Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rev Sinkford's statement on Myanmar: video of Monks praying as soldiers shoot in Burma

Compare Sinkford and Laura Bush comments on the brave people of Myanmar in the video below:

The people of Burma/Myanmar are in our thoughts and prayers.The images we've seen and the stories we've heard of the brave and inspirational witness offered by Buddhist religious leaders and citizens have touched our hearts and souls. Their peaceful protest against a cruel and repressive government is a notable moment in the multi-generational struggle for peace, liberty and justice in our world. The arrests, the killings, and all the forms of violence which they have suffered in response from the government are entirely unjustified. We stand in spiritual solidarity with the people of Burma as they risk their safety even as further governmental reprisals occur. We pray for their well-being, their vision, and their commitment.
Laura Bush,
The United States stands with the people of Burma. We support their demands for basic human rights: freedom of speech, worship, and assembly. We cannot--and will not--turn our attention from courageous people who stand up for democracy and justice.
Laura Bush asks Americans to stand with Myanmar. Rev. Sinford talks about their notable monent in the multi-generational struggle (I guess be patient Burma... wonder how this translates into Burmese? ) Bush says America will commit to do. Rev Sinford tells Myanmar we'll feel their suffering and our spirtual solidarity.

Sinkford's words are not worthy to speak too a people in a great struggle. They should not wait for generations. The Methodist Librarian lady knows it. The Rev. from Boston seems lost.

This is a tragedy.

UUA Statement of Conscience

Just browsing it from the 2007 GA minutes (a pdf doc). Here are some quotes and thoughts,
People often make religious claims about controversial issues such as reproductive rights, steam cell research, the death penalty, and the teaching of evolution. Their efforts to advocate one perspective, to the exclusion of others, are influencing every branch and level of government. Consequently, the United States is moving away from its constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.

It is time for Unitarian Universalists to assert and defend two basic principles underlying the United States Constitution: (1) the basic principle of freedom, the right of all human beings to follow a life of their choosing as long as others are not harmed, and (2) the basic principle of the inherent equal dignity of all human beings, which includes the right of all human beings to equal justice.
The principles are fine. Who's human the question. The Constitution gave a poor start on that one defining African-Americans as only 3/5ths human.

Science speaks clearly to me. Human Life starts at conception. Life's stages after conception are stages of Human development.

That means harvesting Human Embryos for Medical Research and Therapies is morally wrong. Just as harvesting tissue from any human found less developed or under developed is wrong.

Abortion is different. It's a clash of the first principles. The state can't ask a woman to carry a child to term at risk of her own life.

The constitution got us off to a bad start. A fatal flaw America paid a bloody butcher bill for later.

So it would be nice if this Statement of Conscience was clear on it's scope of humanity. Right now it's a gapping hole given the issues the public faces.

The moral values of Unitarian Universalism correspond profoundly with those embodied in the founding documents of our nation. The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution embody freedom of religion, the right of conscience, and the worth and dignity of every person.

Like the values to which we aspire as Americans, our Unitarian Universalist values are distilled from the hopes, dreams, experiences, and struggles of all who honor them. Our Unitarian Universalist Principles parallel the Ends Principle, the Golden Rule, and the founding documents of this nation. History shows the dire consequences when this core morality is rejected. Although our country has not fully implemented the promises of its founding documents to all of its people, we Unitarian Universalists strive to help this nation fulfill those promises.
This is a remarkable statement. I can't think of any faith that links itself so closely to the organic documents of a State. I think this is true and key reason why I've bleonged to UU Churches: ours is an intimately American Religion.

We really should include a reference to Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. A President who my historian friend at Church assures me was really a Universalist, and one who invoked the Creator and the United States in a way few Presidents have since,

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in...
and that work was the work of War.

Stop United States Sponsored Torture – A Religious Call to Action
Only question here is: what is torture?

The Geneva Convention allows the capture to ask only name, rank, and serial number of the captive. That's it.

When the United States capture a terrorists who fights outside the rules of the Geneva Convention, is the United States allowed to ask more than the Convention allows? May the United States coerce more from a captured terrorist, and if so at point does coercion become torture?

BE IT RESOLVED that the 2007 General Assembly stand in support of the Restoring the Constitution Act, including Legislation to restore habeas corpus;
I'm not too keen on having captured combatants brought before US Criminal Courts and Juries.

Chief Justice Stone wrote of Nuremberg, he was disturbed a court would be....dressed up in the habiliments of the common law and the Constitutional safeguards to those charged with crime to try a combatant as criminal.

If Padilla had been sent to Gitmo instead for the duration, I suspect he would be a free man sooner than what his criminal sentence will allow.

Clinton, Syria, North Korea and Just War

From News Max,
Hillary Clinton said she strongly supported Israel’s reported air strike on a suspected nuclear facility in Syria.

During a presidential debate on NBC Wednesday night, the Democratic hopeful said: “What we think we know is that with North Korean help, financial and technical and material, the Syrians apparently were putting together, and perhaps over some period of years, a nuclear facility, and the Israelis took it out. I strongly support that.”
It would be interesting to see how Israel's actions square with the spirit of Rev Sinkford's message here,
I invite you to sign the petition below calling for an end to our reliance on violence as the first, rather than the last, resort and an end to the arrogant unilateralism of preemptive war.
If Israel's reliance on violence as a first, rather than last resort, was arrogant unilateralism.

Maybe they should have waited?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Reformed Chicks Blabbing on Gov. Patrick

The Chicks on this quote for 911,
Among many other things, 9/11 was a failure of human understanding,” Patrick said. “It was a mean and nasty and bitter attack on the United States. But it was also a failure of human beings to understand each other, to learn to love each other.
Wikipedia lists him as Presbyterian. Thank the Gods.