Don’t Do Unto Others As They May Decide to Do Unto You

American Christians are quite vocal in the belief they’re oppressed, but it’s hard to feel their pain. They’re the overwhelming majority in this country. Virtually every member of every legislative body and every elected representative is Christian. Their lobbies are as potent as any on K St. The government funds them by not taxing them. They routinely work to defeat bills clear majorities want and that deprive citizens – sometimes other Christians – of their civil rights.

If that’s oppression, sign me up. It sounds like a sweet deal.

However, there are persecuted and oppressed Christians. For example, many countries with real zero tolerance for anything other than their God and prophet. They sometimes force Christians from their homes, turn them into refugees, or kill them.

Meanwhile, American Christians busy themselves with important issues like the proper etymology of Christmas v. Holiday. Living in their secure homes and working in their secure jobs they feel it’s their God-given right to rewrite history books, let pedophiles escape unpunished, or denigrate science because it doesn’t completely jibe with their Bible.

There’s no doubt the intolerance against Christians in countries like Iraq is awful. It’s the tyranny of the majority directed against the few. But except for the degree of modern persecution (the Christians don’t exactly have a bloodless history either), how is that any different from the tyranny of the American majority against the minority here?

I’m not a Christian and I’m sure there are many Christians who’d argue I have no right to an opinion about their religion. However, I’d point out that by the same logic, Christians have no right to an opinion about Islam or me or Druids. But, they never seem shy about exercising the same freedoms they seem unwilling to share with anyone other than themselves.

It is the Christian Sabbath, the last one before the holiest of Christian holy days. Whether you call it Christmas, the holidays, or Festivus, it seems like a good time for Christians, indeed everyone, regardless of religion or the lack thereof, to borrow the concepts of peace and harmony espoused in the Bible, the Quran, and most other religious texts in the world.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

 

U.S. Aid Funding Colombian Oppression?

 

Exposing links between local politicians and paramilitary death-squads normally doesn't sound like grounds for arrest, but in Colombia it can be.

Colombian activist Carmelo Agamez has been in prison for over a year on bogus charges. Both the Colombian Attorney General and a court have found that his rights were violated--but the prosecution just won't stop. The LA Times even wrote a feature article describing his unjust detention. Agamez and other activists are being targeted with trumped-up charges designed to stigmatize and silence human rights defenders.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government gave approximately $40 million in human rights and rule of law aid to Colombia last year which came with conditions that the Colombian government respect the rights of human rights defenders. Congress set those conditions last December after years of advocacy by Human Rights First and other groups.

Just last week I was in D.C. with Agamez's daughter, Sandra Agamez. We urged U.S. officials to encourage the Colombian government to stop this unjust practice. Human Rights First is also running a petition to the State Department urging it to enforce U.S. conditions on aid--and protect human rights activists unjustly detained.

This video explains the plight of Agamez and many of his colleagues fighting for human rights, finding persecution.

Last year I went to Colombia and visited activists like Agamez who were stuck in jail, as well as others who were suffering harassment and baseless prosecutions. Human Rights First issued a report, Baseless Prosecutions of Human Rights Defenders in Colombia: In the Dock and Under the Gun, detailing the abuses.

We have since relentlessly advocated for change--and have seen progress: conditioning U.S. aid to Colombia on its human rights record was a step forward, as were Congressional hearings on this topic last year. The Colombian government has also released dozens of activists who can now continue their work.

But there are still victims like Agamez who suffer persecution who need our help. The Colombian government should empower a prosecutorial unit to review all criminal investigations of human rights activists to promptly close bogus cases and deter new cases of arbitrary detention. Activists courageously fighting for human rights struggles need to be guaranteed their basic rights.

 

Sexism: The mother of all 'isms'.

Sexism is the 'gateway 'ism'', that makes all other 'isms' possible.  It precedes all other forms of discrimination, setting the example that there are some people that view others as inferior and they use brutality upon them.  What I mean by that is that because our family and society models are built around the model of inequality, injustice and brutality - we accept that behavior as normal.  So, too is racism, classism, speciesism and any other oppression by one group toward another.  The behaviors of sexism are the behaviors of bullying, injustice, intolerance and cruelty.

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

There's more...

Don’t Do Unto Others As They May Decide to Do Unto You

American Christians are quite vocal in the belief they’re oppressed, but it’s hard to feel their pain. They’re the overwhelming majority in this country. Virtually every member of every legislative body and every elected representative is Christian. Their lobbies are as potent as any on K St. The government funds them by not taxing them. They routinely work to defeat bills clear majorities want and that deprive citizens – sometimes other Christians – of their civil rights.

If that’s oppression, sign me up. It sounds like a sweet deal.

However, there are persecuted and oppressed Christians. For example, many countries with real zero tolerance for anything other than their God and prophet. They sometimes force Christians from their homes, turn them into refugees, or kill them.

Meanwhile, American Christians busy themselves with important issues like the proper etymology of Christmas v. Holiday. Living in their secure homes and working in their secure jobs they feel it’s their God-given right to rewrite history books, let pedophiles escape unpunished, or denigrate science because it doesn’t completely jibe with their Bible.

There’s no doubt the intolerance against Christians in countries like Iraq is awful. It’s the tyranny of the majority directed against the few. But except for the degree of modern persecution (the Christians don’t exactly have a bloodless history either), how is that any different from the tyranny of the American majority against the minority here?

I’m not a Christian and I’m sure there are many Christians who’d argue I have no right to an opinion about their religion. However, I’d point out that by the same logic, Christians have no right to an opinion about Islam or me or Druids. But, they never seem shy about exercising the same freedoms they seem unwilling to share with anyone other than themselves.

It is the Christian Sabbath, the last one before the holiest of Christian holy days. Whether you call it Christmas, the holidays, or Festivus, it seems like a good time for Christians, indeed everyone, regardless of religion or the lack thereof, to borrow the concepts of peace and harmony espoused in the Bible, the Quran, and most other religious texts in the world.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

 

Diaries

Advertise Blogads