Sunday, January 16, 2005

Some voices of people of faith you may NOT have heard lately

Coming to the revolution a little late but still on time

This is the current From Where I Stand column written by Sister Joan Chittester for the National Catholic Reporter. Last time I posted about Sister Joan was when she was Bill Moyers' guest on NOW last November.

Hers is a powerful voice; an articulate voice; the voice of a person of faith who, remarkably enough these days, is not calling upon a vengeful deity to rain down damnation on all who are foolish enough to veer from the one and only one, true, correct faith that exists, i.e. [insert name of desired One True Religion here]. You know: a rational voice.

The Internet might even be a way to organize national conversations on current issues. We could start, for instance, by asking ourselves spiritual questions about political subjects -- like why it is that we are all so stunned, shocked, dismayed about the 150,000 deaths in Asia from a tsunami but we don't seem to be bothered a bit about the over 100,000 civilian deaths - most of them women and children - which, the Lancet study tells us, have resulted from our own invasion of Iraq?

Read the whole thing.


And, via the wonderful Newsfare , the text of a speech given by Dr. Robin Myers at Oklahoma University Peace Rally on November 14, 2004:

Arrogance is the opposite of faith

Let me give you just a few of the reasons why I take issue with those in power who claim moral values are on their side:

--- When you start a war on false pretenses, and then act as if your deceptions are justified because you are doing God's will, and that your critics are either unpatriotic or lacking in faith, there are some of us who have given our lives to teaching and preaching the faith who believe that this is not only not moral, but immoral.

--- When you live in a country that has established international rules for waging a just war, build the United Nations on your own soil to enforce them, and then arrogantly break the very rules you set down for the rest of the world, you are doing something immoral.

--- When you claim that Jesus is the Lord of your life, and yet fail to acknowledge that your policies ignore his essential teaching, or turn them on their head (you know, Sermon on the Mount stuff like that we must never return violence for violence and that those who live by the sword will die by the sword), you are doing something immoral.

--- When you act as if the lives of Iraqi civilians are not as important as the lives of American soldiers, and refuse to even count them, you are doing something immoral.

--- When you find a way to avoid combat in Vietnam, and then question the patriotism of someone who volunteered to fight, and came home a hero, you are doing something immoral.

--- When you ignore the fundamental teachings of the gospel, which says that the way the strong treat the weak is the ultimate ethical test, by giving tax breaks to the wealthiest among us so the strong will get stronger and the weak will get weaker, you are doing something immoral.

--- When you wink at the torture of prisoners, and deprive so-called "enemy combatants" of the rules of the Geneva convention, which your own country helped to establish and insists that other countries follow, you are doing something immoral.

Read the whole thing.

All I can say is: if you need to feel hope, as I do, that it's possible to affect the outcome of world events, then listen to these voices. We may be of many different Christian denominations, or non- Christians, or non-believers, but we can and must stand together against fundamentalist fascist oppressor powers wherever they may be, including the current US administration.

Also posted here.

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