Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Upcoming Peace & Justice Events

4-13 October 2007 is the Annual “Keep Space for Peace Week” co-hosted by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). There will be events in the U.K., India, Poland, the Czech Republic, the U.S.A. and probably many other locations.  For a list of local events, see here. 

 19-21 October Shalom 2007, Reconciliation:  Message, Ministry, and Movement.  This is the annual conference of the Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship.  If you are a Pentecostal or Charismatic Christian (or are interested), register to go to the Providence Christian Center (known as The Hot Dog Church) in San Francisco, CA for a weekend of Spirit-filled speakers, inspiring worship, interactive workshops, and a chance at bearing witness through nonviolent direct action.

26-27 October, Building the Beloved Community, the annual Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking will be held at Christian Brothers’ University, Memphis, TN.  Speakers include Naomi Tutu, Rosa Clemente, Simon Harak, S.J., Gwendoly Zahora Simmons, and Barry Gan.

That same weekend, 26-27 October, at Boston’s historic Old South Church, Boston, MA is the Sabeel Conference  with a special guest appearance by retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Work nonviolently for an independent Palestine and peace in Palestine-Israel.

26 Oct.-04 Nov. 2007, Christian Peacemaker Teams will have a nonviolent delegation to Tennessee to halt the production of Depleted Uranium (DU) weapons.  For a list of CPT delegations to Colombia, Israel-Palestine, and the Philippines, see their website.

Would you like to help shut down a terrorist training camp? This one is supported by U.S. taxes and located in Ft. Benning, GA. Yes, it’s the infamous School of the Americas (School of Assassins), renamed WHINSEC (Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation). This is the school whose graduates include the worst human rights abusers in Latin America, including those responsible for the assassination of Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero and of the mass murder of Salvadoran Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter–among many other atrocities throughout Central and South America from the mid-’70s to today.   If stopping this kind of state-supported terrorism is for you, go to the annual vigil/protest (with opportunities for nonviolent civil disobedience) at Ft. Benning, GA sponsored by School of the Americas Watch on 14-18 November 2007.  For more information, click here.

7-10 March 2008 is the Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C.  This year’s theme will be “Claiming a Vision of True Security” and will include training in “citizen lobbying” of lawmakers–and a chance to put that training into practice on Capitol Hill.

11-13 April 2008 is the annual organizing conference of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.  This one will be held in Omaha, Nebraska, USA (home of StratCom, the U.S. Strategic Command and Response Center) and there will be opportunity to bear nonviolent witness at StratCom.

Click here for a list of upcoming delegations by Witness for Peace.

I have doubtless missed many, around the world.  Send me events happening your area?  Are you doing creative things to stand in solidarity with the people of Burma, or Darfur, or the Democratic Republic of Congo or Palestine-Israel?  Are you working to stop handgun violence in your neighborhood?  Working for pro-life alternatives to abortion?  Standing up against torture?  Fighting the sexual exploitation of women and children?  Hosting dialogues between persons of different faiths?  Whatever it is, send it here and I will publicize it more widely.


September 27, 2007 Posted by | nonviolence, peacemaking | 1 Comment

Urgent Action: Stop the March Toward War with Iran

Sen. Joe Liebermann (I-CT) is trying to push the U.S. toward war with Iran.  For nearly 2 years, there have been reports about the Bush administration’s push toward war with Iran.  Now, Liebermann, a Bush sycophant and Republican in all but name, is trying to sneak in an authorization for that war–even as he questioned Gen. Petraeus about the willingness to go to war with Iran.  The Kyl-Liebermann Amendment to FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill (which he is pressing for a vote on, today!) uses language that amounts to a declaration of war against Iran–and will certainly be interpreted as authorizing such by this president:

(3) that it should be the policy of the United States to combat,
contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing
influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of
Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its
indigenous Iraqi proxies

(4) to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of
United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic,
intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy
described in paragraph (3) with respect to the Government of the
Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies.

Call your Senators NOW and demand that they vote NO on this amendment.  The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121

If your Senators are hawkish, as mine are, don’t sound too dovish.  Emphasize that our troops are overextended in Afghanistan and Iraq and that we cannot afford a third war.  If your Senators are Democrats (or less hawkish Republicans than mine), remind them that Iran’s growing influence in Iraq is largely due to the Bush invasion of Iraq. Tell them to use aggressive diplomacy to end any nuclear program that Iran may have–as finally seems to be working with North Korea.

We must act now, friends, to avoid the authorization of another war.

UPDATE:  Strong opposition by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), Sen. Dick Durbin(D-IL) resulted in the removal of the worst language of that amendment. But it passed and is possibly still broad enough to be considered (at least by THIS administration) as authorization for war with Iran. Webb rightly called it a “wet dream” for Dick Cheney.  See here.

Even if Webb’s view is wrong, we still seem to be moving toward a war with Iran.  We went to war with Iraq when the administration first warned about WMDs (now we are warning about Iran’s nuclear program which may or may not be intended to produce weapons), then we demonized Iraq’s president, comparing him to Hitler.  We are doing the same with Iran’s Pres. Ahmadinejad–who IS a petty dictator and a kook, but we have to ask if the hatred being stirred in this country is a way of selling us on an upcoming war.  This is, after all, a nation Bush has called part of the Axis of Evil.  If we invade or bomb Iran, I’d bet real money that Bush and Cheney cite this Senate resolution as authorization.

September 27, 2007 Posted by | Iran, peacemaking | Comments Off on Urgent Action: Stop the March Toward War with Iran

Worst Company Website URLs

Tip of the hat to Texas in Africa for this one.  It seems that companies, businesses and others are not always as careful as they need to be in creating the URLs for their websites.  The basic problem is that there is no spacing between words with web addresses.  So, a URL that is fine with said spaces can take on a different look when the words are run together. Independent Sources lists the 10  worst blunders here.  I’ll list a few to give you the idea. See the whole list at the above link.

Take the website for programmers sharing information called “Experts Exchange.”  Their URL is http://www.expertsexchange.com .

First Cumming Methodist Church actually created their website at http://www.cummingfirst.com/ I would hate to be the one to have to explain that, er, “screw up” to the church.

If you need a therapist, the folks at Therapist Finder can help you:  http://www.therapistfinder.com Wait, that makes it look like you’re tracking something besides therapists, doesn’t it?

The whole list is hilarious.  Yes, boys and girls, proofreading really IS important.

September 27, 2007 Posted by | humor | 2 Comments