26 June 2008

tortured prayer

Today is the International Day Against Torture. This date was chosen by the United Nations because on the same day in 1987, the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into force—and on 26 June 1948 the UN Charter was signed.

On this day, I present no rants or diatribes. Yesterday, while drinking a wild berry smoothie, I admitted that I've struggled with feelings of anger (and if I'm totally honest, even hatred) toward Bush and Cheney because of their policies. In recent years, while writing letters on behalf of Amnesty International, I've noticed that several times I've made appeals to foreign officials to cease doing things that our government admits it does! I don't thump my chest and shout "U-S-A!" while watching our national teams play sports, but there is something to be said for not undercutting any moral high ground America used to have.

But I need to slow down. I'm getting dangerously close to going off on a rant!

My prayer is that we as Americans, and certainly we as the church, can take a deep breath and not let ourselves be driven by fear. Fearful people are capable of anything. One of Jesus' frequently repeated statements was "fear not." Do not be afraid. He experienced quite literally—quite physically—what fearful people can do.

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