Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Edward Snowden - and Collaboration with Violence - Am I guilty?

I've been too busy with too many things to think through the myriad and complex issues involving all aspects of Edward Snowden, the NSA leaks, and all the issues engaged.

And yet, I am suspicious of calling Snowden, who is exposing troubling activity a simple "criminal" - or "spy," "traitor," or "whistle-blower."

There are so many complex issues involved.

In the midst of this, though, I've been thinking about complicity in patterns of violence with regard to the Snowden situation.  I teach and talk about these issues when I teach about the Holocaust.  I raise issues about the fact that leading up to and in the midst of the Holocaust - the world needed persons to exist who were agents of positive social change who refused to perpetuate or stand by when violence and hatred was engaged.

At the link I'm providing - the author Robert J. Burrowes raises questions I will explore as I read and re-read his post, provided at the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) website.

From the FOR website: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? and provides other writings and materials on his web site. (This article is part of a series titled “The Psychology of Human Violence.”)

His article begins:

Some people have accused Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden of being traitors. But this obscures a deeper and more important question.

If the government of the United States is engaged in endless acts of lawless violence, as the documentary evidence clearly demonstrates (See Fred Branfman, “World’s Most Evil and Lawless Institution? The Executive Branch of the U.S. Government”), then it is not Manning and Snowden who are the traitors for providing evidence of this violence and the surveillance necessary to carry it out. The real traitors are all of those other employees of intelligence agencies who say nothing while they collaborate with the endless and often secret perpetration of violence by the U.S. government and its allied governments in our name.

Why does this matter? It matters because it tells us that thousands of individuals are willing to collaborate, without the intervention of analytical thought, compassionate feeling, or conscience, with the use of violence. And that bodes ill for our society.

Please continue reading here.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

American Religious History & The Hope of Tolerance

Kenneth C. Davis writes for the Smithsonian in this article about the history of the founding of America - and the religious issues and problems of early settlers.

Bible riotsWhile I am no expert on American History and I have a few misgivings about some specific statements of the author's perspectives in a few places, I am certain the history he highlights is more true than we care to remember and a reminder that the hopes of America were for the good of the all - toward eupan.

Davis article ends with this:

America can still be, as Madison perceived the nation in 1785, “an Asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every Nation and Religion.” But recognizing that deep religious discord has been part of America’s social DNA is a healthy and necessary step. When we acknowledge that dark past, perhaps the nation will return to that “promised...lustre” of which Madison so grandiloquently wrote.
Kenneth C. Davis is the author of Don’t Know Much About History and A Nation Rising, among other books.
 Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

(Image credit - from same Smithsonian article - Philadelphia Bible Riots of 1844)