Thirteen years ago, after the Towers came down but before the war started, I wrote a book that claimed there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and therefore there was no reason to go to war there. That book has stood the test of time, but as it turns out, there were WMD in that shattered, battered and bombed-out nation…just not in the way it was explained to us.
On Tuesday, The New York Times published a thunderclap of an article titled “The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons.” The gist of it, in short, is that Iraq was littered with thousands of chemical munitions the US and other countries had sold to the country before 1991. US troops were tasked to police them up and destroy them, a process that injured many of them in ways they still endure today, but because the Bush administration wanted to keep these munitions secret, the troops who happened to scoop up a leaking mustard gas shell and woke up the following day covered in boils and unable to breathe never received proper medical treatment.
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I found an article in the Englewood Review of Books intriguing in the ’problem’ it describes. (highlighting is mine)
“Within current social media, stories, videos and pictures of what the Christian society would term “hope” and “love” and “justice” frequently attain virality and become behemoths of social popularity. This is good. In fact, this is something to be celebrated by Christians everywhere. The problem mentioned earlier, however, is that Christianity, in light of the popularity of an almost “Christian” justice throughout secular society, has found itself with less and less actions and postures that it can champion as uniquely Christian. That is, if the world’s justice appears much the same as Christianity’s justice, or even better than it, the argument that Christianity offers a better world seems to weaken in impact.”
Beyond the rather jarring statement that in this increasingly violent and partisan world we have somehow come to a societal embrace of Christian values, I find it problematic that we still feel the need to promote Christianity as the best or only way to a better world. Instead of rejoicing in a society in which people, of all faiths and non, champion hope, love and justice, the author is concerned that Christianity will lose its edge.
As a lifelong Protestant who has shared a spiritual journey with so many (including a Pastor) who consider themselves to be ‘recovering Catholics’ I am heartened by the breath of fresh air that Pope Francis has brought to the world, so that we can work together without damning each other in dogmatic nitpicking. Can’t we go further and embrace all faith communities and those of no religious faith as coworkers in the herculean tasks we face?
For myself I have no desire to promote my faith as best. I am happy to share how Christianity and Protestantism works well for me, as both expression of my values, and a community of encouragement and inspiration to fulfill those ideals. I am just as happy to work alongside with and to learn from others with different perspectives. I have found that my faith has been enriched, not endangered by folks with different backgrounds, stories and celebrations.
The final line of the review highlights what I find distressing:
“Not As the World Gives” has plenty to offer all Christians, and it is a useful part of the conversation surrounding how –Christ’s Church– is going to –lead–the world into a whole new society.”
I would offer a quote from Camus:
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
In other words – Let’s do this together.
by Ken Carman
Talking Point #1: The rich and big business owners are the job creators.
Talking Point #2: The poor are job creators.
Talking Point #3: The market regulates itself.
Talking Point #4: Government regulation will solve it.
…the rest I will deal with as I type
Instead of these talking points pushed by left, right, and the vast 4 dimensional space rarely talked about between, I will offer two simple words:… Read more
As one of two editors here at OEN I can get stubborn, though my cousin Joyce probably doesn’t know that.
This is one of those cases. I just heard a news story about Rick Scott who, in a previous election, adopted a dog. He even called it “Reagan,” after you know who. As soon as the election was over he un-adopted the dog, dumping it right back where he got it. This is as much as I know. Why? Because I PLANNED on providing a short fair usage-based blurb, a link and letting the reader decide. Unfortunately EVERY site I tried to source via Google made my computer crash. These were not weird, obscure, sites: more like politico, NYDaily News, etc.
REALLY? “EVERY SITE???”
This will be Facebooked. Make up your own mind regarding any of this. As I said: I get stubborn.
I am well aware of hacking of web sites and Wiki by partisan trolls who don’t want anything that puts their candidates in a bad light, and I can’t think of any reason why every site with only THIS story would cause a crash. These trolls are a loathsome breed who are freedom hating, hate-filled, traitors: no matter what their partisan skew. They belong in prison.
This isn’t a left/right thing. This is a response I feel is necessary “just in case” no matter who might do these kinds of things. So feel free to research it yourself, decide for yourself as to the story and/or my suspicions: just be cautious.
If what I suspect is true, here’s my response to Rick and his fascist trolls…
“Politicize” is a jab meaning the other side is trying to capitalize on a news topic. “The Republicans have tried to politicize the border crisis,” says Nancy Pelosi. Reince Priebus says Democrats are trying to politicize Benghazi. Jay Carney says Republicans are trying to politicize Benghazi. Steny Hoyer says Republicans are trying to politicize the VA scandal. Rush Limbaugh says Democrats politicize EVERYTHING.
You get the picture. People who work in politics use politicization as a pejorative. Like a chef sneering at all the cooking going on in the (gasp) kitchen!
Also saying your opponent is politicizing something—is what to say when you hope to politicize something. It’s a “you spot it, you got it” attack.
Put down your hollow barbs, people. We live in a nation where small town police departments immediately use tanks and sound cannons for demonstrations and hospitals hesitate before using hazmat suits for Ebola. We have a problem.
So yes, let’s politicize Ebola. With abandon. With the same kind of passion we normally reserve for football or Pumpkin Spice Oreos.
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