I’m a tough guy for preachers to impress. John Auer is impressive.
The former pastor of downtown Reno’s First United Methodist Church found his calling after inspiration from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He engineered a year-long commemoration around the 40th anniversary of King’s murder.
Because he dared to speak at anti-war rallies, tall John took serious heat from moonhowlers in his congregation. Such people needed him most — Christians who forgot Christianity.
Now retired in Fresno and having lost his beloved Julie, Rev. Auer still dispenses wisdom for this pre-adolescent and violent world. The following came in a few days ago and is quoted with permission:
“Counter-intuitively, it appears President Obama will not limp out the usually harmless ‘lameduck’ role, much to his gathering credit. After all, he has served seven years already with calm and modest humility in the face of unbridled disdain.
“His might be called a ‘blameduck’ presidency thus far. He has been blamed all along the continuum, from arrogant to submissive; from failure to lead to executive excess; from unwillingness to negotiate to abject appeasement. In short, he is blamed just for being.
“Amazingly, for all that we have projected of our frequent manias and phobias upon him, he’s still there and still standing! He’s still challenging us, still calling us out at such deep and mean streaks of ourselves, for instance, as all our ‘exceptional’ idolatries of violence – from handguns to nuclear bombs.
“In spite of us, if not thanks to us, he has grown to be the ‘flameduck’ president, inextinguishably burning, brightening with spirits of courage and hope. He is blazing our way toward a wiser, more just, thereby more peaceful, future. Ours is but to ignite our own fires.
“Thank you, Mr. President. May God keep you safe.”
Rev. John impresses me with not only clear thinking, but damn (oops) good writing.
The president has many flaws but true spiritual leaders take the long view. As Bush the Elder might say, it’s a vision thing.
LIGHTS OUT. Two great Nevadans recently left us.
Bob Day, 79, was a longtime fixture in Nevada country music. Bob and his wife Julie moved to their Yerington ranch after selling Sparks-Reno radio station KBET 1340-am in the early 1980s. Celebration: 2:00 p.m. Oct. 25 at Yerington’s Pioneer Crossing Center.
Artist Ingrid Evans, 86, made Nevada a much more important place because of her awesome body of work. Her husband was the late international chess grandmaster, author and former Tribune columnist Larry Evans.
Life stories will be linked to the expanded Barbwire web edition at NevadaLabor.com/
SATURDAY NIGHT SOIREE. The Reno-Sparks NAACP’s 70th Annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet happens this Saturday evening, Oct. 24, in the Mandalay Ballroom at Circus Circus-Reno. Go to RenoSparksNAACP.org for reservations or call (775) 786-1455.
GUERRILLA ACTIVISM. Take micro-revenge on rip-off credit card vultures. When you get a bulk mail offer, return the postage-paid reply envelope empty. Vengeance may belong to the Lord, but can’t we have a cheap taste?
With apologies again to Rev. Auer,
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail <email@example.com>. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.