Thursday, November 16, 2006

A WORD FROM THE POLITICALLY RESPONSIBLE

Okay. So there are real people out there who are trying to make a difference. In a real way. Check out what Mike Todd and his friend Robert are doing for HIV/AIDS by supporting the Stephen Lewis Foundation. It's brilliant, and who needs a red ipod anyway? Check out Mike's idea at http://miketodd.typepad.com/waving_or_drowning/

And then there is Joan Chittister, peacemaker and world activist. This week she is writing movingly about her trip to Syria. Theologically profound and morally challenging as ever, Joan says that the Road to Damascus is still a place for conversions.

Here in part is what she has to say. Read it in full at her site below:

"We decided that this time we would go straight to the religious leaders of the country to ask them what kind of a place they thought Syria to be.

First we met with His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, Patriarch of Antioch and the Entire East for the Russian Orthodox. He was very kind but very straight forward:

"We don't know the American people. We only hear the President . . . and we have a deep resentment about the image of Syria in the U.S. Syria is not an Islamic country. Syria is a secular state. . . . We are not oppressed as Christians. Look at our cathedral. It is no tent!"

His points were clear and the scene was set: Christianity was not being oppressed in Syria. Christianity was one religion among many there. Just as it is in the United States...

They would show us the modern church, they told us, in one of the oldest Christian populations in the world.

Our first appointment, they told us, would be a trip to "meet with the Iraqis."

The Iraqis? What did that mean? We were, after all, in Syria."

As we wound our way back from the Patriarch's palace, through the narrow back lanes of the city, I realized that Paul of Tarsus had walked in this very area, too. "Not in this area," our translator said. "Paul walked here. Here. On this street. I will show you." And, all of a sudden, we emerged "on the street called "Straight" talked about in Scripture.

The impact of the statement was far more than biblical. Damascus is the longest continuously populated city in human history. More than 7,000 years old, they tell us. We were on the very street that ties the early moments of Christianity with today's struggles..."

Read this brilliant work in full at: http://ncrcafe.org/node/677

2 comments:

Mike said...

Thanks for the link Connie!

Fred said...

Hi Connie...it's been a long time since I've stopped by. Thanks for all the links...looks like I have homework!