May 28, 2011
Last summer we followed stories about the controversy surrounding the proposed mosque in Lower Manhattan, and about the proposed construction of other mosques in America. As a follow-up, this piece of news appeared recently, regarding the proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It’s a piece of good news for all of us who value religious diversity, openness towards others, and elemental justice: a lawsuit– brought by opponents of the construction of the mosque– has failed:
MURFREESBORO — Chancellor Robert Corlew III ruled that plaintiffs suing the county for approving construction of a mosque just outside the city limits have failed to prove they’re being harmed.
“We must note that, under the law, the Plaintiffs have not demonstrated a loss different from that which is common to all citizens of Rutherford County,” Corlew wrote in his ruling issued this week. “That Islam is a religion has been proven in this case. That the county ordinance allows construction of a church or place of meeting within a residential planning zone as a matter of right in this case is further undisputed.”
via Court decides plaintiffs not harmed by mosque | The Daily News Journal | dnj.com.
May 2, 2011
The security apparatus of the state– intelligence and special operations forces– has done what it is supposed to do: find and kill the enemy.
In a brief interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, the daughter of a 9/11 victim said something interesting as she attempted to describe her feelings. While acknowledging the satisfaction of justice being done, and the accompanying sense of closure, she stopped herself from using the word “joy” to describe how she felt. While she didn’t have the chance to say more, perhaps she had the sense that the payment of death for death, while just– and in this case welcomed and necessary– is still no cause for joy. At least not for me.
I grieve tonight– for all the loss, death, and destruction of 9/11; for the existence of evil; for innocents who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan; for post-traumatic stressed servicemen and women and their families; for cycles of violence and victimization that are always justified and therefore very difficult to end. Bin Laden’s death satisfies justice, but it does not mean peace.
via Osama bin Laden dead: officials – Americas – Al Jazeera English.
February 9, 2011
Here’s a real shocker (he says sarcastically) from Al Jazeera:
How did Egypt become so corrupt?
A picture is emerging of a state where wealth fuels political power and political power buys wealth.
(via How did Egypt become so corrupt? – Inside Story – Al Jazeera English.)
The old story (as old as human civilization) is the self-reinforcing connection between wealth and this-worldly power. The prophetic voice of the Hebrew scriptures exposes this self-seeking aggrandizement as unjust: not simply as unfair, but even more, as an affront to God’s word that wise rulers– people with power– express their faithfulness by taking care of their poor, and their widows and orphans. In the prophetic understanding, such care is not merely ritual observance; nor is it the hollow and lifeless, going-through-the-motions obedience to a Divine Tyrant– far from it. On the contrary: such care takes part in– participates in– the very life of God.