This is a belated Memorial Day musing. I had no access to computers all weekend. It’s fun for some but for me not so much. 😉
To some, this is not a day people wish to celebrate. It deals with death and loss and even war. To some remembering fallen soldiers only helps to reinforce militarism and imperialism and the expense of human life. I don’t totally disagree. War is a waste. It’s a waste of resources, a waste of lives, a waste of people and populations, a wasted opportunity for diplomacy, a waste of hope. War is a situation where the governmental empowered egos outweigh any needs of the collective good and send men and women to fight and die for something they have been told is for their country’s good. War is a tragedy and does no one any good.
However we cannot and should not ever equate our military soldiers with our government’s militaristic tendencies. The soldiers are our friends and neighbors, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. Some are there because they want to improve their country; some are there to improve themselves. Some are there to pay for college; some are there because it’s their job. Some are there because their parents were before them as their parents were before them; some are there because it’s the only way out. Whatever the stories, whatever the reasons, they serve. They serve their country with the best intentions even if their government doesn’t. They do what they do proudly even if many object to why. They do what they do not because they want to die for their country; they do it because they love their country.
This is the day we remember those who died while serving. All the names on the tombstones, memorials, MIA lists are brothers to those who with them, friends and family to those who knew them. While in the thousands they mark off statistics, individually they are human beings. We all need to work for peace and justice, even if this means stopping our governments from marching off to war. However this is a day we miss human beings marched off in the past never to return.
“All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man has taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of your first.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wanted to take the time to apologize for not keeping up with the blog. As you might know if you listen to the show (Friday nights at 8pm on OBR.fm), I have been underemployed for a long time and recently unemployed as well. Well That ended as I now have two part time jobs in different sections of the city. It’s tiring but something that is necessary. However it has kept me away from updating the blog when the followers and readership seems to be growing. Seems my timing really sucks.So I wanted to take a moment and check back in with the readers and followers and explain myself.
There should be a new show this Friday night and we are working on it in the process. I expect to have some really good guests–both returning friends and brand new people–for future shows this summer and more things to talk about as we go along. Plus I will try harder to get something up on the site once or twice a week. Might be an article I read,a brief meditation, or one of my rambling speeches that I took the time to write down. Either way something will be up here more effectively I assure you. All I ask is that you bear with me as I balance several jobs at once with a life on social media at the same time.
Hope you are all in good spirits.
David Concepcion, host of “Theology in Action” radio show on OBR.fm
Pardon me if I think this is something you should be SPLIT over….
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorized by Congress Wednesday removes protections for immigrant women who are victims of violence. Some faith leaders, including National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson, oppose stripping away provisions that could aid mail-order brides and other immigrants. Other evangelical groups, including Concerned Women for America, want the act scrapped altogether.
Many women come to the U.S. on visas because they are married to a U.S. citizen. But if a wife leaves the husband because of violence in the home, she risks being deported. The act allows women to confidentially petition for a special “U visa” that will allow them to remain in the country as permanent residents.
The new act passed by the House would eliminate a woman’s confidentiality—a husband would now be interviewed after his wife has filed for the visa to verify her accusations against him. The standards for granting special visas are stricter under the House bill. The legislation also discourages plea bargaining, which will result in more victims being forced to face abusers in the court room.
Leaders from Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, World Relief, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Sojourners, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the World Evangelical Alliance, the Christian Community Development Association, the NAE, and other prominent faith-based groups sent an open letter to Congress opposing the new provisions.
“Through our ministry with victims, we have learned that abusers often exploit a victim’s immigration status, leaving individuals extremely vulnerable and afraid to report the abuse to law enforcement, assist in the prosecution of crimes, and seek services,” the leaders wrote. “[The new VAWA provisions] would actually roll back protections in current law for battered non-citizens, making them more vulnerable and, in some cases, endangering their lives.”
Leaders from other organizations oppose the act because it promotes “the feminist agenda” and the “domestic violence ideology.” An open letter to Congress written by Concerned Women for America argued against the Senate version of the bill. The letter was signed by leaders from the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel, and other groups.
“There is no denying the very real problem of violence against women and children. However, the programs promoted in VAWA are harmful for families,” the statement says. “VAWA often encourages the demise of the family as a means to eliminate violence.”
Janice Shaw Crouse, a senior fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, also said the act does not protect men from false allegations. “VAWA offers women both a ‘tactical advantage’ and a ‘powerful weapon’ when they want to ‘get back’ at a man, have regrets the next morning, or want out of a marriage for any reason at all,” Crouse said. “Allegations of abuse can cause men to lose their homes, jobs, children, and standing in the community. Once they’ve been thrown in jail because of mandatory arrests and have been assumed guilty, where do they go to get their reputations and their jobs back when the accusations are proven false?”
One of the groups that signed CWA’s letter is Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE). The Huffington Post reported that SAVE has been lobbying for the immigration-related changes to the act. SAVE’s treasurer, Natasha Spivack, founded Encounters International, a company that arranges marriages between American men and Russian women.
I am so hoping they do something during Bloomsday. It falls right in the same period and fits in to the whole faith pilgrimage in the UK.
“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.”
My mom sent this to me because I am in such a dire situation with unemployment and my own debt issues. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, but it’s horrible to know this can be prevented. I talked about the idea of debt forgiveness in a couple of shows where I spoke of the Biblical idea of Jubilee. This is right there with it. We have a moral obligation to do something about the student loan debt industry–it isn’t necessarily an industrial complex yet but it is approaching that. The very least we can do is fight against those in government who blocked the vote on freezing the interest rate hike (which will double this July) and you know who you are.
Very interesting story here. 🙂