Friday, September 29, 2006

The Shame of America

As the bumper-sticker says, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." The latest case-in-point is the detainee bill passed yesterday by Congress. Not only does this bill grant the government significant leeway in torturing terrorism suspects, it also strips these suspects of such time-honored rights as habeas corpus, even if they happen to be American citizens. To add insult to injury, the House also passed a bill that permits warrentless wiretapping by government agencies. All in the name of keeping the homeland "safe".

Are we still the land of the free and home of the brave? Are we still a nation that values freedom over security? Or have we allowed a tiny bunch of terrorists to turn us into a fearful and cowardly people? Under the guise of fighting terrorism, our rights are slowly being handed over to an Administration that refuses to acknowledge any limits to its power. The fact that this travesty is being perpetuated with the consent of Congress - an institution that should stand for democracy and the separation of powers - is even more appalling.

For more details, I refer you to Lee at verbum ipsum and D.W. Congdon at The Fire and the Rose (and for an extra dose of outrage, check out this article from washingtonpost.com).

Especially with regards to the issue of torture, the church in American can no longer equivocate or remain silent. To quote from D.W.'s excellent post, the time has come for Christians to take a stand against this Administration:
We have a moral duty to oppose what is happening in our country today. To sit back and allow such things to take place is to support them. I do not have the experience or the resources to know how I can be involved, but I hope to contribute to some sort of protest through posts like this one. Finally, as the church that confesses Jesus to be the only Lord and Savior, we must deny the claim of the president to be the sovereign of this land. We must deny his claim to power, and affirm Christ a’s sole authority. We must deny the kingdom of this world that says “"might is right"” and "U.S. freedom is worth preserving at any cost",” and we must instead affirm the Kingdom of God, which nullifies all other kingdoms. As the church, we confess that God alone lays claim to our lives, because it is in God alone that we find new life. As the church of life, we thus are called to stand against the empires of death. This is our calling. May we walk in steadfast obedience as we seek the glory of God.

My hope is that the courts will put an end to this madness by reaffirming the rule of law, and that the Democrats will take back one or both houses of Congress in November. Failing that, I'm afraid our nation is headed for a full-blown Constitutional crisis.

3 comments:

P.S. (an after-thought) said...

I'm outraged at so many things these days that I'm almost sick. Just took an OT class today. The teacher pointed out so many parallels to todays world. Maybe God will allow our country to go into exhile or another flood, or who knows what.

D.W. Congdon said...

Thanks for the kind words. Indeed, the situation is so utterly depressing that at times I feel like giving up. What angers me is the lack of any serious outrage by Americans, much less the churches. Where is the protest? Where is the demand for justice? Has the American church lost its conscious as much as the German church did during Nazism? I shudder when considering the parallels.

Kip said...

Alternatively we could make a stand and say 'this is the day I will stop obsessing on the mote in my brother's eye, who is, after all, not the reincarnation of 1000 Hitlers, but just a man trying to do his duty to myself and his other fellow citizens in difficult circumstances'

Or even: 'today is the day we will make a stand to stop being manipulated by Satan himself, via the agents of his religion, Socialism, and start pondering facts rather than promoting propaganda.'

Your call.