Showing posts from February, 2013

Peace in Palestine - Obama to Israel March 2013

Peace must come in many places in the world.   Indeed, our hope is for peace in all the world. Rev. Stephen Sizer , who advocates for issues of peace in Israel & Palestine has shared this letter from a prominent Christian in Palestine - calling for U.S. President Barack Obama to help reshape peace in Palestine. President Obama will be visiting Israel and Palestine in March 2013. I call on you to write to Obama and tell him that if he is coming to engage Israelis and Palestinians in talks that will lead to a just peace, he is then welcome. Otherwise tell Obama to stay home. Tell Obama that the world will be watching his upcoming visit and people all over our planet will look to his visit with hope and expectation. Tell him not to disappoint humanity by carrying on U.S. politics in the Middle East as usual. Tell Obama when he visits us here to stand by the values that he reiterates in almost every speech: freedom, independence, equality, and justice for all.

Leaders to war, followers to peace.

I know very little about the Iranian cartoonist who created this image. The image has captured my thoughts. "Leaders to war, followers to peace"  by Mana Neyestani As presented by the cartoonist, the flags represent Israel and Iran.  I post the cartoon here, though, not as a political commentary on either nation.  I think we could place the flag of many separate nations on the podiums and the cartoon would still work!  That fact intrigues me. The speakers at each podium are images of each other - truly undifferentiated.  They are the same person - despite the flag on their podium - lambasting the same words, though no words appear in their respective speech-balloons!  Their words do not matter - only the "shape" of their speech is important - "bombs" of impending destruction.   We can not see the face of those who exchange flowers - only that they reach out, hidden from view - trying to reach the other.  Their hands do not reach, though

Valentine's Day is for Peacemakers!

It's too bad we've trivialized "Valentine" to baby-faced-winged-cherubs of myth - when a factual human of history is at the heart of today's historical core. The real historic person, the Saint - of St. Valentine's day -  lived as a peacemaker, embodying love for others demonstrated in allegiance with his Christian piety & care.  The Saint lived to embody relational, reciprocal love between humans that stood in opposition to warfare, violence, enemies, empires or allegiance to nationalistic overlords. "Not much is known about St. Valentine. He lived in the third century, was a priest in Rome, and was martyred in the final years of the Emperor Claudius II’s reign. Stories about Valentine have him ministering in various ways to persecuted Christians. But the story that best expresses what the saint stands for has it that he secretly married dozens of young Christian couples during a time when Claudius had forbidden male youths from

Religious Identity Shapes Social & Political Engagement

The Eupan Global Initiative is not a theological community.  And yet, many who participate bring religious perspectives to the work of extending the good for the all.  I, Marty Michelson, certainly embrace Biblical and Justice and Jesus and Peacemaking perspectives in my shared advocacy toward eupan ! Religious identity shapes social and political perspectives. I comment on this as I share an article that presents an interview with Megan Phelps-Roper - a family member of Fred Phelps and his particular vision/version of belief embodied in the sadly famous, Westboro Baptist Church.   Megan was raised with a vision/version of Christian religion that was intolerant, legalistic and hate-filled.  She had to come to discern that and reject it - as she explores what it means to "treat people right."  She wants to emerge from her current journey "with a better understanding of the world and how I fit into it,and how I can be an influence for good.”  I hope we can all co