-interference in its life.  Israel is a newer nation that is still learning to live in the mid-east.

Monday, July 13, 2015


How childish politicians are trying to fix blame. Mikarimi blames the Feds, Ed Lee, Dianne Feinstein and Donald Trump criticize the release of Juan Lopez Sanchez who alledgedly shot Kathryn Steinle on Pier 14. The blame game is useless palaver when law enforcement authorities have to deal with a terribly broken immigration system with conflicting laws and rules. There is plenty of blame to go around. It is easier for politicians to make headlines blaming people rather than changing the awful immigration mess in which our country presently exists.

I an enjoying enjoying the benefits of capitalism. My wife and I have income from the Church Pension Fund, Social Security and some stocks.  Capitalism does work and its by products while making profits make the poor poorer and the planet evermore endangered.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


It is great news that Afghan and Taliban officials are beginning to negotiate about possible peace. (SF Chronicle, July 8, 2015. On the same page, senators decry the failure of the “president’s goal of degrading and ultimately destroying the Islamic State.” “U.S. military has conducted more than 5,000 air strikes to counter Islamic State.”  Obviously, the senators are more interested in killing than seeking negotiation. If Afghan and Taliban leaders can do it, why can’t we find ways to negotiate with IS?