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______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Hate Crimes July 31, 2011

I give a damn. Do you?






Every Hour, More Hate
Hate crimes can happen anywhere, at any time. In fact, in the U.S., one violent act of hate takes place almost every hour of every single day. In 2008, 7,783 incidents of hate crime were voluntarily reported to the FBI. It’s time to give a damn about hate crimes!
It’s time to give a damn because hate crimes involve beatings, rape, torture—even murder. Victims are targeted because of their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, race, color or any number of superficial factors. According to FBI statistics, 1 out of every 6 hate crimes is committed on the basis of sexual orientation.
Imagine walking down the street and wondering if this will be the day you get beaten up, simply for who you are and through no fault of your own.
It’s time to give a damn because hate crimes are dehumanizing, willful acts of bigotry perpetrated with the intent to intimidate, to target a specific community and to send a message about the victim and “their kind.”
Imagine hearing about a brutal crime and having to worry if you’ll be next—not because you know the victim or because you did anything—but simply because some stranger has chosen to hate one aspect of who you are.
Hate crimes affect everyone
Think hate crimes don’t affect you? Think again. Hate crimes are particularly insidious because they are committed against innocent people—people who live in your city, in your neighborhood, even on your block. Anyone can become a victim: your sister, your uncle, your son, the woman you work with, the guy you sit next to in class… even you.
Federal legislation is starting to buckle down on perpetrators of hate crimes. On October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which gives the Department of Justice the authority to prosecute hate crimes, including attacks based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability.
But we still have a long way to go. Because—be honest—are you really OK with living in a country where a hate crime takes place every hour? Do you really intend to look the other way while such violent acts of hate are perpetrated—on your relatives, your friends, your neighbors?
It’s time for things to change.
It’s time to end these violent crimes of hate for good.

 

GOD HELP US! August 9, 2010

————

What it Says About Us When a 17-Month-Old Boy
Is Beaten to Death for “Acting Like a Girl”

At approximately 8:25 p.m. last Sunday night, the New York State Police on Long Island logged a 911 call about a toddler in cardiac arrest. The boy, 17-month-old Roy Jones, was rushed from the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, N.Y. to Southampton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m.

“I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl,” Jones explained.

Read the rest of Michael Rowe’s story. Click the logo below.

 

Think June 17, 2010

Capital Punishment:
A consistent ethic demands that our nation end capital punishment. We should not take life to punish wrongful death. There is no evidence that it deters murder. It is easy to make fatal mistakes, as DNA testing has shown. The death penalty is biased against the poor, who cannot afford adequate legal representation, and is racially disproportionate.
– Sojourners

Gays and Lesbians:
“Regardless of what moral or theological positions churches hold regarding gay and lesbian sexual behavior, all Christians can and should unite around a commitment to defend people’s basic rights. But the church cannot in good conscience take a passive approach to this question. It is, after all, other Christians who often have taken the lead in this thinly disguised but mean-spirited assault on human dignity. Biblically based Christians who operate out of a more loving and compassionate framework must meet the challenge head-on and forcefully oppose homophobia.
– When Dignity is Assaulted by Jim Rice

But do we really want to deny a gay person’s right to be at their loved one’s deathbed in a hospital with “family restrictions”? Do we also want to deny that person a voice in the medical treatment of his or her partner? And do we really want all the worldly possessions of a deceased gay person to revert to the family who rejected them 30 years ago, instead of going to their partner of the last 20 years? ”
– Gays and Marriage: A Middle Way by Jim Wallis

“While the passing of [hate-crime] legislation that prosecutes attacks on gays and lesbians would be a good thing, it will do very little to prevent such crimes unless Christians and other people of conscience work to change the atmosphere where gays are seen as less than complete human beings with the full civil privileges of other citizens. Gays and lesbians aren’t going to go away. Nor are they going to stay away from the church, where—rumor has it—people “love their neighbors as themselves.” This is an opportunity to practice what we preach.”
— Practicing What We Preach by Aaron Gallegos

War and Peace:
Our world faces a major challenge of how to resolve conflicts, reduce violence, and defeat terrorism without preemptive war. War has become a first resort instead of the last resort. In a world with terrorists, terrorist states, unilateralist superpowers, and weapons of mass destruction, alternatives to an endless cycle of violence are needed.

Ecology:
Addressing the degradation of God’s sacred Earth is the moral assignment of our time, comparable to the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s, the worldwide movement to achieve equality for women, or ongoing efforts to control weapons of mass destruction in a post-Hiroshima world. — From the National Council of Churches Open Letter to Church and Society in the United States.

Put aside the Holy Scriptures for a while and read God’s first revelation—nature itself. Such was the advice offered some years ago by a profound, Christian thinker. We stress “Christian” here because this person of faith intended no offense to [the Bible], nor to us who hold [it] sacred. His point was that long before the writing of Genesis, humanity could already read God’s self-revelation in the natural world.

In the book of Genesis, the creation is simply gift, a garden made with care, and in its essence, very good. Our original place was to walk with God in the garden of life.

(All above comments are taken from “Sojourners: Christians for Justice and Peace.”

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR CREATION CARE: MAY 25TH, 2010

 

 
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