The world is in turmoil, the grip of darkness, and it seems things are spiraling out of control. What can we do?
Some people turn away, it’s all too much. We can’t turn away. This is an extraordinary, historically pivotal time. ‘A Necessary Look at Reality‘ is in order when the world is in such disorder, writes my friend Elizabeth Scalia, and she points to a New York Times’ piece ‘The Great Unraveling’ as the necessary reckoning with it.
This morning (September 15), the New York Times published an exquisitely-written dose of reality via Roger Cohen. If “only Nixon could go to China” then perhaps only a NYT columnist could spell this out and thus permit us to credibly acknowledge that things are as grim as we have all known, in our guts:
Last week, a congressional oversight committee hearing was held to check on government compliance with the International Religious Freedom Law. It was virtually unprecedented.
Congress hasn’t been paying attention. Now that they did, the press wasn’t paying attention.
That law was passed 16 years ago, but this is the first time Congress has checked on whether the State Department is implementing it. Given what has happened in the world with increasing global crises involving religious extremism and religious persecution, one wonders whether anyone has wondered about this law. The answer is yes, and Thomas Farr. He has been asking questions for years. Because he knows international religious freedom is an issue of national security, besides being a human rights issue.
“Brothers, humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep.”
Citing a history of relentless conflict, marking the centennial of the start of WWI, Pope Francis noted the ways humanity actually may be in early stages of the third World War.
The Pope on Saturday morning celebrated Mass at the Italian Military Memorial of Redipuglia. The area was the scene of fighting between Italy and the forces of the Central Powers during the 1914-1918 conflict.
“There are tears, there is sadness. From this place we remember all the victims of every war,” Pope Francis said during a homily at a Mass for the fallen and victims of all wars. He called war “madness” and “irrational” and said its only plan was to bring destruction.
We have to know the enemy we’re confronting. How close are we to that task?
Thirteen years after 9/11/2001, not close, it appears.
The president finally steps up to act. There are at least as many questions about what he says as shows of support for it.
The beheadings of two U.S. captives by Islamic State have steeled lawmakers to the need for more military action, and both Democratic and Republican congressional leaders were supportive of Obama’s plan on Wednesday.
But some Republicans in particular say they want more information from the administration about its wider strategy to combat global terrorism, and many would prefer a broad vote rather than one focused on funding.
Democrats are crossing the aisle again, this time as they voice strong support for attacking Islamic State, though the overwhelming majority of lawmakers from both parties oppose the idea of sending in any…
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How can leaders of the most civilized, powerful nations in the world not yet have a solid plan?
While governments fail to act or make attempts at cobbling together a plan of action against a well organized, well funded, vicious and ambitious irregular army hellbent on wreaking chaos and destruction to take over the world, it’s the religious leaders and scholars and humanitarian relief experts who are speaking out and doing the most to call for action, care for people and protect populations from genocide in the meantime.
Stalwarts who have been working with embattled and endangered communities all along are pleading for relief. Whether they’re clergy, other religious, or faith-based organizations, they’re spent and crying out for help.
One anguished priest wrote to Pope Francis, out of desperation. He got a response.
Pope Francis has telephoned an Iraqi priest who is ministering in a refugee camp, according to a Vatican Radio report.
“The situation of your sheep is miserable,” Father Behnam Benoka, until recently a seminary vice-rector near Mosul, said in his letter. “They die and they are hungry. Your little ones are scared and cannot do it anymore. We, priests, religious, are few and fear not being able to meet the physical and mental needs of your and our children.”
Pope, patriarchs and prelates are crying out for intervention. Where are the presidents and prime ministers?
I've known Maronite leader Monsignor Sharbel Maroun for many years, talked with him on radio in 2006 afterTelelumierewas nearly destroyed in the Lebanon War that summer, and many times before and after then about the ongoing work of unity and mutual respect of Christians and Muslims in the Middle East. He just returned from Lebanon recently, we talked again this week, and he is despondent. What he said is captured wellhere.
Catholics in the Middle East are being persecuted and slaughtered while the world watches and remains silent, said the leader of an Eastern rite Catholic community.
They came from near and far, for many reasons. Some for opportunism, some for possibilities.
Over the past two weeks, many people descended on Ferguson, Missouri mostly, it seemed, to stoke the fires of resentment and divisiveness. Anger and hostility escalated. Finally, some calm has settled and reason seems to have broken out, and it deserves some keen attention.
Over the weekend, people who represented different sides of the racial battle/political debate began saying sort of the same things. Or maybe someone on one side would see that both sides actually agreed on what they wanted, though they were going about it so differently, that fundamental plea wasn’t being heard.
It worked, though maybe not as that murderous gang expected.
They wanted to cower the US into backing off the already limited air strikes, humanitarian relief drops and rescue missions of refugees from their brutality. Did the horror of beheading a captive American journalist intimidate the US into backing off those strikes, as intended? Did the president end his vacation and return to the White House to monitor all operations going forward? No. No to both questions.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama addressed the nation regarding the brutal slaying of an American journalist by Islamic State militants. After conducting that gruesome deed, James Wright Foley’s assassin warned the president that his organization planned to kill yet another American unless the West surrenders Iraq and Syria to the Islamic State’s inhuman designs.
Will the riots in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of 18-year-old Mike Brown be a flash point for social change? Or will they be another flash in the pan soon to be extinguished and forgotten?
So let’s parse that a bit further. If the sudden eruption of active protests, the descent of countless media crews, days and days of street demonstrations both peaceful and angry by both locals and outsiders, on the streets of Ferguson Missouri have collectively inflamed a national debate after the police action resulting in the shooting death of an 18 year old young black man, is it a confrontation with racism seething beneath the surface of our society still? Or is it something deeper? And if that, then what is it about, at root?
Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.