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

Protest Russian Bombing of Republic of Georgia!

Well, I DO hope Fearless Leader (a.k.a., G.W. Bush) used his close location to Russian Pres. Putin at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games to say something about the illegal, unwarranted Russian bombing of the Republic of Georgia! After all, Shrub has looked into Putin’s eyes and seen that he’s a man of peace, remember?

I received this email from American Baptist minister (and global peacemaker) Dan Buttry:

With the fighting going on in the Republic of Georgia we’ve been asked by our Georgian friends to pray for them.
 One Georgian friend said, “It seems there is no bravery left in the West to confront Russia which is punishing Georgia for her attempts to develope a democratic valiues in the former soviet countruy of Georgia.”
 The city of Gori was bombed.  BBC had coverage about the civilian apartment complexes that were hit with perhaps as many as 60 people killed.  The members of the Baptist church in Gori have fled to the countryside.  I’ve been in Gori a number of times, and the bombing of this city is a dramatic expansion of the conflict.
 Baptists played leading roles in the Rose Revolution as well as encouraging the nonviolent revolutions and struggles for democracy in other former Soviet republics.  Baptist Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili is on the planning team for the Global Baptist Peace Conference to be held in Rome in February.

So remember our Georgian friends in your prayers, and lift some voices in protest!
Write letters to your local papers, contact your members of Congress (or, for those outside the U.S., members of your respective parliaments, etc.), organize protests outside the Russian embassies! We need to boycott Russian products and find other ways to pressure Russia to stop the bombing of Georgia.  Russia continues to act as if the former Soviet Republics (especially Georgia and the Ukraine) are their property! When the nonviolent revolutions in these republics brought democratic governments to power that resisted Russian influence, they have sought to cut off gas and oil to them and now they are bombing them! This CANNOT pass!

UPDATE: In the comments, Marvin links to a New York Times article that seems balanced on the background to this conflict. My sympathies with the Rose Revolution and other nonviolent movements for democracy, and my dislike of Putin’s autocratism, predispose me to Georgian sympathies. But we should not be blinded to some Georgian blindspots, either.  Georgia’s claim on breakaway border-republics is no more legitimate than Russia’s similar moves.  What is clear is the need for peaceful intervention before this spirals out of control.


August 9, 2008 - Posted by | human rights., peacemaking


  1. The front page article in this morning’s Charlotte Observer indicated that Georgia initiated the hostilities, which provoked a severe Russian response. I’m not well-informed enough on this conflict to assign blame. I think that until I get better informed I’ll simply pray for a quick and peaceful resolution to the conflict.

    Comment by Marvin | August 9, 2008

  2. Well, Marvin, prayer is always good. And so is humility until one has all the facts. I admit to bias in favor of Georgia and the Ukraine’s nonviolent democratic revolutions and against Russia.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | August 9, 2008

  3. Here’s a background article that’s worth reading:


    Comment by Marvin | August 9, 2008

  4. Thanks, Marvin. That’s helpful and seems balanced.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | August 10, 2008

  5. […] Westmoreland-White shared his thoughts yesterday on his blog. Published […]

    Pingback by War « Return Good for Evil | August 10, 2008

  6. God Bless and Save the people of the Republic of Georgia and all others who have suffered under the DARK HAND of RUSSIA for centuries.

    Descendant of the Slovak and Lithuanian People

    Comment by bieksia | August 24, 2008

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