Tag Archives: injustice

a prayer for the victims and perpetrators of injustice

For Victims and Perpetrators of Injustice
(From “Prayers for Justice and Peace”)

For all those who have fallen victim to hatred and inhumanity, for those loved ones who are left behind to mourn, for the souls of those whose hearts are cold, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who are being born into this world of conflict and violence, for women and mothers who suffer needlessly, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all those who have been forced into unemployment, who long to return to work, for all those who struggle to support their families, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the soldiers who are misguided in thinking that their bullets will bring about peace, for those who feel called to conscientiously object to military orders, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who cry in their beds at night and wonder “what have I done?”
For the mothers and fathers who must try to explain the unexplainable, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all the children who have died before their time, for the soldiers who allow their uniform to strip them of their humanity, for the healers who are denied the opportunity to use their gifts, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the redemption of souls of both victim and perpetrator, for those who commit themselves to the forgiveness of sins, Lord, hear our prayer. AMEN.

truly offensive

A brief, yet powerful sermon we all need to heed. Having just returned from a trip that included both India and Nicaragua, this resonates with me more than ever. We all need to stop being so sensitive to personal affronts and far more sensitive to the real pain, greed, and injustice that fills the world.

not a fate, not a misfortune

Poverty is the root cause of an overwhelming number of additional social injustices.:

Injustice is the root of poverty. Poverty spouts, grows and flourishes in injustice.

We cannot fully address the needs of the hungry without addressing the reality of poverty. And we cannot address the issue of poverty without dealing directly with the injustice from which it springs.

It is not enough to feed the hungry. Faithfulness demands that we ask the hard question: “Why are they hungry?” The answers will always lead back to oppression and injustice. Always.

distilling feelings into action

"I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought to be distilled into actions which bring results." - Florence Nightingale:

We all have been told that the pen is mightier than the sword. And although I agree, words in and of themselves cannot change the world.

Yes. We need to express ourselves, and speak out against injustice in every form. Yes. We need to speak up for the oppressed and those unable to speak up for themselves.

But speaking up, speaking out, is not enough. We must come to the place where we distill our feelings into pure action. We need to translate our compassion and need for global justice into the pure eloquence of action. Only then will we achieve the global good we all seek.

changing the world

This is what I have always wanted. What makes it so much fun is that we’re actually doing it. We are making the world a better place.

Our society is tremendously flawed and tolerates unbelievable injustices to be perpetrated on the poor. Yet, we are still moving the world in the right direction.

The number of poor and hunger continue to go down. That’s success. The number of girls being educated is growing that’s success. More children have access to clean water. That’s success.

Working together we can create a better world. And like I already pointed out, it’s great fun. Let’s continue making it happen. Our children and our grandchildren will see it for what it is, a gift from our generation to theirs.

those who only watch

To be courageous in the face of evil are those who put their trust in God.

Deploring the evil that we see happening in the world isn’t enough. We are not spectators. Silence in the face of evil places us on the side of the perpetrators.

All of us have a voice. All of us have the ability to speak out for those who are oppressed, those who are disenfranchised, those among us ignored and powerless.

Those who only watch are partners with those doing the evil. Our silence in the face of injustice is tacit agreement.

All of us have a voice. We just need  the courage to use it.

nothing Christian in Xenophobia

Normally, I do not think too highly of resolutions and statements issued by boards and other legislative bodies. Words are cheap. I am much more impressed with action.  However,I applaud this statement by the World Methodist Council.

I have been in South Africa numerous times and have seen firsthand the violence brought about by irrational xenophobia. I also know and am proud to call Ivan Abrahams, and my friend. I have seen him struggle with this issue when he was Bishop of the Methodist Church of South Africa. He has a true heart for the oppressed, the refugee and the stranger in our midst. He is a man of faith and action.

I have also visited with refugees camped in Methodist Church sanctuaries in the heart of Johannesburg. I have heard their stories and felt their fear.

I have seen the anger and rage directed at these refugees. It is too often incited by those with hidden agendas and those whose motives should be held up for closer inspection. It is manufactured on fear and an appeal to nationalism.

Xenophobia is the fear of the stranger. There’s nothing Christian in such a response. Perfect love casts out fear.

World Methodist Council Issues Statement Against Attacks on Foreigners in South Africa

17 April 2015

 

Peace March in Durban, South Africa on 16 April 2016.
Photo Credit: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government

In the wake of escalating violence against foreign nationals, refugees and asylum seekers in the Republic of South Africa, World Methodist Council representatives express concern and disappointment at these clear violations of human rights. General Secretary Ivan Abrahams and the Social Justice Committee of the World Methodist Council issued this joint statement today condemning the violence and attacks:The World Methodist Council condemns these attacks which so clearly undermine human rights and dignity. We applaud the actions of Methodist family members within the Republic of South Africa who have stood up against these human rights violations.  We also welcome the recent statements of President Zuma and senior government officials. We further support the marches and events held to bring awareness to take a stance against such atrocities. We pray that they are successful in continuing to promote initiatives toward peaceful coexistence. We implore the South African government to protect the rights of all people as enshrined in its Constitution. We further call on Methodists and Wesleyans within the neighboring countries of South Africa to stand in solidarity with and aid all those affected by these attacks. We are one human race. Let us all continue to pray and speak out against the injustices throughout our world.

some unbearable things

Some things you must always be unable to bear, Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them. – William Faulkner

What a different world we could have if more of us took Faulkner’s words to heart. I often find myself in tears over the open and even brazen acceptance of injustice, especially by those who claim to follow the Prince of Peace.

Our love of money and all it can provide, our insatiable desire for more and bigger, has brought us to the place where we turn a blind eye to the evil of those in power and wink at wrong doing on a personal level. We live in a world where there’s no shame, and where honor can no longer be spelled, much less defined.

Our greed and selfishness have even stripped us our ability for outrage. We now are part of a society where outrage over injustice is more unacceptable that the injustice that spawns it.

Over 25,000 of our human family will die of hunger and hunger related caused today. In a world with far more than enough food for everyone of us, we will simply go about our business as usual. Our only outrage will be when we get cut off in traffic, the server get our lunch order wrong, or our our double-expresso latte gets cold.

I honestly do not know how much longer I can bear it.