Let me tell you about the sermon I was going to give today. It was about the book and movie The Perfect Storm . It was about how we often bring tragedy upon ourselves by our own actions, the way that the crew of that fishing boat The Andrea Gail did, through denial, pride, and our misplaced priority on money. I was looking forward to giving that sermon.
I used to be confused about the Christopher Columbus story. The way I had always heard it, Columbus believed that the world was round, and everyone around him believed that the world was flat. Everyone thought that Columbus was a madman; if he tried to sail to India, they said, he would sail off the edge of the earth.
Picture this terrible scene: A man has a gun, and he’s chasing a child down the street, obviously about to shoot the child at any second. You don’t know what to do. You don’t want to get involved. The man shoots the child.
I’d like to talk today about the debate that has been raging in America for the last few weeks about the radio host Don Imus and the limits of acceptable humor and speech. I’ll start with our Torah reading for this week, which lends itself perfectly to what I want to say.