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October 2018 Crump Expressway

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When vandals hit ~The vandalism investigation of June 2004 never revealed names of perpetrators but The Advocate led with an editorial on June 17, 2004 that denounced the attack and spoke of the Edwin Markham poem that inspired our 12-foot circle window. The editorial said: ". . . Our nation was founded on the principle that people should be allowed to worship freely as they choose without fear of persecution. Vandalizing a church is a direct attack upon religious freedom . . . The Rev. Steve Crump, minister of the church, reminded his congregation on the Sunday after the vandalism that hostility toward Jews in the pre-World War Germany began with the breaking of shop windows . . . The Unitarian Church sometimes takes liberal positions on controversial issues such as gay marriage.  While people might disagree bitterly, members of every church ought to agree to rally around the First Amendment's guarantee of the right to worship in the church of one's choice."

Church members Andreas Hansen, Cathy McManus, and John Wilkinson immediately managed and shored up the damage.  John and Cathy tell of installing plywood with 2 X 4 bracing, representing a peace symbol for all to see. Following the vandalism, our congregation gathered for a short prayer. Before the tempered-glass section was replaced, the congregation received a cash gift from a local synagogue to demonstrate solidarity and support.

When chips were bet ~ The state lottery was debated at length until Louisiana, like many states, succumbed to a revenue addiction that no state can quit. But on January 11, 1986, a Rabbi, a Methodist, and a UU were interviewed with their viewpoints printed in The Advocate. Here's what I said:  "Realizing that many churches and clergy have cashed in their chips by starting schools long ago, I intend to stand in line to buy one of the first lottery tickets to take one of the last chances on public education and senior citizens in this state.  [Proponents said the funds would go to education and seniors.]  A lottery is regressive taxation, just like a sales tax on food.  If a lottery is evil, it is evil because we will depend on the poor by and large to finance what ought to be financed by equitable and progressive taxation.”

When candles were lit ~ Often we gathered with Bienville House for Peace & Justice and other groups at The Peace Stones in the spirit of prayer and non-violence denouncing war. Pictured here are attendees and 516 candles representing U.S. lives lost in Iraq. We were also mindful to create a cluster of candles representing unknown civilian lives lost. This photo appeared in full color on the front page of The Advocate on February 16, 2004.