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

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

MUSLIMS HAVE NAMES

Epiphany Sermon 1/11/15

I saw the following post on Facebook this week.

Please don’t use the word retarded.
I am a beautiful person
I am Isabella

Our name is very important to us. We are known and recognized by our name.

With a name like Cromey I am often called Crummy, Cornliegh, CrAHmey.
I was baptized Robert Warren. Then I was called Bobby, Pain in the butt, Bob, Robert. Our name is the key to our identity.

We are dehumanized by the expressions used about us. Look at the expression THOSE PEOPLE.

THOSE PEOPLE: MEANING LGBT FOLK, BLACK, BROWN ASIAN HISPANIC PEOPLE ARE NOT THOSE PEOPLE THEY ARE REAL HUMAN BEINGS.

I read of a white bigot yell at an African American attorney, “Why don’t you get YOUR people to behave better?” The bigot is dehumanizing African Americans.


This week we know of the murders in Paris. The killers  – killed THEM not people, human beings, THEM. The Paris killers did not see their victims as human beings.

Today we must not treat all Muslims as THOSE PEOPLE

Like Isabella, who is not retarded, but beautiful and made in the image of God. All Muslims are children of God. Some Muslim fanatics do not represent all the people of Islam.

How about someone in this congregation taking on the task of finding out a nearby Mosque and forming some kind of dialogue with them. NOT RICHARD. He has too much to do already.

At our baptism we were given a name Robert, Richard, John, David Aaron, Marshall, Timothy, SARAH, JAN, LEAH AND OLGA and all of us.

When John in the River Jordan baptized Jesus he already had his name JESUS. The writers of the gospels were already making his name more powerful and substantial. “You are my son, the beloved: with you I am well pleased Son of God meant to the ancient Jews a Messianic hope and a special vocation.

He was not to be just a nice guy.

“He is to bring forth justice to the nation.
He will not grow faint or be crushed until he had established justice

He was to be a light to the nations, open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from the dungeons, from prison those who sit in darkness.” Jesus meant to bring sight too the blind. In our day it means to bring medical help to the physically blind.Jesus meant prison reform – overcrowded jails, rape and sodomizing young men and women in prisons. It means prison reform actual and in our time.

I also believe the rich and the powerful hear the message of Jesus, feed hungry, house the homeless, release the prisoners, and heal the sick. If American Christians took those calls seriously it would raise taxes and make the rich poorer. Many wealthy America avoids hearing the Gospel of Jesus to bring justice. They stay away from churches – and synagogues where the concerns for social justice are presented week by week with the Biblical message.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the president of the United States during the depression of the 1930’s and the war in the 1940s. He was an Episcopalian, a Christian and even served on the vestry of St. James Church, Hyde Park, NY. He heard the message of Jesus to care for the afflicted and feed the hungry. He did some bad things; he turned away Jewish refugees who want to come into the US. He did little to relieve African Americans from their wretched conditions in the South. He was not perfect.

But he fed the poor and gave work to the 33% UNEMPLOYMENT in the US in the 1930s. He pushed through congress laws, which provided food and jobs for Americans who were impoverished after the Depression. He did not simply preach help to the poor and hungry, he passed legislation too make sure million of Americans could eat and have jobs.

President Barak Obama is a Christian, a Baptist. He did not move fast enough on LGBT rights, allowed Guantanamo Prison to exist and failed to end the war in Afghanistan soon enough. But he healed the Sick. He pushed through the Affordable Care Act giving medical insurance to millions of Americans who could not afford it. He did not preach healing to the sick; he helped make healing available to millions of Americans.

Our preachers and leaders cannot just preach pieties about social problems. We must be specific and move in concrete terms to keep and preserve our human dignity and work for the dignity of others.

We like Isabella can do something, act directly and make a little sign like she did that says:

Please don’t use the word retarded.
I am a beautiful person
I am Isabella






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