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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Disarm the CPD

Fully automatic 9 mm Glock pistol, like the one used by
Dante Servin to murder Rekia Boyd.
Has anyone noticed the common thread in the Flint Farmer case and the Rekia Boyd case?

Flint Farmer was an African-American man shot and killed by Chicago police while he lay face down on the ground. Police officer Gildardo Sierra encountered Farmer at night and discharged all 16 rounds in his firearm over the course of 4 seconds, killing Farmer. Prosecutors determined that no charges should be brought against Sierra because they "did not think that they could show that the shooting was unreasonable."

The Farmer case led me to conclude that, okay, if police + guns = murder, then get rid of the guns. Or the police. Or both. (See We need to get the police off the streets of Chicago. QED.)

Now, charges have been dismissed against an off-duty police officer, Dante Servin, who shot and killed a young woman named Rekia Boyd as she sat talking with friends. It was clear to all of us that Servin was being undercharged by the State's Attorney: The facts show that Dante Servin chose to equip himself with his personal weapon - an unregistered Glock pistol ... and, after having made a call to 911 to complain about noisy people near his house, he chose to exit his house at 1 a.m. ... and he chose to confront some young people he saw near his house  ... and, after he drove his car a short distance from where he exchanged words with the young people, he chose to take out his weapon ... and he chose to fire his weapon at them.  (See Chicago Vocabulary Lesson: "Overcharging" and "Undercharging" )

What none of us expected was that the judge would use the lesser charge as an excuse to dismiss. According to press reports, Judge Porter said that "when someone intends to fire a gun, points toward his victim and shoots — much like Servin did on March 21, 2012 — that behavior is not reckless."

Isn't this just more of the same? Police + gun = killing?

There are all kinds of efforts to change the way policing is done in Chicago, and how it gets managed. These efforts mirror those being made in cities nationwide. I support those efforts, and am committed to working on them until we accomplish sweeping change.

But sweeping change will take time.

In the meantime, isn't it urgent that we disarm the CPD?


TAKE ACTION

Contact one or more
of these groups today
and give your support:



Related posts


In the city where I live, "normal" or "right" or "acceptable" has been given a brutal construction by the power structure:

Police encounter black man on street
Police shoot black man
Black man dies
(Business as usual in Chicago.)

 (See We need to get the police off the streets of Chicago. QED.)








The State's Attorney for the Chicago area finally got around to bringing a charge against a police officer who shot and killed a citizen. Why, I wondered, didn't Anita Alvarez charge him with murder?

Then I remembered my Chicago vocabulary lesson.

(See Chicago Vocabulary Lesson: "Overcharging" and "Undercharging" )










A campaign exists to bring about a democratically-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) in Chicago. The campaign would involve the people in electing the watchers of the police, and put the ultimate control of (and responsibility for) the police in the hands of the citizens of Chicago.

(See Does a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) need to be part of a "new plan of Chicago"? )

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Why I'll Be in NYC for Peace and Planet April 24-26

Daisy Youngblood, Budhi
(More at McKee Gallery)
For months now, I have been thinking about and working on the Peace and Planet mobilization, taking place April 24-26, 2015, in New York City.

Today I opened the New York Times and saw the image at right.

It made me realize that in this final week of preparation, I need to center down and concentrate on the deep reasons that I will be going to New York in a week.

I decided to do this step-by-step, adding a little bit each day. Perhaps I can do it prayerfully.

(Saturday, April 18)

I'm realizing that, to me, the most important reason to be involved in the Peace and Planet events is that over and over (and over and over and over and over and over . . . ) we let ourselves forget that the greatest threat we face is nuclear annihilation by the thousands of nuclear weapons standing on alert at all times around the globe.

The fire and blast of Hiroshima: why are we still hiding it? (and hiding from it?)

(Sunday, April 19)

We tell ourselves, "that could never really happen."

The truth is: the weapons are on hair-trigger alert precisely SO that it can happen.

Which US leader, exactly, are you counting on to never, ever, ever ever ever, flip that switch?

Are you sure -- 1000% sure -- that Barack Obama will say "no" when push comes to shove?

(Monday, April 20)

What I want to know -- and really don't know, at least not yet -- is whether we have the power to eliminate nuclear weapons.

I'm convinced that the power of the people has been cut off at the knees by the myth of Presidential power (and Presidential competence).

