Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Something still to say at age 93!


I thought I had said it all when I turned 90, and I answered some thousand or so questions on Reddit's, Ask Me Anything! The Washington Post even called me an "Adorable Reddit Guru" (until they discovered the word “adorable really didn't apply to me! See:




Now at 93 years of age, I've noted three things that lead me to believe my work isn't done, that there is something I want to share with anyone who might be interested.

  1. For the past two years I've been a weekly participant with 25 men approaching my age in my apartment complex considering topics ranging from world climate change to pondering the meaning and purpose of life. These DC retirees amaze me with their sensitivity and insight into the complex problems of a rapidly changing world. I'm more convinced than ever that we oldsters need to be in dialogue more with the “idealistic younger generation” that I see in world-wide demonstrations and causes.
  2. I've had increased opportunity recently to converse with people with different political, ethnic, racial, religious orientations than I. and therefore I recognize more completely how important it is for each of us to seek more opportunities of this nature.
  3. And quite personally, as I again begin to ponder the meaning of MY LIFE, I feel compelled to have my insights heard by anyone who might care to tune in.

Thus, in a few days in an unannounced Rant, I will tell the story of my recent conversation with a Uber driver who grew up in Uganda. I hope you will tune in regularly as I occasionally vent my views. You'll make my day if you will engage in “Comments” so we might dialogue.

Ron


So here's my blog - always available at www.ronlehkersrants.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

If I were king!




I would have all America read:

Ted Koppel's editorial in today's Washington Post (July 30, 2019") " I know I'm right about America."

Just go to

www.washposttedkoppell

Friday, July 26, 2019

The fight for soul of our Nation. - as found on the sports page!


Insight into America from the sports section of the newspaper

I've long felt that some of our greatest lasting lessons have been provided from and through athletic competition. I feel the lessons are legion in today's extremely critical period when the moral fiber of our country is being tested. The following account from today's Washington Post, July 26, 2019 says so much. The story relates to Mariano Rivera who was recently inducted by unanimous vote into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rivera had been criticized in an editorial for his continuing support of the President in an appearance in "Fox & Friends."

Rivera: "He was a friend of mine before he became president so because he's president, I will not turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does, and I believe he's doing the best for the United States."

Being told of the criticism Rivera, "as he did during his acceptance, cited his Christianity as the basis of his support.”

Rivera: "When it comes to Israel, as a Christian, if my Savior Jesus Christ, he's a Jew, okay? So how am I going to turn my back and say, 'Oh, I won't support Israel'?"

Of course everyone has the right to state their beliefs, but I believe it is extremely important that we learn to weigh statements from our "heroes" as well as the many valid and unsubstantiated statements found on the social media.

At 93 years of age I am more concerned than I have ever been about the future of our democratic republic. I know that I have felt and expressed that there comes a time that we seniors are past our prime and should pass the torch to future generations. However I fear that too often important lessons from the past have not been heard, and I feel an urgent drive to convey previous lessons for consideration in making critical decisions.

AND I FEEL THE URGENCY OF THE CHOICE WE WILL MAKE IN THE ELECTION OF 2020!


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

We pay for what we value

Why is it that some pay $1,000 per hour for a good lawyer and yet balk at paying $300 - $500 for a good psychiatrist or clinical psychologist?

Money and power!

Friday, May 17, 2019

I'm beginning to despair.

I'm confused! 

Am I really to believe that the conceiving of a child by rape or incest is really God's desire?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Two local issues of national importance

I continue to be amazed at how little attention we give to "minor issues" until they become major national concerns. In today's Metro section of Washington Post,  two of these are written up as a D. C. concern. The first is front page and relates to the death of the cyclist on a busy thoroughfare. The second is more hidden on the third page and is entitled "In a rare move, teachers at a charter school try to form a union."

1. Were we a country truly attuned to solving problems, we would've long ago realized that there are a variety of vehicles that have neither been accommodated well on either the sidewalk or the roadway. I've only recently discovered this since I am now in a motorized scooter for the physically impaired. Even in privileged Cleveland Park sidewalks do not accommodate me, bicycle riders who are afraid of street traffic and motorized scooters whizz by while potholes fully distract us all.  Perhaps the bike lanes should be expanded to also accommodate this type of electrical vehicle.

2. I was involved in public school education in almost every conceivable job from kindergarten to higher education for over 30 years and I've been retired for an equal amount of time. Since retiring my interest in young people caused me to volunteer in a Charter School. I was both heartened and perplexed by what I saw in this new educational venture. Heartened by the fact that a large segment of our inner city youth in the District of Columbia had an opportunity for educational choice to meet their needs. But, among other things, I was most concerned by the toll taken on the teachers by the demands placed upon them. I wondered, how long this might last, until forces brought something to light that I saw evolve many years ago.

