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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Religious leftist.

Hank Peirce shares the story of his predecessor at the Universalist Church of Medford, Mass.: the Rev. Eugene H. Adams, who died last week. Adams was quite a character, according to the Boston Globe obituary based on Hank's account:

As a teenager, Rev. Adams became a boxer. He fought professionally under the name ''Red Adams," but his career ended by way of a knockout on the canvas of the old Boston Garden in 1938.

Rev. Adams turned instead to the classroom. Despite a number of hurdles, including lacking the proper high school credits for college admission, he entered Tufts College with a special student permit and graduated in four years. By 1945, he had a master of divinity degree from the university.

His first steps in the ministry, however, were staggers. At his first post, in Iowa in 1945, he lasted three days.

A church member denounced his smoking, saying it would lead to drinking and fraternizing with ''wild women," said Rev. Peirce. Rev. Adams quit the post, not the habit.

After a stint as a social worker, Rev. Adams joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Binghamton, N.Y. This time, he lasted for three months, dismissed amid accusations that he was a Communist. . . .

In 1961, Rev. Adams began serving at the First Universalist Church of Worcester and his social activism soared.

A leader in the local civil rights movement, he embraced several other causes; for three years, he wore denim in the pulpit to show his support for migrant farm workers.

A reminder that there's not only a religious left in this country, but some honest-to-God religious leftists, too.

("Rev. Eugene Adams at 87, civil rights leader, minister," Michael Busack, Boston Globe 8.16.04)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 18 August 2004 at 10:02 AM

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Betsy Linder:

August 22, 2004 06:28 PM | Permalink for this comment

This was a well written obituary. I didn't think their writers took this much caution. Keep up the good work Mr. Busack !

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