While I was studying theology I did church services (and sermons) both in England and in NYC. I cringe as I recall my last sermon which made me realize that I was really doing critical editorials rather than the range of Christian sermons.

The location was a Manhattan church where I had preached the previous summer. Typical of my concerns then (early 1960s), I blasted away on civil rights.

My embarrassment came after the service as people were leaving. A nice man informed me that in the year since I had given my last sermon the church had invited a Latino church to join them — one did services in English in the morning and the other did them in Spanish in the evenings.

Really what I had done was attack a group of people with my political concerns for justice who did not deserve such.

I certainly supported the social democratic concerns of the U.S. Protestant churches of that time which were about to be overwhelmed by what is in the news now — operations that promise you a raise if you believe in Jesus while collecting monies from you or that thinly disguise the racism that still pervades our nation.

It has been sad to see the transformation which one of my teachers, Reinhold Niebuhr, foresaw in the ‘feel good’ approach of Billy Graham. My theology teachers strongly supported my switch to social/political/legal philosophy
which I enjoyed teaching for four decades.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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