In theory we have a government structure that enables us to assert our authority.

But what good is the theory if we stand idly by and don't exercise power in practice?

(Tuesday, April 21)

For months, many of us have been making a practice of sharing information about the need for nuclear disarmament every Tuesday -- #NoNukesTuesday.

On the one hand, it's been an enormously effective provocation for me and others to keep working and to keep reaching for connections with others who are doing amazing work for nuclear disarmament.

At the same time, I can't help feeling that #NoNukesTuesday is just scratching the surface. There is so much more we could be achieving, so much more reach that is possible.

What would it take for a weekly, global practice of social media activism about nuclear disarmament to take hold?

(Wednesday, April 22)

Last night I watched the film about former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, The Fog of War.

I noticed two things:

(1) The film is mostly concerned with McNamara's behavior with respect to the war in Vietnam. I certainly found myself, as someone who was a child during the '60s, being obsessively pulled back into all of that. The extended discussion after the screening showed that many others felt the same way.

(2) Almost the very first thing McNamara says in the film is, when you think about, the most important: We have to learn from our mistakes, and we get to try to do better next time after we learn our lessons; but the threat posed by nuclear weapons is an exception, because there will be no second chance. The whole rest of the film is about thinking you're smart enough to be right, learning that you were wrong, and what to do about it. But by the time the film was over, everyone seemed to have forgotten the point about the mistake from which there is no recovery.

Today's Earth Day. Maybe a good day to keep our eye on the ball.

(Thursday, April 23)

One of the reasons to be in New York is to gather inspiration and energy to bring the message back to Chicago and do work here.

We had an amazing event on Good Friday in Chicago in conjunction with 8th Day Center for Justice: "People Will Find the Way to Eliminate Nuclear Injury."  We'll be doing more with 8th Day and others in the days and weeks ahead.

Chicago is deeply implicated in the nuclear threat. We have unfinished business to attend to.

(Friday, April 24)

Headed to Midway for my flight to NYC.

Can one person make a difference?


 TAKE ACTION: 


Register to attend the Peace and Planet
nuclear disarmament activities.

Join us every day this week to spread
the word about the need for nuclear
disarmament with @peaceandplanet.

Sign up to be part of the
Thunderclap! going off April 24.

Join the Global Wave for nuclear disarmament on April 26.


Related posts

I don't think Alanna and I ever talked about what it must be like to be trying to escape a shower of sparks and hot ash. But she seemed to know that the sparks and hot ash are too important a part of the picture to be left out.


(See The Children Are Waiting )









The total elimination of nuclear weapons by the U.S. and Russia is by far the most important issue confronting our two countries -- more important than all the other issues combined. This is not to slight the importance of the many areas upon which we disagree; the hard facts of nuclear weapons danger trump everything else.

(See SOTU 2015: What Will Obama Say January 20 About Nuclear Disarmament? )







There are three centers of power that will impact nuclear disarmament: the President, the Congress, and the people. One of them will have to make nuclear disarmament happen.

(See Countdown to U.S. Nuclear Disarmament (With or Without the Politicians) )









In light of the upcoming review of the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and the fact that organizations throughout the country and worldwide are organizing to press the U.S. to substantially reduce its stores of nuclear weapons, it seems like a good time to use social media to get EVERYONE on board!

(See 5 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference on #NoNukesTuesday )








Do we have a way to immerse ourselves in the experience of what the use of those nuclear weapons would really mean -- prospectively -- so that we can truly cause ourselves to confront our own inaction?

(See Stop engaging in risky behavior )







I never quite understood how much of a Chicago story the Bomb and opposition to it really is. I can think of at least three reasons why people right here in Chicago -- today -- need to make themselves heard about nuclear disarmament . . .

(See Unfinished Business in Chicago (Nuclear disarmament, that is))












 Hundreds gathered in Chicago on Good Friday 2015 to say to the victims of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, "We can hear you are in pain. We can smell your injuries. We don't have the power to restore your health. But we will NOT forget you."

(See "People Will Find the Way to Eliminate Nuclear Injury")




The decision about whether to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation is our decision. And that is why the entire country is mobilizing for mass action for nuclear disarmament in 2015. Are we capable of making sure the messengers -- Obama, Putin, the other agents of government -- hear their instructions from us clearly?

