A Time to Speak

“Modern clergymen are paid by the laymen. They are in the almost ridiculous position of taking a salary from people whom they are called upon to judge in God’s name.”

December 7, 1969 (Pearl Harbor Day)

In this sermon, Rabbi Olan went out on a limb.  Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that he lived out on a limb, but in this sermon he edged farther out on it.

In previous sermons on the Vietnam War, he bemoaned the war and people’s complacence in the face of it, while acknowledging that there were two sides of the issue and people of good faith on both sides.  He stopped short of taking sides.

But this sermon is called “A Time to Speak”.  He came out and said that the United States should never have gotten involved in the war, and that it should have allowed the Vietnamese people to elect Ho Chi Minh as their leader.

“If he is God, then the suffering of the poor, the injustices against the weak, the crimes of war are His business.  When the world is in the kind of agony we know today, religion must speak for God, the prophetic voice needs to be heard.  A clergyman does not speak for a Congregation, he speaks for God. This is no time for God to be silent!”

Follow this link to read the sermon text.

*Written by Joshua F. Hirsch*