Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ducks, Cards, and Carnage

Lauren Mitchell Dowdy and Chris in Boston with glasses.
Beige, with orange letters and graphics, the 4 x 6 card featured a little orange mother duck followed by two tiny ducklings underscored by letters in an arial font about 11 pt. wishing me "happy mother's day."

Chris wrote, "Only a son of yours would send you a mother's day card with the word 'carnage' in it."

In his own special hand he penciled the Mother's Day Proclamation written in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe.

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

I cannot say I like the word carnage, but I loved the cardage.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The passing of Jerry Falwell

May the passing of Jerry Falwell be accompanied by much peace for his family and loved ones who will surely miss him. May his good works and his good teaching remain as a lasting legacy for his spiritual family.

Meanwhile, for the public, may there be fewer partisan remarks from pulpits.

May the next election avoid the offensive rhetoric of the Republican Party and Christianity in partnership.

As we move farther from the Falwell-Reagan era, may the language of genuine compassion ring through the public policy talk of disciples of Christ.

May the passing of Jerry Falwell be accompanied by a season of action for those who love Christ and reject right wing politics as the path to peace and justice.

When ills befall our neighbors may we be less like Job's friends and more like Jesus who acknowledged that God makes his sun to shine on the good and the bad alike.

May be we remember and speak the language of John.

"For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him."

John speaks of the light of Jesus exposing evil deeds and a reckoning for disbelief, but not because of our judgement--but because of His love.

May those who don't share our faith only be able to criticize us for the good we do in society and not for judgmentalism and war-mongering.

May the invisible power of love, the increased establishment of justice, and peace on earth be the benchmarks of Christians in politics.