(See NEEDED: Heroes to Bring About Nuclear Disarmament )

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Congressional Power and People Power over Nuclear Weapons - What's it gonna take?

Senator Corker: "We want a piece of this . . . "
Congress is elbowing its way into the Obama administration's deal with Iran on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. (See "Senate Leaders and White House Make Their Cases on Iran Deal Legislation" by Jonathan Weisman and Michael D. Shear in The New York Times, April 13, 2015.)

As far as I'm concerned, Congress' concern with nuclear weapons is healthy.

I'm delighted that Congress is searching desperately for its Constitutional authority to eliminate nuclear weapons. Congress isn't afraid of the President? Great news!

NOW . . . when is Congress going to do what really needs to be done and re-assert its war powers? And, in particular, to overthrow the "thermonuclear monarchy" that exists when the President is sitting with his finger on the trigger of the massive US nuclear arsenal?


TAKE ACTION:
April 2015: Join all the Peace and Planet
nuclear disarmament activities.

Every Tuesday: spread the word about
the need for nuclear disarmament with
#NoNukesTuesday on social media.

Non-stop: find your member of Congress
and tell them you want nuclear disarmament NOW!

Related posts

That a bunch of GOP senators are agitated about nuclear weapons is a good thing. Now we just need to re-direct their energy to where the real problem is.

(See EXTRA! U.S. Congress Notices Problem with Nuclear Weapons! )





It may be counterintuitive, but House Majority Leader John Boehner has actually done a good thing by inviting Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

(See Bibi and Boehner's Gift to the Nuclear Disarmament Movement )







Elaine Scarry demonstrates that the power of one leader to obliterate millions of people with a nuclear weapon - a possibility that remains very real even in the wake of the Cold War - deeply violates our constitutional rights, undermines the social contract, and is fundamentally at odds with the deliberative principles of democracy.

(See Reviews of "Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" by Elaine Scarry )











The decision about whether to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation is our decision. And that is why the entire country is mobilizing for mass action for nuclear disarmament in 2015. Are we capable of making sure the messengers -- Obama, Putin, the other agents of government -- hear their instructions from us clearly?

(See NEEDED: Heroes to Bring About Nuclear Disarmament )


The choices are: (a) take back the power currently held by our thermonuclear monarch; or (b) shut up and pray. Those are the only two choices, and everybody gets to choose where they stand. The people in Congress who won't step up to either of them are a nothing but a bunch of putzes.

(See Congress is a Bunch of Putzes )

Thursday, April 9, 2015

RAND PAUL: Don't Count Him Out So Fast, Antiwar Folks . . . .

I support anti-war candidates. (Know any?)
I know, I know: you think he's a nut.

He's a Republican at heart.

Underneath -- or perhaps on top of -- all that "freedom" and "liberty" stuff, he's really just a privileged white male.

And anyway: Libertarians? There's no political "there" there . . . .

And yet.

Given that the Democratic alternative in 2016 is a war hawk ("One Little Word That Will Sink the Hillary Clinton Presidential Run ('Obliterate')") maybe what we should be doing is thinking about opening up some political space.

I therefore propose that we put the real question into the political discourse: just how systematic does an antiwar candidate need to be?


THESIS: A big move toward US demilitarization counts more than the next 9 things.

U.S. military bases throughout the world
(Source: elpidiovaldes.wordpress.com)
The US is responsible for so much suffering in the world, and the simple act of undoing as much US militarism as possible -- leaving foreign countries, closing bases, stopping arms sales, stopping military buildup -- would be a huge first step.

And the first step among first steps is consistently saying NO! to the temptation to intervene.

So: you can have a list as long as your arm of all of Rand Paul's misstatements, errors, inanities, immaturities . . . . it's all irrelevant. Getting the one big thing done is what matters.

Part and parcel of this is evaluating how Paul maneuvers in the legislative context. He can be a moving target (to say the least). See: "What Rand Paul Thinks About Defense Spending" by Nick Gillespie in Newsweek, April 7, 2015.


ANTITHESIS: It's not enough to be isolationist; we need a leader who will build the Peace System.

