Security – and Moral Bankruptcy

there is no way in which a country can satisfy the craving for absolute security “No way.” No way. As in not possible in this world. but it can easily bankrupt itself, morally and economically, in attempting to reach that illusory goal through arms alone. – President (& General) Dwight D. Eisenhower In other words, you can’t buy enough guns (etc) to make yourself safe. But you can go completely nuts trying. Eisenhower quoted by Brian McLaren in Everything Must Change, p 167.  

Our Patriotic Songs Have Some Serious Messages (sermon)

Listen to this sermon by clicking here: (Download)   ISSUES in “Our Patriotic Songs Have Some Serious Messages”:   • God is looking for fruit (goodness, love) from every individual, every group, every nation, even the entire human race.   • ”My Country” – It’s good in principle to love your country. It’s very normal. But it is sometimes done in very destructive, evil ways.   • Some of these stirring songs have serious prayers in them, or frightening teachings about God’s action in America.

Reducing Joy to Self-Indulgence – Using Our Freedom Destructively

In many respects, Americans are freer today than ever before, with more Americans than ever before enjoying unencumbered access to the promise of American life. I’m quoting Andrew J. Bacevich, retired US Army colonel, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, writing about American freedom, and values in American life today.* He’s arguing that we’ve used our freedoms to become self-indulgent and arrogant, and to try to force the rest of the world to support that self-indulgence and arrogance.

On War – and Its Effects on Humans

Quotes from the e-newsletter I get from Information Clearing House. … the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public, and the other of ends-justify-the-means brutality sponsored by counterinsurgency specialists. Normally the specialists carry out their actions in remote locations with little notice in the national press. That allows the public to sustain its faith in a just America, while hard-nosed security and economic interests are still protected in secret. -Robert Parry, investigative reporter and author

Zimbabwe – We Can At Least Be Aware – and Pray for Peace (“Runyararo”).

There’s a lot of hunger in Zimbabwe – a lot of economic distress – a lot of political violence – and enormous corruption. As an American woman walks to work she carries bread in her pack, and hands it out to the begging children she passes. Hold your hand out, child, hold your hand out and I’ll fill it I know it’s not much, but will it do?

Declaration of Independence – Kid’s Version

This is a pretty good “translation” of the Declaration, though she does have a couple of points of her own to emphasize that are not quite there in the original. I do recommend this for any and all who want a refresher on what the Founders were thinking as things got officially under way. (I added numbers to the list of offenses.) Sometimes one group of people decides to split off from another group, and to become an independent country, as the laws of Nature and of God say that they can. But when this happens, if they want other people to respect them, they should explain why they are splitting off. We think these things are obviously true: That all men are created equal

Support the Troops.

It’s just simple truth. Of course we honor those who serve or have served in uniform. We honor them directly, and also we will insist that they be treated decently by the powers that send them into conflict. That is just elementary human decency. We honor our war dead this Memorial Day weekend. The greatest respect we could pay them would be to pledge no more wars for erroneous and misleading reasons; no more killing and wounding except for the defense of our country and our freedoms. We also could honor our dead by caring for the living, and do better at it than we are right now. This is the lead-in to a Memorial Day article by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship (at Truthout).