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What's New? June is bustin' out. . .

See the Events & Links page for information about two journals of interest to Unitarian Universalists and other religious liberals. It just happens I've published in the latest issues of both, as duly noted. I'd like to advertise other publications, blogs, etc. of interest on this page, as well--so let's be in touch. --GKB

Who Was Ariel Sharon?

January 23, 2014

“The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
–Nelson Mandela (December 4, 1997)

We know who Nelson Mandela was, but who was Ariel Sharon? A larger-than-life Israeli hero who secured the Jewish homeland against its implacable enemies? Or a reckless warrior who twisted the course of Israeli-Palestinian history into its present hopelessness, fear and hatred on one side, bitterness and hatred on the other? I see the latter, and a consequent erosion of confidence in the future and a deepening anxiety on all sides, including the American. If that seems harsh, see the obituary of Sharon in The Economist: “For some he was indelibly ‘the butcher of Beirut,’ the man who in 1982 dragged Israel into a bloody and gratuitous war in Lebanon which shamed it before the world. For many more he was the hero of the Yom Kippur war of 1973, the man who led his troops across the Suez Canal and thus saved Israel from defeat by Egypt” (January 18-24, 2014, p. 90).

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Mountaintop Experience

November 25, 2013

DSCF0169Who can climb

And remain silent?

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In memoriam, and yes, friendship saves

October 27, 2013

Here follow words written to honor the memory of a great friend, a colleague in Unitarian ministry, and one of the most extraordinary men I have known.  How so?  That story is told in the oral history I wrote with his cooperation several years ago, Feribacsi In His Own Words (see publications page of this blog).

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Go Spel: forty days with Mark

June 24, 2013


This picture was taken last December, at the Children’s Museum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where Barbara and I were visiting our new grandson, Aiden.  I liked the image of the young man (16 months old) intently engaged, and the old man (just turned 78) already in the background, looking on, pondering.  So I chose this image to accompany the author’s blurb on the back-cover of my new book, The Seminal Gospel: Forty Days with Mark, and I dedicated the book:  “For Aiden Charles Beach and his rising generation.”  

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Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012

December 22, 2012

?????????????Because I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—
–Emily Dickinson

Mourning is the homage our bodies, our minds, our souls pay to grievous loss: lost lives, lost dreams, joys, hopes, and expectations, lost innocence, lost innocents. Our first need in a time like this, when loss on an incomprehensible scale has come upon us, is to mourn. Only our souls can tell us when it’s “enough.”

Music, such as the prayers beautifully sung by the rabbi and the young Muslim boy in the Newtown memorial service this week, enable us to grieve as does nothing else I know. I am longing to hear again Henryk Gorecki’s masterpiece, Symphony No. 3, called “Three Sorrowful Songs.” (We have the deeply moving recording with soprano Dawn Upshaw and the London Sinfonietta, conducted by David Zinman.)

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