I know, I know. Me? I was surprised too. But don’t worry. I didn’t hold any angry signs or yell obscenities. All I had was a small electric candle, symbolizing the light of Christ and his call for peace. And all I said, aside from conversations with my friends and strangers along the 4-mile walk from the National Cathedral to the White House, was “Peace,” which we chanted at the White House. . . .At any rate, it was a beautiful, worthwhile event, and I am glad I went. Even though I never thought I would go to a protest:
From the Back Pew writes, “Even the name — the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq — is a revolutionary act.”
On his MySpace blog, 28-year-old Hammer of Truth writes, “I felt the need to help sound the trumpet myself.”
Don’t Eat Alone notes: “A significant part of the protest was the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, the combined conspiracy of most everyone from Adventists to Catholics and Pentecostals to the UCC.” And the restaurateur adds,
“One of the reasons it is significant to me that this particular protest was explicitly Christian is the justification of the war in Iraq often carries religious overtones, as if the war is Christian vs. Muslim. Bush intimates, often without much subtlety, that God is on our side because we are fighting for freedom and God is for freedom. I’m proud of the people who conspired to say God is for peace and so are many American Christians.”
“We would need to be at the Cathedral at about 5:00pm and were not sure when we would have another opportunity to eat. When feeding times are not certain, the only logical thing to do is eat big when the opportunity presents itself. We sat down to a fantastic lunch at the Old Ebbitts Grill. After cups of seafood gumbo and a crab cake, we again considered the uncertainty of supper and decided it would only be prudent to have some pie and ice cream. In these uncertain times, one cannot be too careful.”
Hoosier Daddy takes issue with the MSM coverage, noting the tendency for the media to lump the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq with the regular “anti” protests. He writes:
“However, this event Friday was in a whole different category of its own. It attracted no counterdemonstrators whatsoever. It was rooted and grounded in worship which filled the National Cathedral and in “divine obedience” in the middle of the night at the gates to the White House. It was definitely FOR something – for important and constructive goals that honor people, preserve life and work towards justice.”
Unexpectedly for herself, Margaret feels patriotic: “It’s a pretty incredible country that will allow several thousand Christians to process down Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC carrying electric candles and various banners.”
The words of Joshua Casteel, an Iraq War veteran and conscientious objector, who served as an interrogator at Abu Ghraib. Footage from the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq service at the National Cathedral.
When I traveled outside the prison walls on convoys, terror surged through
my heart. I was not afraid of being killed. If you live by the sword, by the sword
shall you die. If I died with a loaded rifle, I could not be angry with God. The
terror that filled me … was the possibility of becoming one who kills. Once while
driving outside, I pointed my rifle as I always did, out the window of our armored
humvee. Through the sites of my rifle I saw the faces of three young shepherd
boys — probably eight years old, each. I realized in that moment that I had just
pointed a loaded weapon at three eight year old boys.
How was I, an ambassador of the love of Jesus Christ, supposed to recall that
How can I talk of the freedom of Christ, while playing the role of captor?
How can I talk of faith when I only move from place to place by means of guns
pointed in all directions – even at eight year old shepherd boys?
(source: Joshua Casteel, Catholic Peace Fellowship, West Coast Tour, 2005)
At the Shalom Center, Rabbi Waskow and his posse are putting full-page adds in The Forward & The Nation. Why? Because though 77% of American Jews oppose the Iraq war, ‘”official Jewish organizations are silent.”
Who would Jesus deport? Faith leaders from CLUE, Sojourners, and the National Hispanic Leadership Conference held a panel discussion on immigration reform at the Center for American Progress.
“We in the religious community have a tradition of being the voice for people who have no voice,â€ said Rev. Alexis Salvatierra, Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. “There are congregations across the country that see this as a moral issue.â€
Johnny’s Cache introduces 15-year-old abolitionist Zach Hunter, he’s “freeing slaves and changing the world.”
“Two-term Maryland lieutenant governor Townsend makes a valid point: in America, faith is no longer about community. She longs for the Catholic Church of her youth, that ‘dealt with issues at the core of the Gospel–suffering, injustice, sickness, and poverty’ rather than a Christianity influenced by a crop of preachers who seem to believe that ‘Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry and cared for the poor just so we don’t have to.’ Addressing a broad range of issues including women, the religious right (and left), the GOP and her own political party, the Democrats, Townsend hopes to appeal to a wide audience, not just a Christian one.”
Who represents Islam in the United States, a country with 6 million Muslims? Is it the radical imam, the webmaster, the mystic, the feminist? Barrett traveled the country to discover what life is like for American Muslims in different regions of the nation. He finds that Muslims, like the rest of the population, are varied and diverse in look, thought, belief and behavior.
Paul Barrett is the Director of the Investigative Reporting Team for BusinessWeek and the author of American Islam.
I found this to be very provocative and worth my time. If you want to skip around, click on the FORA Tools icon and click through the channels. Update: I read this article, “The The Halal Melting Pot: Why Dearborn isn’t Paris” in the current issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and it also adds to the mosaic picture of American Islam.