We meet the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at St. Gertrude's Ministry Center
(6214 N. Glenwood), beginning at 8:00 p.m. Folks are welcome to join us at anytime.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Waiting for the Fearmongers

The blogs and online news sites are all over Obama's recent speech regarding the closing of Guantanamo and the proposal for prolonged indefinite detention. Rachel Maddow offered a healthy reflection on the Obama schizophrenia and Glenn Greenwald and Andy Worthington break down the legal implications and moral consequences of the Obama position.

Yet for all the hoopla regarding indefinite detention as a policy, the practice of prolonged detention is a reality that far too many suffer at Guantanamo, Bagram, and in countless ICE detention centers in cities and towns all over this country. We live in a broken system that is rooted in fear and anxiety, as is seen by the pundits and politicians recoiling at Obama's asking for money to shut down Guantanamo. While legal analysis and political commentary have their place in democracy, there is a noticable lack of public discourse about the morality of our nation and its actions. The religious leaders are silent in the face of grave injustice. Univerisities and public intellectuals have succumbed to tit-for-tat conferences on subjective ethics in postmodernity. Let us never forget that just because something is legal does not make it the right thing to do. And while we can argue over the best course of action for how to close Guantanamo, the fact remains that we are morally culpable for failing to protect human rights and for failing to recognize the full dignity of a human person, even if we decided to call him an enemy. Enough of this banter, the stalwarts are winning the day. We are in a precarious position and one that each of us bears responsibility for creating and for changing the system of violence and fear we live in. We cannot get lost in the conversation about what is our responsibility or wait with patience for a better time to act: now is the time. If Congress is going to continue on with fearmongering and pride, let us be the mirror that reflects the humanity that remains at Guantanamo and in our enemies.

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