On Iraq and Bush, Jim Wallis writes: “I Read Your Comments Too, And Here’s What I Think.”
JSpot brings God’s Presence Back to Earth with D’var Torah for Chanukah.
Hot off her Washington Post conversation, Diana Butler Bass writes about CHURCH politics beyond the two party paradigm.
Brian McLaren asks everyone to help speak out against the murder of Association for a More Just Society lawyer Dionisio DÃaz GarcÃa.
“Dionisio DÃaz GarcÃa, known to many as the “lawyer of the poor” and known to all as one of the most decent, honest, friendly, dedicated human beings God has created was gunned down on the morning of Monday, December 4, for standing up for the rights of poor security guards in Honduras.”
The Rev. Church Currie posts about right wing questions about Obama’s loyalty.
Pastor Dan, over at Street Prophets alerts readers to the socially conservative slant coming this Sunday on Meet the Press‘s story about Faith in America. Note, FPL noted a similar problem with CNN’s recent special on American Christendom.
CrossLeft does a rapid alert to prepare for renewed mass protests calling for Congress to cut off war funding to bring the troops home.
Mainstream Baptist posts on an excellent Salon article about Bush and the War entitled No Way Forward.
Talk to Action says that the fight is on with theocons at the Pentagon.
Debra Haffner notes a new study that says that between 1953 and 2003, 95% of American had sex before marriage.
Provoke Radio has an excellent show about the anti-poverty program Heifer International. Listen here to “Simple Gifts.”
And finally, CrossWalk America leaders the Rev. Eric Elnes and Rebecca Glenn post a Christmas podcast.
Hosted by Terry Gross on her NRP show Fresh Air, Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, discusses creation care from a pro-life perspective.
If you haven’t ventured off the blog to check out the “Case Studiesâ€ page on our website yet, give it a look today! This page highlights some of the great accomplishments of faith groups in the last few years including two brand-new features: one highlighting the important role of faith communities in the summer’s renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the other discussing the ELCA’s efforts over the past five years to unite congregation based community organizing with the work of its synods and bishops. From these stories and others you can keep up with the exciting work that faith communities are engaged in across the country–plus pick up some pointers from the experts on how to really get things done.
Sgt. Ricky Clousing–a born-again Christian who went AWOL when he realized the war in Iraq was not being fought morally–will be released from military prison on Saturday after serving three months for his decision to leave the army. Quaker House, an organization based in North Carolina that assists GIs in understanding their rights, is holding a “coming-outâ€ party for him partly to draw attention to his story and abuses of power that caused Clousing to leave the army. Read more background on his inspiring story in a wonderful New York Times profile from last month.
Though he was not raised in a religious family, Clousing began attending a Presbyterian Church during high school after having a born-again experience which showed him that “God had another plan for [him].â€ He spent the next four summers on mission trips in Mexico and eventually traveled to Thailand with the evangelical group “Youth with Mission.â€
Clousing joined the army in 2004 thinking that he could serve God and his country at the same time. However, after just a few months working as a Tactical Interrogator in Iraq, Clousing began to see the war as both immoral and illegal, and found that he was forced to “re-evaluate [his] beliefs and [his] ethics.â€ He simply could not reconcile his beliefs and the teachings of Jesus with the horrors and the abuses of power he witnessed each and every day.
After an Army Chaplain dismissed Clousing’s doubts, he turned to Quaker House, where Chuck Fager, the director, assured him that his feelings about the war were neither crazy nor heretic. With this affirmation, Clousing decided he could not go back to Iraq and, seeing it as the only way out, he went AWOL. Fourteen months later, he turned himself in and was sentenced to three month in military prison.
To read more about Clousing’s story, check out his website. The Quaker House website also provides some interesting case studies about GIs who have made similar decisions or whose rights have been violated.
Many in the faith community have been calling for a more just war in Iraq, and stories like Clousing’s simply underscore the need for people of faith to continue this important work.