Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A history lesson I would like to share with young people


An old history teacher at age 94 teaches one one more lesson

George Santayana's quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
Here are but three bits of history I find fascinating at this time and want to share with young people
Listen to our 39th president (1977 - 1981) Jimmy Carter. The speech was given after three years in office and has been derisively referred to as his “Malaise Speech:. Here is a brief 2 minute introduction
But hear him out in his 33 minute speech. The last half is directed at solving the (then) perceived major problems of inflation and energy, but there is attention to the greater problems that have remained unsolved.
From the ssecond inaugural of President Obama, the sermon given by Reverend Adam Hamilton at the National Cathedral where I was fortunate enough to be in attendance.
The Rev. Adam Hamilton delivered the sermon, telling the stories of biblical and modern day figures, calling for leaders in the room to care for the less fortunate and to have compassion “for the least of these.”
Rev. Hamilton also urged political leaders to find common ground and a unifying vision to bring the country together. The entire service is available at

And from another era, the words of a traveler from France, Alexis de Tocqueville, who saw the United States as “exceptional.”
I personally have found these three views as particularly pertinent at this time:
  1. Religion (at that time he saw omly Christianity) is encouraged as a curb for excessive freedom
  2. A nation where volunteerism encourages people to work together to solve problems.
  3. There is separation of church and state

An internet summary of his main ideas may be found at

AS A FORMER HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY TEACHER I FEEL THESE ARE THREE IMPORTANT EVENTS THAT ALL AMERICANS SHOULD STUDY & ANALYZE






Friday, June 12, 2020

A rant and a rave I just had to make


I was heartened by the following statement last week in The Washington Post quoting a prominent evangelical Christian:

Starting off the march on a nondescript side street off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Anacostia was David Platt, pastor of one of the nation’s largest and most high-profile evangelical churches, McLean Bible.
We pray that you would forgive us for our history and our present,” Platt, who is white, said as he marched.”

But upon further reflection, I became incensed! Certainly church institutions are not perfect social organizations. And as a 94 year old member of a variety of mainline churches, I am among the first to admit the manifold SINS of churches collectively and church members individually. Yet I am proud of the awakening and action I have seen in progressive, RELIGIOUS organizations to further embrace the cause of human dignity and justice for all human beings. In my last 50 years of church attendance I have seen progress I could never have anticipated. The underpinning of the cause was set by leaders such as King and Gandhi.. The future looks bright to me as I see those causes being espoused by young people of all hues in the streets.
There truly has been a malaise permeating our country since its founding and hopefully we can finally admit it and do something about it.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

The promise of the future

Remembering more of our history at age 94 as I see the idealism of the youth of America on display


George Santayana's quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” comes to my mind as I ponder the exciting future that the present protests promise. And I marvel that it seems to have been nourished and sustained by young people,

Here then are but two bits of history I find fascinating this time.

Listen to our 39th president (1977 - 1981) Jimmy Carter. The speech was given after three years in office and has been derisively referred to as his “Malaise Speech:. Here is a brief 2 minute introduction


But hear him out in his 33 minute speech. The last half is directed at solving the (then) perceived major problem of inflation and energy, but there is attention to the greater problems that have remained unsolved.



And from another era, the words of a traveler from France, Alexis de Tocqueville, who saw the United States as “exception.”

I personally have found these three views as particularly pertinent at this time:

Religion (at that time he saw Christianity) is encouraged as a curb for excessive freedom
A nation where volunteerism encourages people to work together to solve problems
There is separation of church and state

An internet summary of his main ideas may be found at




Sunday, May 31, 2020

A look at thew local and world scene


Once again the sporting world and sports writers specifically provide clear insight into the American cultural scene. This time it is magnificently done by Sally Jenkins in her Washington Post article, "A knee on the turf or a knee on the neck. The choice is ours." It compels me to follow the leadership of young people to take action. I must, however, realize that my 94 years prohibits my joining them peacefully protesting at the White House. I can, however, once again encourage them and Americans to join me in:

Pledging to both stand and kneel at sporting events whenever the National Anthem is played until there is adequate recognition and amelioration of our nation's discriminatory practices. In so doing I feel I not only show respect for my country but also my recognition of its racial discriminatory practices in the nation's past and present.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Until the next time

I too have trouble believing that anyone would vote for Trump.  In my 94 years I have never seen such a divisive force.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Living through a pandemic at age 94

I am given hope for the future by this message from my Unitarian Church where I find a broadly based community of people of all cultures and creeds considering life's meaning.


Here is the Sunday service at All Souls UU Church in DC on April 26, 2020. I thought Tony's message was outstanding. I hope you will be challenged by it and also enjoy the concluding music which was performed the evening of the Women's March on Washington on the day after Trumps inaugural.




Friday, April 10, 2020

An unusual post for me


A thought I want to share


I never thought I would do anything like this, but these are strange times, even for one 94. While I still consider myself a "religious" person, I admit upfront that I no longer believe all that I learned about "god" most of my life. TO ME A CHURCH IS A PLACE WHERE I HAVE TRIED TO FIND THE MEANING, PURPOSE AND MORAL TONE OF AND FOR MY LIFE. OBVIOUSLY OTHERS MAY FIND DIFFERENT SOURCES FOR ACCOMPLISHING THAT.

YET! I want to invite you to a service tonight at my INTERFAITH

ALL SOULS UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH IN WASHINGTON DC

The ministers and singers will attempt to bring meaning and comfort from the plague our world is suffring from now. I know it will help me and I urge you to join me or to seek out other spiritual support.

And know that it is my “treat”. Do not feel compelled to make a contribution: other than to those groups you may find worthy of your support.

The service starts at 7:30PM and may be sourced as follows.

The ministers and singers will attempt to bring meaning and comfort from the plague our world is suffring from now. I know it will help me and I urge you to join me or to seek out other spiritual support.

And know that it is my “treat”. Do not feel compelled to make a contribution: other than to those groups you may find worthy of your support.

Ron Lehker

The service starts at 7:30PM and may be sourced as follows:

All Souls Good Friday Service, this evening at 7:30 PM 

Dear Friends,

Please join me, Rev. Tony Coleman, and members of our music team for an intimate service of music, scripture, contemplation and prayer as we honor the brokenness of our world by remembering the passion and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. Have a candle ready, if you can. A simple communion will be served. If you wish to partake in communion, please have a piece of bread and a sip of wine, water or grape juice available.

You may access our live Good Friday service online or you may phone in to the service at 929-436-2866 (meeting ID: 659 811 817).