Many men I have met inside prison had more inner freedom than citizens outside who do not see the iron bars they live within. On those visits at Attica, I bore witness to more focused desire to grow than I have ever seen outside—not in churches, or seminars, or therapy groups.
When people say they don’t believe in God, mostly they mean that there’s no sign of a being up there deciding just how things will go, watching our every move, working out how to punish us for the bad things we do and bless us for the good. I don’t believe in that sort of god either, and I hope you don’t . . .
At the opening of a new year comes a sense for a fresh start. Our resolution feels strong, the goals worthwhile. And yet, there is a shadow over our smile, for we remember past resolutions, dusty boxes in the basement. Will this January be any different?
You need both, you know—both wings. Every nation, every organization, needs the conservatives, who give attention to the existing structure. And every nation needs its liberals and progressives, who give attention to what must yet come into being, and must come into our being, if we are to adapt to the forces of change in society and technology which history throws up like siege works against every living thing.
Today, we begin a series of sermons which aims to connect our faith in Christ with the fights of our times. Right up to the November presidential election, we will consider many of the vexed conflicts of our civilization around which no moral or political will exists for decision and solution of vast injustices. I do not aim to define “what Christians must believe” about the crises we face, but I do want to claim that your commitment to Christ must issue in a decisive way of seeing our situation . . .