Monday, March 24, 2008

Rev. Jeremiah Wright '9-11' & 'GD America' sermons in context

Although the GD America part makes me cringe a great deal these are actually pretty good sermons that deserve more than the shallow attention they've been getting.


The real threat is the existence of conditions which allow terrorism to grow within third world countries, such as poverty, ignorance, lack of adequate health care and human rights.

Those are the conditions which exist under the rule of self-serving dictators. The seeds of terrorism are sown in this environment and gradually grow to maturity. The mistake we make is that once terrorism rears its ugly head in a country, we support the dictatorship even more, thereby losing the trust and respect of the average citizens in that country. Someone in the United States might say, "How can anyone choose an extremist form of Islam over democracy?" But if America supports your leader and you’re living on a dirt floor while your baby is dying and your brother is rotting in prison because he spoke his mind, you might think, "How could radical Islam be any worse than the way I have it now?".

If we wish to stop the rising tide of terrorism we must stop supporting or tolerating dictators and let the people of the country know this. At the same time we must encourage and help growth in the economy, education and human rights of these countries and not the military weaponry of tyrants.

War is a poor answer to a human problem; a diplomatic problem. Don’t let the militaristic neoconservatives lead you to believe the only road to peace is by the gun. They are wrong.

The threat and fear of radical fundamentalist Islam is morphing into a paranoid dread of all Islam.

Martin Luther King, "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam"

Everything Christ talks about here is exactly what the conservatives attempt to denigrate liberals with, what they seem to believe is the derogatory expression of ‘bleeding heart’.

Jesus said to his disciples:

“To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount.

But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.

Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

Luke 6-27-38

Jesus explains well what it means to be a good follower of His; a good explanation of one type of Cross He has asked us to bare. Also, for those of us who dare to call ourselves Christian it’s a good example of how to be a ‘bleeding heart liberal’.

I don’t believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.
Anne Frank
“We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and for justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"As an essential part of its fight against all forms of terrorism, the international community is called to undertake new and creative political, diplomatic and economic initiatives aimed at relieving the scandalous situations of gross injustice, oppression and marginalization which continue to oppress countless members of the human family. History in fact shows that the recruitment of terrorists is more easily achieved in areas where human rights are trampled upon and where injustice is a part of daily life.”
Pope John Paul II

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