Focinha Favela slum in Brazil
“This is one of the largest shantytowns in South America
with over 200,000 inhabitants. There are many such slums
along side modern high rise buildings, in cities of Brazil.”
(Source: Wiki Commons)
The work of the World Beyond Team to define "A Global Security System: An Alternative to War" helps make clear that the problem of war is systematic, and that it's not enough just to say "No!" to war -- it's necessary to dismantle the war system and build a peace system in its place.

Therefore, one must ask of Rand Paul or any other "antiwar" candidate, "Do you support measures such as . . . "

(and more . . . )


Let the debate begin!


Related posts


This resource weaves together the learnings of major peace efforts of recent times, and lays the foundation for a massive push for education and action.

(See News Worth Spreading: "There IS An Alternative to War!" )




Yesterday, as all the other senators sat patiently through the obfuscation of Barack Obama's Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey -- Rand Paul gave 'em hell.
"Stand up for us and say you’re going to obey the Constitution and if we vote you down — which is unlikely, by the way — you would go with what the people say through their Congress and you wouldn’t go forward with a war that your Congress votes against."

(See Obama's Syria "Vote" in Congress: Democracy? or Theater? )


Hillary Clinton signaled the beginning of her 2016 presidential campaign with a spread in People magazine in June . . . not to mention the publication of a memoir, Hard Choices. It's a campaign full of "get tough" posturing.

(See One Little Word That Will Sink the Hillary Clinton Presidential Run ("Obliterate") )












There has been a good sign in 2013, in that many people have become outraged about government surveillance. A recent Pew poll found that Americans are now more worried about civil liberties abuses than terrorism. I believe a big question in 2014 will be whether challengers successfully address the issue of NSA surveillance in their campaigns.

(See What Will Election 2014 Boil Down To? )









Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ayotzinapa43 and Mexico's Disappearances: Breaking the Silence in Chicago

Public forum, Saturday April 4, 2015 - Iglesia San Pio, Chicago

A huge crowd gathered to hear testimony from parents, relatives, and supoorters of the 43 students who were "disappeared" in Ayotzinapa, Mexico, at the end of September, 2014.


Maria de Jesus, mother of Jose Eduardo


They were speaking in Chicago today at as part of the caravan of parents and relatives of the Ayotzinapa 43 who are now touring the US to bring attention to their case, and to the thousands of disappearances that happen each year at the hands of police, military, and other agents of elites in Mexico.

The caravan members made a stark point: Fourteen (14) people every day are "disappeared" in Mexico.

It is striking to me that on the weekend that people in Christian churches everywhere are commemorating the brutal state murder of an activist 2,000 years ago in Palestine -- together with the resistance mounted by his family and friends, their insistence on finding life in the face of death -- these family members of victims of here-and-now state violence are in our midst to demand, "Where have they taken the bodies?" and "Long live the Ayotzinapa 43!"

There are a series of related events Monday -- Chicago people are urged to participate, demonstrate solidarity, and commit to the cause of the oppressed people of Mexico:

Monday April 6 - 9:00 a.m. - Press Conference

Monday April 6 - 10:00 a.m. - March to Mexican Consulate

Monday April 6 - 10:30 a.m. - Protest at Mexican Consulate

More images from April 5:



















Related posts

It will take me multiple posts to spell out everything that I feel needs to be said about the Ayotzinapa 43.  People in the US need to work to change their own attitude about Mexico, and about the culpability or all of us here in the US in the wrongs that are being done down there. The Ayotzinapa 43 were persecuted for saying "the future can be different." It's time for us to take up their cry.

(See Ayotzinapa43: US People Need an Attitude Adjustment )

Friday, April 3, 2015

IRAN NUKES DEAL: What Are They Trying to Tell Us?

April 3, 2015: Iran Nuclear Deal Reached
The headlines today are about the deal that has been reached with Iran on their nuclear program.

Pundits will wear themselves out for days and weeks talking about what this means for Iran, and "how close the world came to a nuclear Iran."

But years from now, people will talk about this for what it really was: an intervention by Iran (and the rest of the world) to try to wake the US up to its own responsibility to eliminate its own nuclear arsenal.

Simply stated: Iran has carried the negotiations about this agreement under the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) right up to the threshold of the every-five-year global review of the NPT, or "RevCon," which will take place for a month beginning at the end of April at the United Nations. The Iran deal is a detail. The US deal is the main event.

