Nothing New by Ray Charles

The City of St. Petersburg declared Feb. 15 Ray Charles Day.  Lakewood UCC took the opportunity at the service on Sunday Feb. 17 to celebrate the music and legacy of Ray Charles. This was the contemporary reading that Sunday.

Looking back over what I’ve heard and seen, I can’t say I’ve witnessed much progress in the world. If you tie up my hands and then release one finger, I don’t call that progress. And that’s the only sort of advances I’ve seen man make in the past forty or fifty years.

Actually, I don’t think man’s made much progress-other than scientific progress-since Biblical days. The Bible’s my main book, the only thing I’ve read twice. And when I tell you I’ve been over it twice, I mean slowly and carefully-from the first word in Genesis to the last word in Revelations.

I don’t believe everything in there-far from it. I don’t analyze or interpret the Bible. I never think, “Well, it says this, but it means that.” I just nod my head yes or shake my head no.

But I think the Bible’s basic. It describes men and women the way they are. It shows people acting according to their true nature. It tells the truth ’bout the way we behave. And it proves to me that we haven’t changed much.

Bring me today’s L.A. Times, give me a few minutes, and for every, major news story I’ll find a comparable tale in the Bible. I rest my case.

The Bible say, “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.” And that’s the truth.

We’ve learned very little, and if we’ve learned at all, we’ve learned very slowly.

If someone has something we want, we just go ahead and grab it.

If someone does something we don’t dig, we just go ahead and stop it. That’s if we’re stronger. We pry and push, dictate and declare our superiority. And it don’t matter none if it’s a person or a country I believe in leaving people and countries alone. Impositions and interferences, zealots and evangelists, cats coming down on you for this, chicks trying to convert you to that-man, it’s all wasted energy as as I can see.

Let people be who they are.

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