Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Imagine 10,000 Feet of Hope

Dr. King reminded us that we are all “caught in an inescapable web of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” All of us are wounded by the war in Iraq, and we must work together to end it.

Whether or not you can come to Washington in March you can be part of the web of resistance by offering a strand of hope.

Here’s how: send or bring to Washington a six-foot length of light rope (multi-colored easy-tie clothesline is ideal). Attach to the rope ribbons or bands of cloth with your own hopes for a peaceful Iraq, your own prayers for peace, your own definitions of peace. Imagine something like Buddhist prayer flags.

Leave a foot at each end of your length of rope (so they can be tied together) and fill the remaining four feet. Please keep the ribbons or bands of cloth or prayer flags to two feet or shorter (so they can be carried without dragging the ground), and make them whatever width you like (keeping in mind that onlookers will want to be able read your hopes and prayers).

Let our common longing for peace bind us together in hope. Imagine 10,000 feet of hope.

Send your piece (to arrive by March 4) to:

10,000 Feet of Hope

c/o Clarendon Presbyterian Church

1305 N. Jackson St.

Arlington, VA 22201

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

State of the Union

Here’s to the state of the union! As we watched the president last night, the adults in the household played a small drinking game. We began the evening with a glass of wine and a commitment to watch as long as the glass lasted, taking a sip each time Mr. Bush said some version of these words: terror, security, freedom or democracy. We didn’t last long!
But we did last long enough to notice the rhetorical trope the president employed throughout the speech: “trust and empower” – as in “we must trust in the ability of free people to make wise decisions, and empower them to improve their lives and their futures.”
The president spoke often of trusting and empowering, and were it not for his evangelical Christian brand of conservatism one might have imagined that he had morphed into a libertarian with his focus on an idea of individual liberty that is opposed to any sense of corporate responsibility or commonwealth.
Whatever you think about various brands of conservatism, this picture of liberty lacks depth and focus when measured against background images that must include domestic wiretaps, Patriot Acts and waterboards.
Perhaps this time next year the state of the union will include a more creative mix balance of liberty and responsibility, of individual and community. I’d drink to that.