Tag Archive | Justice

ICE out of Marin



Yesterday afternoon I went to an ICE Out of Marin rally and then to a meeting with the Board of Supervisors.  These are the remarks I shared during the public comment portion of the meeting.  I spoke right after our parish minister, the Reverend Marcus Hartlief who spoke with passion and eloquence.  I think we made a good tag team of UU ministers:

“When I accepted ordination into the ministry I pledged to speak, act and live as a voice of courage and of hope; to champion justice, freedom, and compassion and to serve all those who are in need.

Whether or not it was explicit, I believe all of you on the board of supervisors and our sheriff made a similar commitment when you accepted an elected office in the County of Marin.

You are here to serve the residents of this county, and most particularly those who are most vulnerable.

I know you try.  I know that sometimes the decisions you need to make are complicated and not easy.  This one is simple.

Our immigrant neighbors are living in fear. Their families are being torn apart. Their cries of anguish and despair should be stirring all of our hearts and calling us to compassionate action. We MUST stop cooperating with ICE.  We MUST stop publishing the damn release dates of those who have been incarcerated.  We MUST provide a sanctuary where all who are vulnerable are safe.  I pray, along with Reverend Marcus, that wisdom, compassion and courage will guide your decision. Thank you.”



Wheel of Justice

I wrote this back in May of 2006, during the Bush years.  Little did I know I would need it again.

Wheel of Justice

The wheel is rolling backward.

Listen to the voices shouting,

In anger and in rage.

The soft sobs at the end of the day

Echo through the valley of despair.

The city streets are baking,

The countryside is gray with dust.

There is a heartbeat Somewhere.

Feel it pulsing.

A small sprout of green

Rises up through the cracked pavement

A sparrow drops a seed.

If we cannot stand it

Then we have to stand.


If we cannot stand

Then we have to crawl.

Don’t wipe the tears.

Let them run

Through the fields,

Water for the crops

That we must grow.

The wheel is rolling backwards

But that doesn’t have to be.

First one

Then another

Yet another

And again

We will feel the good ache

Of holy muscles

Working with us,

As we place

Our shoulders to the wheel


Bouncing Toward Equality


Marriage equality and my emotions go up and down, up and down, bouncing like a red rubber ball.   It made me think of this song.



They say that justice is a journey, and the arc of the universe bends toward it.  Well, Unitarian minister Theodore Parker said that and Martin Luther King repeated it – a lot.  The last several months, however, have been more of a roller coaster.  Judges rule, marriages happen, stays are issued, benefits are given and then taken away.  Adoptions granted and then suspended.  Who says they care about children?  Utah, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Idaho, etc, etc. There are too many states to name where the emotions and lives of GLBT are being batted around like a tether ball.  Waiting to hear from Oregon today.  It is time to untether the rope and let freedom fly free.  Hit it out of the park.  Follow the arc.  May it be so.



Strong Opinions Strong Drink


For most of my life

I have been blessed – or cursed

With strong opinions.

Like strong drink,

Strong opinions

Can be intoxicating

Raise your glass high

Work for the cause

Follow me

I have an idea

I know what we should do

And so often

The people I am with

Have listened and agreed.

Sometimes they even do

What I say.

A wonder

For which I am grateful.

A minister is expected

To know what is right

How to walk this planet

In a way that serves life

A moral guidepost with vision

And God knows I try

But really now

I am only human

Strong opinions

Like strong drinks

Are hard to set aside

But sometimes we

I guess I mean I

Need to stay

Just a bit thirsty

Ask a few more questions

Listen hard for the truth

Explore many paths

Sip some more water

Take some more time

Before we can mix

Just the right cocktail

With an olive of justice

A portion of hope

A splash of compassion

Together at last

In a shaker of love.












Pete Seeger

Oh, Pete

You’ve died in your bed

But your songs they still play

In my head and my heart

No lullabies these

They say wake-up and rise

We will march to the beat

Of your troubadour’s heart

Walking the pathway of peace.

Your hammer we’ll use

Until justice has come

Your bell we will ring

Until freedom is real

And your song about love

We will sing it for you.




What a joyful sound it is

When old chains shatter

Hitting the pavement

Ringing through the night

Freeing bodies

Minds and spirits

Oh! I can do this now

I can walk there


I can love without blame

I can think subversively

Act with generosity

My ears are open

My chisel is at hand

Waiting for the sound

Waiting for the joy.






Justice Denied Again

Once more

We learn

If we had perhaps forgotten

That justice is only for some

That some lives are

Worth more than others

That there are always

Excuses and explanations

That don’t make

The pain go away

They just remind us

That we can never

Ever forget

That justice is denied

Even more often

Than it is delayed.

We knew this

We have not forgotten

Sometimes, however

We have had hope.

We will have hope again

Just not today

Today we grieve

For all the children


For no reason