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    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
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    • The Body: As Sacred and Knowing as a Temple Oracle October 8, 2015
      As I approach my 50th birthday, Julia Cameron's words on the human body as teacher and guide ring especially true for me. I also think that it's fair to say that our Western consumerist society is one that idolizes youth and certain types of bodies. Yet Cameron's words remind us all of the beautiful gift of our body, no matter its shape or con […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quite Something October 7, 2015
      Last night I attended a listening session with [interim] Archbishop Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the purpose of which was to gather feedback from local Catholics to help inform Pope Francis' choice for our new archbishop.Held at Pax Christi Catholic Community in Eden Prairie, last night's listening session (part of an ongoi […]
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
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    • Rest in Peace Father John McNeil September 25, 2015
      One of the very great patron saints of the gay rights movement in the Catholic Church and the  US passed away on September 22. I can't begin to express how much I owe to him and how deeply his death has moved me. I feel somewhat the way I felt with the news of Thomas Merton's death so many years ago - that there was no longer anyone left that one c […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
    • Back from Summer Camp August 31, 2015
      Just returned from eight intense non stop weeks of summer camp with Czech kids. Exhausted beyond words, but I wouldn't have missed a moment of it. Thankfully, the world and it's woes were far, far away from us.Now it's back to reality.Here are some of my adorable kids walking through the forest in a happy mood.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
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    • Day 4 of the synod October 9, 2015
      Today's press briefing included some comments from Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana ... Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana, said that the world needs to be patient with Africa when it comes to dealing with issues like homosexuality. “Give countries time to deal with issues from our own cultural perspectives,” he said. He […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

My Friend Jesus – No, the One in Prison Awaiting Deportation

My friend, an undocumented immigrant, was arrested for driving to work without a license he cannot legally obtain. With no public transportation available, he was risking his freedom, like millions of others, working to support his family AND paying taxes through taxpayer ID numbers, fake social security numbers, sales taxes and as a consumer of services which pay taxes, with no hope of ever receiving any government benefits.

He is one of the thousands of secondary victims of 9/11 suffering abrogation of the same civil and human rights upon which this country was founded when torture, extraordinary rendition, arrest, imprisonment, surveillance and harassment without judicial process became the standard of our government.

He is also one of the millions of victims of war profiteers who immediately saw the financial benefits of 9/11 and invested their billions in “anti-terrorist” industries and paraphernalia used to capture bus boys, maids and farm workders. And he is a victim of the voracious greed of those whose pillaging of private enterprise was not enough and are now privatizing government functions for profit, also.

He was arrested and detained with no regard for his civil rights and the due process which Americans used to hold as a sacred trust and was finally moved to the Stewart Detention Facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, owned and operated by the Corrections Corporation of America.

One thing became very clear as I followed the path of my friend, Jesús, through the “system.”

Same-sex marriage is truly a basic human right which should not be left to individual states and voters to decide. Whether immigration officials are considering release, probation, a bond or deportation for arrestees, (or granting visas or residency to entrants), a legal marriage – that is, one’s permanent ties to the community – weighed heavily in that decision. If an official marriage matters for immigrants, it must matter for an entire array of other legal considerations as well.

Also on my mind during this time is the shocking hypocrisy of the Catholic bishops. What would this country be like if – instead of spending their billions and directing their vast army of agencies, including the ones they secretly control, on a “religious freedom” campaign to energize Republican voters by eradicating more freedoms for women and the LGBT population – they spent the same resources (not just lip service) on real liberty and human rights for immigrants, African-Americans, women, gays, the poor and the sick?

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