We saw the problem coming long ago. In 1951 as a young (age 25) high school principal in Michigan, I knew that the success of our school in helping students depended upon our teamwork as a instructional team. Within a few years the labor/management model was one of the major factors in destroying that team approach. Principals were perceived as a part of management and often forced into an adversarial relationship with teachers. What actually was needed was a new model, an approach that insightful educational leaders advocated at that time.

Like many, I offer no solution. But it 93 I would like to know that my country is honestly facing the problems that are present in a modern changing society. And I think the first step is looking at them fully and honestly. Thus I continue to have my say as long as I am able.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Methodists take heed,

Methodists take heed
when church creeds,
again ignore human needs.

It's happened before! The formal doctrines of many/most/all churches, developed by the hierarchy, fail to take into consideration the changing dynamics of their members who seek to live a life of commitment to the welfare of ALL humanity. At 93 years of age I distinctly recall a previous example that occurred in the Methodist Church just over 200 years ago. Obviously I wasn't living then, but I know well the stories of the schism – one far less dramatic than the present one. It well illustrates the present dilemma and trauma of religious institutions.

Jacob Albright, born in 1759 was the son of German immigrants. As a devout Lutheran, he failed to find solace in the teachings of that church in the death of all but three of his ten children. But he was so inspired by Circuit Riders of the Methodist Church that he wanted to share his "Good News" with fellow Germans of his community. In 1793 he was accepted as an itinerant preacher in the Methodist Church. However he soon discovered that his limited ability to use the English language, coupled by the inability of his listeners to understand English, made it obvious that this preaching would be more effective using the German language. However that was contrary to the ruling of the hierarchy of the church, English must be used! Thus he struck out on his own in 1800 by going from house to house, from community to community to console and bring the moral teaching of Jesus to communities. In seven years the first steps were taken to form a new Protestant denomination, The Evangelical Church. I know because in 1925 I was baptized into that denomination and remained in it until it reunited with The United Methodist Church in 1968.
Methodists take heed
when church creeds,
again ignore human needs.

It's happened before! The formal doctrines of many/most/all churches, developed by the hierarchy, fail to take into consideration the changing dynamics of their members who seek to live a life of commitment to the welfare of ALL humanity. At 93 years of age I distinctly recall a previous example that occurred in the Methodist Church just over 200 years ago. Obviously I wasn't living then, but I know well the stories of the schism – one far less dramatic than the present one. It well illustrates the present dilemma and trauma of religious institutions.

Jacob Albright, born in 1759 was the son of German immigrants. As a devout Lutheran, he failed to find solace in the teachings of that church in the death of all but three of his ten children. But he was so inspired by Circuit Riders of the Methodist Church that he wanted to share his "Good News" with fellow Germans of his community. In 1793 he was accepted as an itinerant preacher in the Methodist Church. However he soon discovered that his limited ability to use the English language, coupled by the inability of his listeners to understand English, made it obvious that this preaching would be more effective using the German language. However that was contrary to the ruling of the hierarchy of the church, English must be used! Thus he struck out on his own in 1800 by going from house to house, from community to community to console and bring the moral teaching of Jesus to communities. In seven years the first steps were taken to form a new Protestant denomination, The Evangelical Church. I know because in 1925 I was baptized into that denomination and remained in it until it reunited with The United Methodist Church in 1968.

The last thing young pe
The last thing young people want
from someone 93 years of age
is a sermon.

However, my years of experience as an educator have proven to me that young people are eager, yea yearning, to see dramatic societal changes in the American lifestyle. As a historian respecting the knowledge of the world and life that science has brought over the past 500 or so years, I would compare the need for change today to that wrought by Martin Luther 500 years ago when a religious world was shaken by the Protestant Reformation. And I as a layman see it as a question of Faith vs. Works.

What is needed today
is another Reformation of the church!

And for me this begins with a realization that, "like all religions, Christianity is man-made."

I realize that this "sermonizing" is a far cry from my usual "ranting and raving." Yet I find it necessary to be perfectly honest and admit that it is a topic that has long held my interest. However in reading the last chapter of Warren L Hickman's book, "Can Religion Survive Worship" I was mesmerized by that statement, "like all religions, Christianity is man-made.

Unfortunately I found the first 26 chapters of the book quite tedious, soI can't recommend its purchase.  But the last chapter blew me away.  It succinctly drives the message home to the non-– theological reader. From checking Amazon's assessment of reader interest in books, it might appear that I'm the only reader of the book. But because I am so struck by its relevance I'll have more to say about it in the next few of my Raves. Perhaps this blurb from Amazon might even whet your interest so there will be a surge on the market.

"Will main line churches disappear within twenty five to forty years as religious authorities now predict? What is behind this crisis so suddenly facing religious communities? Why does the chance of survival of religion decline as a nation becomes more highly developed? The book Can Religion Survive Worship clarifies the difference between worshiping the messenger and studying the message. If rituals, processes, and procedures are put aside, what is to become of churches and clergy that have existed primarily to preside over those rituals, processes, and procedures? What, if any, will then be the vehicle carrying the message? Warren Hickman has thrown down the gauntlet. It needs to be picked up.