In the NY Times today there is a pair of OpEd pieces occasioned by the 150th anniversary of the execution of John Brown, in Charles Town WV, which is today. These short essays offer much food for thought by Friends on the subject of war.
One article, by David Reynolds, praises Brown, whose raid on the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry was meant to spark a southern slave revolt, as a national hero of freedom.
OMG — The first congressional press conference challenging the Af-pak escalation was today, and the only Republican there was Rep. Walter Jones, a conservative Catholic who represents Camp Lejeune, the Marine base from which a big chunk of the new troops will come.
“Sedition Watch.” This feature brings up “dots” of data that come onto my radar screen, which I’m working to connect.
The implications of the potential connections are unsettling, and I hope the authorities are watching. The elements here are straightforward: there are a lot of upset people, mostly guys, with guns out there, and with a high level of training in how to use them. And they are being fed a diet of sedition — talk of violent insurrection, or perhaps mounting a coup d’etat.
At Thursday morning’s program (Jan. 15, 2009), attendance was down significantly from yesterday. Is it just me, or could the smiling positive pietism be wearing on the patience of many?
The morning’s panel, entitled “Speak Truth to Power,” was another “surprise” lineup, not identified until we showed up. Yet in fact it was utterly predictable, made up of church lobbyists, all based in Washington.
The conference speaker Wednesday night was a welcome improvement. Alexie Torres Fleming’s story is easy to summarize: born and raised poor in the south Bronx, she escaped from a collapsing neighborhood into middle class respectability, but then was drawn back to live and work in her home turf. She now operates a youth program.
I’m here in Philadelphia, at a conference entitled “Heeding God’s Call” . It started on Tuesday Jan. 13, 2009 and will extend into Saturday the 17th.
It’s supposed to be about strengthening the peace witness of churches and other faith groups, but especially that of the so-called “Historic peace Churches,” namely Quakers, Mennonites & Brethren. These three groups, especially the first, made up the large majority of the 270 or so persons I counted present in the opening session.