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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Palestinian Christians call for Peace Lamp in every church

Palestinian Christians call for Peace Lamp in every church

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Palestinian Christians call for Peace Lamp in every church | Father Raed Abusahlia,  Taybeh,  Peace Lamp,  Living Letters team.  Emma Halgren, WCC

Father Raed Abusahlia, Catholic priest in the village of Taybeh, presents a Peace Lamp to Living Letters team. Photo: Emma Halgren/WCC
 Its population may be dwindling, but the Palestinian village of Taybeh is striving to maintain normality in the midst of conflict, and hope in the midst of oppression.

Taybeh, 14 kilometres north east of Ramallah, is one of the few predominantly Christian villages in Palestine. Like villages all over the West Bank, it is suffering as many of its people decide to emigrate, seeing no other choice given the economic and physical hardship they suffer under Israeli occupation.

In the 1960s the town had a population of 3,400. The population today is 1,300. Unemployment stands at around 50 per cent.

But for Father Raed Abusahlia, priest of the Latin (Roman Catholic) church of Taybeh, the grim situation only adds urgency to efforts to empower the local people spiritually and economically, as he explained to an ecumenical delegation visiting the village in March.

The delegation – a Living Letters team travelling on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC) – visited churches, ecumenical organizations and civil society groups in Israel and Palestine from 7 to 14 March.

There are three congregations in the village – Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic. The congregations worship together at Easter and Christmas, and are all actively involved in local projects.

The Latin parish runs a school, a medical centre, a hostel for pilgrims, and numerous church services and youth activities. These projects are designed to give the people hope, and a reason to stay in Taybeh, says Fr Abusahlia.

Its Peace Lamp initiative makes use of an abundant local product – olive oil – to promote peace and justice in the Holy Land. The lamps are produced in a workshop in Taybeh, providing jobs to 20 young men and women.

The goal is to place a Peace Lamp, with accompanying olive oil and a small candle, in every church in the world, and in this way, to encourage prayer and solidarity with the people of Palestine. All revenue from the sale of the lamps goes to charitable organizations like the Caritas medical centre and Beit Afram, Taybeh's home for senior citizens.


ORDER your Peace Lamp HERE


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Statement as a Hayne's Scholar on Todays CA Ruling on Gay Marriage,

This will be short and to the point.

It concerns today's California Supreme Court's ruling upholding Proposition 8 which banned gay marriage in the state but let stand the 18,000 marriages which took place between their ruling that gay marriage was guaranteed under the equal rights protections of the US Constitution.

Todays' ruling focused entirely on the CA Supreme Court's decision not to overturn the "will of the people" in Prop 8.  The following is from the New York Times:

The language of Chief Justice George’s decision seemed almost regretful, as he wrote that “our task in the present proceeding is not to determine whether the provision at issue is wise or sound as a matter of policy or whether we, as individuals, believe it should be a part of the California Constitution.” Instead, he wrote, “our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.”

For those reading here who are not aware, CA was the first state to have the referendum/initiative process.

This was the result of the years of work of   John Randolph Haynes. (1853-1937), known as the father of the initiative, referendum and recall.
This is my statement as a Hayne's scholar myself and former US government teacher:

CA Supreme Court, if you think that the will of the people as put forth in an initiative can undermine the CONSTITUTIONAL EQUAL RIGHTS of ALL US citizens, you have LOST YOUR WAY.

The CONSTITUTION of the United States of America, the supreme law of our land, SHALL prevail eventually in this case because our UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION guarantees the rights of ALL against the rule of the masses.

Again, as a Haynes scholar, I REJECT your ruling today because it was NEVER the intent of John Randolph Haynes to have his initiative process override our United States Constitution!

I am making this statement with no current affiliation to the John Randolph Haynes Foundation but as a private individual, recipient of their scholarship while attending college.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obama at the White House Correspondent's Dinner

LINK (I'm on my daughter's mac and I can't embed for some reason, dang!)

WHOAH is all I can say, definitely some adult humor going on there.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WATADA VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are sometimes when I post here that emotions wash over me that I can barely hold up.

This is the case now. VICTORY for Ehren Watada!!!!! The army has DROPPED the appeal to retry him on the counts which he was tried on in his Feb. 2007 court martial. They are NOT appealing Judge Settles ruling of double jeopardy.

The coast is not completely clear yet because two charges of conduct unbecoming had been set aside without prejudice in the first court martial. Ehren stipulated that he had done the interview with Sarah Olson and had also spoken the words which Dahr Jamail transcribed from a Veterans for Peace rally. He did this out of HONOR to stop the army's subpoenas of Sarah and Dahr. The army has not indicated if they will refile these charges.

Ehren, tears are streaming down my face as I write here. Three years, more than two after the miscarriage of justice in your mistrial and you are not going to be tried on those charges again!!!!! Your refusal to get on board that plane to fight in the ILLEGAL war in Iraq was the bravest thing imaginable. You were willing and did face the music for your decision because you Ehren, are an officer, a gentleman and a man of HONOR.

Army drops appeal in Watada case

The Army has decided not to proceed with its appeal of a federal judge's ruling that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada cannot face a second court-martial on three of five counts resulting from his high-profile 2006 refusal to deploy to Iraq with a Fort Lewis brigade, his attorneys said today.

Seattle Times staff

The Army has decided not to proceed with its appeal of a federal judge's ruling that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada cannot face a second court-martial on three of five counts resulting from his high-profile 2006 refusal to deploy to Iraq with a Fort Lewis brigade, his attorneys said today.

Watada's first court-martial, in February 2007, ended with a mistrial.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma ruled on double-jeopardy grounds in October that Watada could not be prosecuted by the Army on charges of missing his redeployment to Iraq, taking part in a news conference and participating in a Veterans for Peace national convention.

But Settle left open the possibility that the Army could retry Watada on two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer resulting from his media interviews.

It is unclear if the Army plans to pursue those charges. (source)

RECENT post concerning the Nina Rosenblum documentary, "A Consciencious Objector for our Times"

For a source of most of the posts written here on Ehren, link HERE and then go to more links at the bottom.