Friday, February 23, 2007
Doing God's Work
Two Hundred Years Ago Today, the Global Campaign for Human Rights Achieved Its First Victory
You ask me, we'd be better off just finishing the job Wilberforce started; Remember, he only got the slave trade abolished. Slavery in Africa continues to this day, with far lesser outbreaks elsewhere.
Scott Horton said...
But most importantly, Wilberforce reminds us that Evangelical Christianity, in its late 18th and 19th century manifestations, was intensely engaged with the cause of human rights.
Christians still are heavily engaged in the cause of human rights, fighting to abolish the wholesale murder of children through abortion as well as continuing the fight against slavery, including that of sex and child slaves.
It is impossible for me to read these words today and not think of leaders of America's Religious Right who observed complete silence when reports surfaced from Abu Ghraib, from Bagram, from Guantanamo.
Sir, you really should stay away from the hyperbolic and inaccurate historical analogies.
In past conversations, we discovered that Washington and Lincoln executed unlawful enemy combatants rather than treating them as POWs or criminal defendants as you implied.
In this case, I challenge you to offer any evidence that it was government policy to treat the prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Bagram or Gitmo as the slaves were treated in the 19th Century - forced labor, close confinement without movement by being chained in a hold, whipping, maiming, dismembering, starving and raping.
In doing so, please do not claim that illegal abuses for which the perpetrators were prosecuted and imprisoned constitute official government policy established by our civilian leadership with which you have partisan disagreements.
Curious about this quotation by Wilberforce, I endeavored to look it up.
"When their conversations get really serious, you will see how little of their Christianity has anything to do with the faith taught by Jesus. Everything becomes subjective. Their conduct is not measured against the standard set by the gospel. They have developed their own philosophies, which they attempt to pawn off as Christianity."
However, the quote does not appear in the volume you specify. http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN1417948639&id=xd7wW-2sYGgC&dq=a+practical+view+of+the+prevailing+religious+system+of+professed+christians+in+the+higher+and+middle+classes+of+this+country+contrasted+with+real+christianity . A content search does not reveal, for instance, the word "pawn" appearing anywhere in the volume. Is the quote misattributed? From one of his speeches, rather?
I completely agree that torture is a moral issue, and I am completely in favor of keeping it banned.
Oh, wait, I forget, keeping detainees in anything less than a Hilton is considered torture, ... so nevermind.
The quote appears on p. 21 of Real Christianity (in the Beltz edition, which is edited and "translated" into more modern English).
Thank you, Scott, for your excellent essay on William Wilberforce and his relevance today.
Humble Law Student considers anything that is not cruel, inhumane and degrading as the Hilton.
Motel 6 must seem like Heaven.
De Palma... Christians still are heavily engaged in the cause of human rights, fighting to abolish the wholesale murder of children through abortion as well as continuing the fight against slavery, including that of sex and child slaves.
It's statements like this that cause mentally balanced people to come to the conclusion that you are mentally ill. You are not a Christian, De Palma, so don't pretend you are. Neither is Tom DeLay.
In 1999 the battle moved from the Republican controlled Congress to the courts. A suit filed by human rights groups representing the Mariana guest workers was settled in US District Court. The suit described the Marianas (also known as Saipan) as "America's worst sweatshop, replete with beatings, forced abortions, vermin-infested worker quarters, barbed wire and armed guards where workers put in 12-hour shifts, seven days a week."
The 32 factories that settled the suit were mostly owned by Chinese, Japanese and Korean companies that supplied more than $1 billion a year of "Made in America" garments to some of America's leading retailers and labels.
Nevertheless, DeLay continues to support the current unregulated Mariana work rules. He has gone so far as to suggest that the United States emulate the way the islands' employers import guest workers from China and the Philippines and suggested that it may provide a model for mainland employers who wish to exploit cheap Mexican labor.
Humble Law Student... Oh, wait, I forget, keeping detainees in anything less than a Hilton is considered torture, ... so nevermind.
What kind of barbarian are you? Hiltons are the McDonald's of the ho-tel industry. There are already five of them in and around Paris. Six when she's in town.
This week on BBC R4/In Our Time
Wilberforce's Life and Legacy
About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist  on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].
Peace Be With You
Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.Post a Comment
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