Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Inter Religious Dialogue - extending good from bad

Extending the good for the all must certainly include persons of various religious perspectives becoming aware of one another.

It must also include the fact of religious persons sharing with one another that we all want to overcome hardship and pain, destruction and violence - in order to extend a generic (but important) truism known as the Golden Rule - that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Too many persons who claim to be Christian in history - and in the middle of the 20th Century in Europe - perpetuated great harm, hurt, and violence upon the Jew(s). 

It was a privilege this past week to be a participant (again) in the Oklahoma City Jewish Federation's Yom HaShoah Service.  (Yom HaShoah translates literally - the Day of The Calamity - is a memorial event for what most call the Holocaust - the nuance of terms is important and I believe we will shift over the forthcoming decades to the better term, Shoah, for what has been called The Holocaust.  An appropriate link is HERE for explanation.)

As part of some work I have done with the Directors of and Curators of the Green Collection - I was able to be a liason between the Green Family Collection - and the local Jewish Federation of OKC - to let the Federation use a damaged Torah Scroll - burned in a Polish synagogue during the Shoah. 

Remembering our shared past is an important way to move toward a better future.

This was an important Civic event - and I was delighted to be with other persons who have been connected to other Eupan Global Initiative events!  In attached pictures, you can see me holding the "shield" or "breastplate" - and its damage - as I was translating for family after the event.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, May 2, 2011

Something to think about.

Not Justice, Not Victory: Just Another Murder in the Name of Peace
May 2, 2011
by warresisters

“I keep thinking of how awful it was to hear that there were people actually celebrating on 9-11. Now I look at the TV and see the same thing.”
-Family member of a man killed in the World Trade Center of September 11, 2001.

The reported killing of Osama bin Laden by a CIA operation in Pakistan represents neither justice nor victory, and should be no cause for celebration.

It has been nearly ten years since September 11th, 2001. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed. More than six thousand members of the United States military have been killed. Trillions of dollars have been wasted. Tens of thousands of men, women, and children have been detained and imprisoned in the “war on terror.” Torture is now an acceptable component of U.S. foreign policy. Racism is more deeply entrenched in our culture.

Eight years to the day (May 1, 2003) after President George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished” aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, he called the killing of bin Laden a “victory for America.” Heads of State around the world added to a chorus of congratulations to President Barack Obama and the United States. Crowds gathered in New York City, Washington DC, and other places around the country waving American flags, singing patriotic songs, and chanting “USA, USA.”

This hateful euphoria demonstrates a nation bent on revenge, not justice.

Originally sponsored by the U.S. and now at the top of U.S. military “Most Wanted” target lists,supporters of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda will be emboldened by these events. Our call for an end to violence applies to all sides of the so-called “Global War on Terror,” and echoes responses recently posted on independent Afghan Facebook pages.

In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in 1964, Martin Luther King said: “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace…..If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.”

If we are to move beyond revenge, aggression, and retaliation, we must end the wars–declared and undeclared–now being waged by the United States.

It is beyond time to bring the troops home. The White House must begin a swift withdrawal of U.S. forces abroad.

We must not celebrate the death of one accused of mass murder while justifying or ignoring the death of hundreds of thousands due to our own violence.

In the barbarism of war, what had been unthinkable at one moment becomes routine the next. We must end the cycle of violence now. (The above statement can also be accessed on WRL’s website here.)

As I write - Osama Bin Laden

As I write - the world is abuzz with tweets and status updates noting the news from Washington D.C. - announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden.

There are so many things that could be said about the situation - and many things *are* being said about the situation.

I note a few things. 

Death - especially violent, murderous, state-sanctioned death - never brings about true "good" for anyone.  It might quell the desire that many have for vengeance - but in its wake comes only the need for someone else to seek an equally great (or even greater) retributive violence - and the cycle, so it seems, never ends.

Millions and millions and millions of dollars - and countless hours of persons have invested - for more than a decade - in the pursuit of this one man - and in the process - thousands have died, untold numbers of cities and places and villages have been sacked and rampaged.  Of course there have been numerous other complicating factors, other persons, other agendas - yes, yes.  It is not a simple single issue. 


What if . . . ? 

What if the money and effort and investment had been made to seek peace and safety - love and construction - instead of vengance and death? 

What could the world be like now - had we sought more peaceable options years ago?  What if we more frequently, more routinely, more sincerely, sought the good for the all?

May persons of all nations, languages, and places do more to advance eupan.

And let it begin with me.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative