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Peace & Life Connections for May 31, 2013 May 31st, 2013We reproduce the Consistent Life “Peace & Life Connections” weekly newsletter on this website. If you are interested in more information, or in subscribing to the e-newsletter directly, please visit www.consistent-life.org/ Please note that we do not edit the content of this publication.
Aimee Murphy of Life Matters Journal, a member of the CL Advisory Board, has initiated a regional CLE conference in the Philadelphia area: “Life/Peace/Justice: A Conference on Life Issues.” It will be held March 29, 2014 at Villanova University. It’s for all ages with a large university student component. Several CL Board members have been involved with the planning.
To keep costs low, sponsoring groups are contributing funds. Gold Sponsorship costs $1000. We’re trying to raise special funds above normal donations to cover all or part of that cost. Funds donated here go directly towards the conference, and are credited towards our sponsorship. We greatly appreciate your support for this important effort.
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Legislation to Protect U.S. Taxpayers from Funding Violence
Our U.S. subscribers might want to contact their representatives, and subscribers outside the U.S. might have U.S. friends to spread the word about these ways of having the money that’s being cut from the federal budget come from places the federal budget has no business funding in the first place:
No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act (H.R. 7 in the House and S.B. 946 in the Senate) would replace all the annual riders and scattered amendments with one permanent rule: taxpayers don’t pay for abortions. This doesn’t just protect taxpayers; the numbers of abortions drop dramatically when there’s no taxpayer funding available for them. (See co-sponsors in the House and co-sponsors in the Senate)
Various amendments will come up during the budget process to cut Pentagon extravagance at a time when desperately needed anti-poverty programs are being cut instead. It’s a good idea to communicate the principle to representatives – money going for violence and taken away from life-affirming services is a double whammy against the vulnerable.
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CL Endorser David Gushee has published a new book, The Sacredness of Human Life: Why an Ancient Biblical Vision is Key to the World’s Future. From the publisher’s blurb: “Tracing the concept of the sacredness of human life from Scripture through church history to the present day, David Gushee argues that viewing human life as sacred is one of the most precious legacies of biblical faith — albeit one that the church has too often failed to uphold. Besides providing a masterful historical survey, Gushee’s discussion covers the many current ethical challenges and perspectives that will impact the survival and flourishing of human life, including biotechnology, the death penalty, abortion, human rights, nuclear weapons, just war theory, women’s rights, and creation care.”
CL member group Evangelicals for Social Action has also published a review (and we have one coming up in our print newsletter, due out in June).
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Quotation of the Week
The Catholic World “Atheist, Secular, and Pro-Life,” January 24, 2013
History has many lessons about human beings who were not legal “persons.” What seems like common sense to one generation—“Of course Negroes aren’t real people”—is horrific to the next. What criteria can we set that will prevent this from happening? Every criterion proposed to exclude the unborn can also be used to exclude others . . . At the end of the day, human rights are for all humans. If we don’t protect them for the weakest among us, they’re rather worthless.”
Consistent Life: Peace & Life Connections March 15, 2013 March 16th, 2013
We reproduce the Consistent Life “Peace & Life Connections” weekly newsletter on this website. If you are interested in more information, or in subscribing to the e-newsletter directly, please visit www.consistent-life.org/ Please note that we do not edit the content of this publication.
Another “Good News” Segment:
Drones – the “flying robots that kill children” – are not getting by unnoticed. Senator Rand Paul did a 13-hour speaking filibuster and got attention for it. Paul has connected opposition to both abortion and war before, and this was an occasion on which civil libertarians of both left and right could be pleased. (The American Conservative also has an excellent article against drones from a pro-life perspective.) Let’s hope we see more objections to these appalling targeted killing machines.
Click here to read more »
2012 Peace Program in Hiroshima September 7th, 2012This report of the Commemoration of the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima was submitted by Brad Rozairo OMI in August.
The atomic bomb anniversary was solemnly remembered in Hiroshima. Every year the host diocese of Hiroshima conducts a series of programs both at the memorial cathedral and in other places like the peace memorial park. I was there to witness some of the events on Aug. 5th & 6th.
The program proper began on 5th in the afternoon with a symposium on the prospect of ending nuclear generation. Bishop Tani, the head of the Commission for Justice and Peace, was the main speaker. The symposium also featured comments from a Korean resident of Japan who survived the bomb and from mothers who had been forced to flee Fukushima due to last year’s nuclear accident.
In the evening around 500 people joined the peace march. We marched up the main street from Hiroshima peace memorial park to the memorial cathedral. This year I noticed during the march there was a group of noisy pro-nuclear activists who were trying to make their voices heard. But that did not disturb the peace march. It was good to see the youth from different dioceses with banners and placards that read “No to nuclear energy”, “World peace” etc. joining the procession. Some had peace messages imprinted on their T-shirts! Some young men carrying guitars invited everyone to join them sing peace songs in a loud voice. (I think we were noisier than the pro-nuclear activists!). For me to join the peace march and to get soaked into that atmosphere itself was an experience. After the peace march reached the cathedral, a mass for peace was celebrated. The main celebrant was Bishop Maeda of Hiroshima.
On the 6th, the day Hiroshima was bombed, at 6:15 in the morning there was an inter-religious prayer service held at the peace memorial park. Clergy representing different religions offered incense and recited prayers for the victims of the A- bomb. At 8 am a “Memorial mass for the Victims of Nuclear Weapons and all Wars” took place at the cathedral.
Personally, for me to be in Hiroshima especially on 6th Aug. is something special. Every year when I go there I take time to listen to the stories of the A- bomb victims, watch some screen play on the bombing, listen to peace songs sung by different choirs and pray for peace. People offering flowers at the memorial monument, the smell of incense, the sound of gong etc. puts you into a mood that can not be explained by words. To be in that place the whole day and to be immersed in that atmosphere is a profound experience. I think I’ve got a special place for Hiroshima in my heart. That may be because I come from a war-affected country.
Ten Days for Peace August 3rd, 2012
The month of August in Japan begins with a focus on peace. ‘Ten days for Peace’ (Aug. 6-15) is a very important time for the country, as well as for the church in Japan, but especially for the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Please join the Oblates and others who are remembering this weekend in prayer, and working for peace in the world.
A National Event Calendar shows 71 events planned across the United States this weekend to honor the victims of the US bombings and to call for an elimination of all nuclear weapons.
View the calendar and find an event: http://nuclearweaponsfree.org/calendar/
Read the address from Leo Jun IKENAGA, S.J., Archbishop of Osaka, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (Download PDF)
Most Religious Believers Favor International Efforts To Curb Climate Change, Nuclear Risks, Poverty December 12th, 2011
A majority of Americans professing a belief in God, favor cooperative international efforts to combat climate change, environmental degradation, and the spread of nuclear weapons – branding them a moral obligation – says a new public opinion poll conducted jointly by the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and its Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA).
The nearly 1,500 Americans surveyed include large numbers of Catholics and Evangelicals. The study, Faith and Global Policy Challenges: How Spiritual Values Shape Views on Poverty, Nuclear Risks, and Environmental Degradation, also finds that a majority of “believers” consider addressing global poverty a “spiritual obligation,” and think that the United States should work cooperatively with other nations to reduce it.
“This research challenges common political stereotypes that pigeonhole religious Americans as liberal or conservative on environmental and nuclear proliferation issues,” says University of Maryland Public Policy Professor and study co-author John Steinbruner, who directs CISSM.
“These findings demonstrate the public’s strong moral impulse to address global policy challenges — an impulse that if applied properly could break the current impasse on these issues,” Steinbruner adds.
Though most believers in the study do not consider addressing environmental and nuclear risks to be spiritual obligations, they do understand these issues as a part of “good stewardship,” the study finds.
“While for many believers there is a tenuous connection between their spiritual values and issues related to the environment and the risk of nuclear war, they are nonetheless very responsive to the idea that there is an obligation to protect God’s creation, or to be good stewards of the earth,” explains study co-author Steven Kull, director of PIPA.