|Peace sculpture outside The United Nations|
Many have said, "Nobody can control the United States, the UN doesn't stand up to them" or "The church has no weapons, how can they effect change?" Without faith, these statements are perfectly true. Recent events make me fear for the future of my country. I see my president not standing behind the precedents of The Geneva Conventions, and the Nuremberg Articles. I see a rise of The Tea Party, a group claiming to be Christian that is steadfastly against love of neighbor and forgiveness. History tells us that "absolute power corrupts absolutely," and The United States has more absolute power with each passing day.
|The International Court|
Under the Bush administration (W,) various "enhanced interrogation techniques" or "tortures" were approved. They include water boarding, sleep or food deprivation, walling, and placing a person in a box with insects.
Water boarding is defined as torture by The United Nations. Pardoning or not prosecuting torturers because they were acting under orders of superiors is indefensible according to the Nuremberg articles. The particular act of pardoning for this reason is commonly known as The Eichmann Defense. Adolf Eichmann was a torturer under Hitler and used this defense at his Nuremberg trial for war crimes following World War II. If this defense was not acceptable then, it is not acceptable anytime! Here is a portion of Eichmann's trial in Israel in 1961.
In the light of news of torture by Americans, American religious leaders, lead by a Roman Catholic Cardinal, signed a statement denouncing torture. This was widely reported in THe New York Times and has been revisited by American bishops and other religious and lay faithful since.
Torturers using The Eichmann defense were pardoned by Obama, denounced by International law, denounced by The Church.
Torture to International Court or The U.N. or American Cardinal who was elevated by John Paul II.
Oh, by the way, The Pope spoke against this too!
Rape is a horrible distortion of our bodies. The body is a gift from God, meant to be given to one another in love and service. The most intimate form of love is reserved for husbands and wives and involves genitals. When this same act is forced and becomes violent it is an abomination to the image of God. Just as it is an abomination to take a beautiful tree, which is given for fruit and shade, and use it to crucify God's Son, it is an abomination to take a body, which is an icon of Jesus Himself, and use it as a means of torture and violence. Yet rape in war and as a tool of torture and ethnic genocide is common in our world.
In Congo, rape has been a tool of war, victimizing hundreds of thousands of women, men, and children! Not only has an entire generation of child fighters been habituated to rape as soldiers, but they are also victims of rape when captured. The entire country is demoralized and bleeding from these atrocities.
|Congolese man who works for|
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services is on the ground in Congo. They have rape crisis counselors working with victims as you read this. CRS will not abandon the people of Congo, but they could use your help. Why not donate or support a missionary. Also, write your Congressmen (Senate and House) and tell them you care about Congo and violence in Africa.
|John Paul II, one of the popes to honor|
Catholic Relief Services.
Financial Robbery, My Congress at Work!
Why the hell do men and women spend millions to gain a job that pays $140? They are crooks! Last night's 60 Minutes episode exposes the corruption. They write the laws (definition of "legislature") and they control business and know information before it is public. That is why they sold stocks in September of 2008. That is why they bought stocks before the health care bill passed, before we knew that it would, in health insurance companies. They make millions from these trades. This is wrong. My congressman is chair of the House finance committee. I'm sickened by this! It doesn't surprise me, but it sickens me. How can we stop this!
They profited when the rest of us were losing our savings!
My own congressman, Barney Frank, is heavily invested in health care stocks. In his last report, he has accepted trips to The Virgin Islands on a private jet, and to Los Angeles at NBC's expense. The value of these trips are reported far below what they would have actually cost. Mr. Frank also did not lose money in the 2008 financial drop, he broke even, "wisely" having invested heavily in municipal bonds. I wonder why his portfolio was so well managed. Did he know something that we didn't? OF COURSE HE KNEW! He was chair of the House Finance Committee. He knew about the collapse several months before anyone else and acted accordingly. He sold his Washington residence just months before the housing collapse. He now lives in an apartment. This whole thing stinks to high heaven!
I used legistorm.com to find documents of financial disclosure for Congressman Frank. You can look up your own representatives. I urge you to write about what you find, write letters to the editor, and generally embarrass these politicians. Then, find people who will represent our interests. I think we should pay congressmen $1,000,000 per year, give them health care in keeping with comparable earners, and take away their ability to flout the laws we are supposed to abide by.
4 Shameful Degrees
Congress imitating Judas who betrayed Jesus to Peter to The Popes