Thursday, February 16, 2006

Shine the Light follow up

Friends, brothers, sisters,

Here's a reply to last nights' PWAL post from Illana Naylor of the Manassas (VA) Church of the Brethren. 
        Also included is Illana's court testimony related to an arrest for civil disobedience in September 2005 as part of the mass demonstrations that weekend in Washington, DC.

May we each be enlivened
by the Light shining so brightly
within our many colleagues and comrades,



Dear God's peacemakers all,
I can witness to the fact that this was a very moving experience.  I joined the "Shine the Light" group on Friday when we vigiled outside of the Veterans' Administration.  We walked silently, single file with one man being led by a rope around his throat and his head covered by a black pillow case.
Later we had a prayer vigil outside of the White House, followed by dinner and worship at the Langley Friends meeting house where we held in remembrance Tom Foxx and the three other CPTers still held in captivity.
Would that what we do would end this dastardly war.
For God so loved this world, no war in my name,
ps. Attached, please find my testimonial before Judge Robinson in US District Court Jan. 19, 2006 after being arrested in September as a witness for God's peace.

Testimony given before Judge Robinson in US District Court, Washington, D.C., January 19, 2006.
I. As a person of faith, I believe that God knows us, loves us and calls us to love our enemies and to do good to those who persecute us.  I do not believe in the God of vengeance and of unholy wars.  In Ephesians 2, Paul writes that while we were yet enemies, sinners, terrorists of God, God loved us and broke down the dividing walls of hostility.  In every religion we are called to treat others they way we want to be treated. Killing and destruction are an anathema to God.  In James 4 we are reminded that wars come from greed, from wanting what is not ours. In Matthew 25 we learn what makes for a great nation. The nations that are blessed are the nations that feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, visit, not torture, those in prison and take care of the sick.  It is the one great lie that God ordains us to kill leaving behind death and destruction.
II. As a citizen, I believe in democracy and truth and yet this war in Iraq compromises both.  Iraq and Sadaam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11 and yet this emotional hook was used.  Al Queda and Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility.  A man, born in Saudi Arabia, armed by the USA to resist Russia in Afghanistan for the sake of an oil pipeline, is responsible.  There is no connection.  And who would believe that after a 12 year economic embargo that resulted in the deaths of 100,000 citizens for lack of food and medicine, Iraq would have the money for weapons of mass destruction? And if truthfully, our concern is WMD’s why have we not attacked China or North Korea or Pakistan or India or France or England or Israel or Russia whom we know have WMDs. I say this war is illegal, I say no more blood for oil, I believe we all say enough is enough.
III. As a wife and mother, I would like to focus on the family and those left behind.  I have been given the sacred trust of life and of nurturing a family, not just my family but families globally.  I have a concern about our survival and this war is an economic disaster leading us all into bankruptcy.  A short five years ago our nation had a budget surplus and currently we are trillions of dollars in debt.  Not only do we spend tax dollars on this immoral war but we are spending tax dollars to rebuild the very nation we are destroying with US companies that had no competitive bid and no opportunity for the Iraqi people to rebuild their own nation. According to Congressional Appropriations, we spend more than one thousand dollars a second on this war.  With close to $2.5 trillion dollars spent, we could have used these funds to provide 1.5 million children health insurance for a year, or 4 million teachers for a year, or funded world-wide anti hunger efforts for 9 years, or AIDS funding for 23 years, or immunizations worldwide for 78 years.  This war breaks our budget and breaks my heart.
IV. As a nurse, I believe this war is wrong because it is my sacred trust to above all else do no harm.  This war makes a mockery of all I hold dear.    In January of 2003, Jonathan Schell noted that the greatest voice for democracy was heard when millions marched to prevent this war in demonstrations all over the world.  By June of 2003, we were all sickened to learn that the hospitals, schools, museums, and libraries had been bombed but that the oil fields stayed intact.  There are those who must believe we have oil running in our veins that we regard blood, life and culture so cheaply.
I went to the White House on September 26th to witness for peace.  As a person of faith, as a citizen, as a wife and mother, as a nurse I give voice to the truth that this war is immoral, illegal, unjustified and unhealthy for children and for all livings things.  It is well past time to say no to death and yes to life.


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