For the past few years it has been my privilege to serve on the President’s Council of the United Religions Initiative (www.uri.org). Victor Kazanjian, the organization’s executive director, sent the following letter to URI’s global family. Victor’s words speak for me in a voice that is much clearer and more eloquent than my own.
When any member of the human family is dehumanized, we are all dehumanized. History has taught us that dehumanization, the diminishing of the humanity of another person or group of people, is the tool of dictators and despots, and inevitably leads to horrific acts of violence. This week, the President of the United States referred to our sisters and brothers in Haiti and in African countries using a vile and odious expression, comparing them to human excrement and the countries in which they live to toilets.
Continue reading ““No Belief Has Caused More Devastation than White Supremacy””
President Trump announced that he will move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Then he arrogantly warned United Nations’ member states not to protest his decision. So, did the world’s community of nations cower and follow the great leader’s dictate? The final tally of votes in the UN General Assembly: USA 9, World 128. It was a humiliating defeat. What was Trump’s reaction? He said, “We don’t care.” Continue reading “The Trump Mantra: “We Don’t Care””
Twenty-six people are dead and 20 wounded, mowed down in a Texas church by a shooter armed with a Ruger AR-556 rifle. What is the response? More of the same: thoughts, prayers, and political attacks on those who dare to suggest that access to deadly assault weapons must be curtailed. Here is a sample of what our leaders are saying:
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy: “My heart breaks for Sutherland Springs. Just like it still does for Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Charleston. And Aurora. And Blacksburg. And Newtown. Just like it does every night for Chicago. And New Orleans. And Baltimore. And Bridgeport. The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic. The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something,”
Kellyanne Conway: “The rush to judgment, particularly by people who just see politics and Trump derangement in every single thing they do, it doesn’t help the victims, and it’s disrespectful to the dead.”
President Trump: “This isn’t a guns situation. I mean, we could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it.”
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal summed up my views when he said, “None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America. It is uniquely and tragically American. As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.
“As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets. Ask yourself — how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents?”
When will we ever learn?
Five years ago twenty children and six adults were massacred in the presumed safety their Newtown, Connecticut schoolroom. Since that December 2012 disaster, the United States has experienced more than 1,500 mass shootings (defined as shootings in a public place in which four or more people––not counting gang or drug violence–– were killed). In those massacres more than 1,700 people were killed and 6,000 wounded. Continue reading “Why the Hell Do We Continue to Allow This to Happen?”
Donald Trump—either by clever design or by bizarre circumstances— could become the centerpiece of American politics for at least the next two elections.
How can this be? His positive poll numbers are in the 30s and he seems to alienate more and more people every day with his erratic policy-by-tweet method of governing. In fact, according to a September 27 Quinnipiac poll, 56% of American voters do not think he is “fit to serve as president” and 59% say “he is not honest.” Continue reading “Is “Trumpism” the New Normal for American Politics?”