Nuclear disarmament is on the agenda everywhere in 2015
That's because the US (and the other nuclear "haves") has an ironclad obligation under the NPT to get rid of their own nuclear weapons. (The relevant section is Article VI.) Really, the only question is what it will take to compel them to comply. (And that's no small question.)

So what is Iran trying to tell us? Through this negotiation process, Iran has forced our entire society to say it over and over again: the NPT matters ... getting rid of nuclear weapons matters ....

Iran could have made a deal a long time ago. The stakes for them in having or not having nuclear capabilities are trivial - relative to their larger purpose.

What they have accomplished is putting the issue of nuclear disarmament -- by everybody -- front and center in the public discourse at the most important possible moment.

What happens next? It will be practically impossible for the US to waltz into the NPT RevCon without being prepared to talk about its own obligations under the NPT.

But bringing US nuclear disarmament to fruition will require the pressure from all of us . . . .


TAKE ACTION:

April 2015: Join all the Peace and Planet
nuclear disarmament activities.

Every Tuesday: spread the word about
the need for nuclear disarmament with
#NoNukesTuesday on social media.

Non-stop: find your member of Congress
and tell them you want nuclear disarmament NOW!

Related posts

That a bunch of GOP senators are agitated about nuclear weapons is a good thing. Now we just need to re-direct their energy to where the real problem is.

(See EXTRA! U.S. Congress Notices Problem with Nuclear Weapons! )





It may be counterintuitive, but House Majority Leader John Boehner has actually done a good thing by inviting Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

(See Bibi and Boehner's Gift to the Nuclear Disarmament Movement )





 

There are three centers of power that will impact nuclear disarmament: the President, the Congress, and the people. One of them will have to make nuclear disarmament happen.

(See Countdown to U.S. Nuclear Disarmament (With or Without the Politicians) )








In light of the upcoming review of the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and the fact that organizations throughout the country and worldwide are organizing to press the U.S. to substantially reduce its stores of nuclear weapons, it seems like a good time to use social media to get EVERYONE on board!

(See 5 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference on #NoNukesTuesday )








Far too many people think that the NPT is about freezing the status quo, and preventing additional states from obtaining nuclear weapons. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. The NPT is based on a quid pro quo: nuclear "have-nots" agree to not acquire nuclear weapons, and nuclear "haves" agree to disarm.

(See A DEAL'S A DEAL! (What part of "nuclear disarmament" doesn't the US understand?) )

 How do you formulate a statement that can somehow convince the United States to eliminate its threatening nuclear weapons?  How do you formulate the 10th request? Or the 100th? Knowing all the time that the United States is in the position -- will always be in the position -- to say, "No" ?  At what point does it dawn on you that the United States will never give up its nuclear weapons, because it has the power and the rest of the world doesn't?







U.S. Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament and Special Representative for Biological and Toxin Weapons (BWC) Convention Issues says "The P-5 have a responsibility to do more [with respect to theP-5's Article VI obligations]"

(See IT'S A START: U.S. Ambassador: "The P-5 have a responsibility to do more" )






As the Obama administration prepares in the days ahead to pivot from its focus on Syria to something truly startling -- talking to Iran! -- it is important that the American public devotes some time and energy to learning and thinking about Iran, the history of the U.S.-Iran relationship, and what the U.S.-Iran relationship means in the larger context of the effort to reduce the risk of war and violence in the world.

(See IRAN: 3 Reality Checks on the Emerging U.S. Narrative)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Christian "Church"? How about Christian "Liberation Organization"?

Resistance art on the wall -- Aida refugee camp, Palestine

So much occurred during my two weeks in Palestine that I am reluctant to single out one moment.

However, I keep thinking back to a discussion with representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). They were briefing us on the current strategy of "internationalizing" the question of the status of Palestine, i.e. their sense that the time has come to stop relying on the U.S. to dictate the pace of peacemaking, and instead move towards full Palestinian membership in the United Nations and the ICC.

The conversation turned to the role of the churches -- particularly U.S. churches -- in working for peace and justice in Palestine.

