After just recently rereading 1984, I am struck by the timeliness of this statement by Orwell. All of us have heard the old saw that we have the government we deserve. Orwell states it even more directly.
In a democracy we have the ability to choose. We don’t have, however, the guarantee that we will necessarily choose wisely. None so blind as those that refuse to see. And most of our nation has become so afraid that they refuse to open their eyes. And a people that willingly swallows lies can never be set free by the truth.
We are not only on the road to hell, we are helping pave it as we go.
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.
I am alarmed that the number of documented hate crimes has risen dramatically since the election of President-elect Donald Trump. This isn’t just a coincidence.
Our newly elected President’s ugly rhetoric, and viperous verbal attacks on our nation’s marginalized have encouraged many of his followers to act out their own hatred of those they they fear and those with whom they do not agree or understand. This cannot be allowed to continue.
Those of us who live in love have to take sides. We have to speak out against every hate crime we see, and we must, likewise, take every opportunity to prevent hate crimes from occurring. Silence on this issue is not an option.
We must take sides. We must stand with those being oppressed. And we must speak out against anyone (including the President, or any other leader), who engages in or promotes hate crimes, either verbal or physical. There is no neutral ground on this issue.
Silence in the face of hate crimes is acquiescence. And I, for one, will not stand in silence in the face of intolerance and hatred.
We must take sides. I am standing on the side of the victims. Whose side are you on?
Inequality continues to grow in the United States as the wealth being amassed the top one percent gets ever larger and more of the lower middle class is being pushed into poverty. This is not just and it is not sustainable in the long run.
At the same time this is happening we now have those that stridently blame the poor and hungry, demonizing them for being poor. This is not only wrong and totally mean-spirited, it shows a disregard for the truth and a lack of compassion that borders on being immoral.
The article reprinted below is by William Lambers and first appeared in the Huffington Post. What a wonderful way to make a real difference in the lives of our hungry brothers and sisters.
Charity Miles for the World Food Programme
by William Lambers
At this very moment, there are civilians fleeing war in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Ukraine and Central African Republic. There are more refugees now than any time since World War II.
War means food shortages. Children suffer the most in these conflicts. They feel the pain of hunger and live with the threat of malnutrition, which can stunt them for life.
Ertharin Cousin, the director of the UN World Food Programme, says we have to remember these victims of war are not just a statistic. These are human beings. While it can be easy to forget about their plight thousands of miles away, we must not.
In fact, technology has developed unique and even easy ways to help people a world away. One of them is the free app Charity Miles.
If you own a smartphone you can download the app and raise donations for the World Food Programme, the largest hunger relief organization. You do this simply by running, walking or biking. You carry the smartphone with you and the app keeps track of your distance and workout.
All you do is select World Food Progamme (WFP) from the list of 28 charities on the app. You then walk, run or bike and every mile you cover donates a meal to WFP. The donations are paid for by corporate sponsors. So it’s totally free for you.
The funding is used in the WFP school feeding programs across the world. I made a video about using Charity Miles help WFP feed school children. I actually made the video while doing a Charity Miles run!
So just by walking or running a mile you could provide a meal to a hungry child in war-torn Central African Republic. Or you will help feed a child in the Philippines or the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are so many feeding programs that need funding support.
WFP relies entirely on voluntary donations from governments and the public. They are short on funding for many of their missions currently.
The WFP school feeding initiative helps improve class attendance and performance. It’s an effective way to help children who are missing out on food and education, two things they need to survive and thrive.
You can also do the Charity Miles and help local food banks through Feeding America. The Charity Miles app supports about 28 different charities. There is a list where you select the charity you are going to run or walk for.
I have run Charity Miles for both WFP and Feeding America. I also have done a number of miles for Stand up to Cancer. And I had been “retired” from running prior to starting Charity Miles. So I think anyone can do this. I have raised well over 1000 meals using this app.
Now if every person who had a smartphone could raise 1000 meals, think of how many children would receive food and education. It would not only provide food to hungry children, but what a statement it would make as well.
If enough people become a “food ambassador” that will raise the profile of hunger among social issues. Think what that could mean for advocacy.
For example, the Congress will be deciding food aid budgets in the coming months. If the American public makes a statement about fighting hunger through Charity Miles and other means, that will encourage Congress to do their part.
It’s worked before. The famous Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II was actually preceded by many public initiatives including the Friendship Train, which collected food for starving war victims in Europe.
So if you own a smartphone, download Charity Miles at www.charitymiles.org and you can get started right away. You can donate meals to feed hungry children just by running or walking. You can upload your workout results to Facebook or Twitter. Be a food ambassador.
Originally published at The Huffington Post.
“If we are going to stop wars on this earth, we are going to have to make war on hunger our number one priority.”
— David W. Brooks, member, Presidential Commission on World Hunger
There will never be peace without justice. And there will never be justice without an end to the unnecessary suffering of those that lack daily bread. Brooks is right. If we truly desire peace our real enemy is hunger.
Over 25,000 of our family will die today of hunger and hunger-related disease. These are victims whose unnecessary deaths mark our society as superficial, self-centered, uncaring and morally bankrupt.
Our generation has the power to end hunger forever, yet we refuse to get involved. Making war on hunger is not a “must do” for us. It’s certainly not our number one priority. Let’s be brutally honest. Is ending hunger in our lifetime even on our list of priorities?
It’s clear who our real enemy is. Where’s the nearest mirror?