I said that I wondered what would happen if churches were encouraged to talk about Palestine less in the context of "Holy Land" and more in the context of "anti-racism." In particular, I mentioned that

Michelle Alexander,
The New Jim Crow –
Mass Incarceration in the
Age of Colorblindness
(1) Virtually every US. church is being drawn into the debate generated by Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, including working to stop mass incarceration, reverse racist sentencing laws, end police abuse, and taking part actively in the #BlackLivesMatter movement. (See, for instance, this article by a member of the congregation I'm a part of: “A Gigantic Prison Enterprise” … As Seen By a Chaplain in Prison and Family Ministry)

(2) Churches are now front and center in the struggle for justice for immigrant people in the US, and for a radical re-thinking of the relationship between the US and the other nations of the Americas. (See, for instance, this account of an event held just a few days ago, on Palm Sunday, to advocate for better treatment of the service workers in our community, who are frequently immigrants: "We Who Are Many Are One: From the Lord's Table to Every Table" )

Palm Sunday 2015 in Chicago: "We Who Are Many
Are One: From the Lord's Table to Every Table"
As frequently happens with me, I was a little unsure of myself as I was saying this.  But the more I have thought about it over the past several days, I feel more and more sure that it is important to think about.

Of course, it helped that on Palm Sunday our congregation joined others to  to advocate for better treatment of the service workers in our community, who are frequently immigrants. See: "We Who Are Many Are One: From the Lord's Table to Every Table" This was a joyous reminder of the priorities we choose.

Palm Sunday wouldn't have been the same for me without an epiphany about our connectedness to people throughout North and South America. A (virtual) friend of mine in Mexico City urged me a few months ago to learn more about the Ayotzinapa 43 and to tell others. It led me to think much more deeply about the ways our behavior in the US affects people in communities throughout the hemisphere. (See Ayotzinapa43: US People Need an Attitude Adjustment )

And then I thought back to a blog post I wrote about a year ago: When is Christianity Going Back to Being the Religion of "UN-entombment"? . "Oh yeah," I said to myself, "the PLO is not the only radical liberation organization around here . . . In fact, they've got nothing on the Christian Church (at least if the Christian Church is really being true to itself)!"

"Now that I've seen it I'm responsible for it."
Reproduction of West Bank wall art by
Metro Chicago Synod Working Group on
the Middle East for Good Friday, 2014.
This idea -- that liberation is the business of Christianity, and that the calls to support the liberation of Palestinians and African-Americans and undocumented immigrants are all really part of a single connected call -- grows naturally out of the way our trip to Palestine was framed. Mitri Raheb has urged us to be clear about the true scope of the struggle -- it is, after all, a struggle against Empire, he reminds us -- as well as the place the struggle occupies in time (world time, our time) and history.

Is this related to "liberation theology"? Perhaps . . . but I wonder if "liberation theology" isn't colored by a kind of romanticism that allows it to be treated as something that is appropriate to somewhere else -- a resort of desperate people in Central America, perhaps -- but not really the day-to-day stuff of people in ordinary US cities like Chicago.

Churches in ordinary US cities like Chicago are waking up to the fact that, in order to actually live, they may need to be more like community organizations and less like traditional, closed-on-themselves, denominationally-doctrinaire congregations. And that the justice issues are very close at hand -- they don't require a mission trip to a foreign country in order to engage them.

So: "Christian Liberation Organization." It's worth trying on for size.


Related posts

Here are links to my posts during my visit to Palestine:

“The churches provide the software” (and a related post written immediately on my return: ISRAEL/PALESTINE: Apartheid is to Pluralism as Desktop Computing is to the Internet )

The Gospel According to Angie

Needed: Abrahamic Conversation

What Might a Blossom Signify?

Endgame: Overlord, Middle Ground, Underclass

Take to me to the river . . . .

Efrat and the Dream Grocery Store

The Land of Milk and Honey and The Garden State


Other related posts

I believe that once the Church comes out of the closet -- that is, once we start speaking quite openly about the difference between the world as we find it and the world as we believe God wishes it to be -- there is no way this old world will be able to stay the same.

(See Let the Church Out of the Closet )









"Missa dos Quilombos" asked for forgiveness and sought healing for the legacy of slavery in Brazil. Dom Helder celebrated the Quilombo Mass. He said: "Mariama [Mother Mary], we aren't here to ask that today's slaves be tomorrow's slave masters. Enough of slaves! Enough of masters! We want liberty!" The beating of the drums was overpowering, they exploded like the screams of our souls!

(See Hélder Câmara and Liberation Theology 101: Where? When? Why? Who? )