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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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    • "I Came Alive with Hope" May 5, 2016
      Celebrating 10 Years of The Wild ReedI can think of no better way to mark the tenth anniversary of The Wild Reed than by sharing the following message I received from a young man in Ghana. With his permission I reprint (with added links) his January 12, 2015 message, accompanied by photos he subsequently e-mailed me.Hello kind soul,My name is Atsu Gadri, fro […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Called to the Field of Compassion May 4, 2016
      . . . to be both prophet and mystic.I can't recall where I found the image above, but it's one that I really love. It shows a dervish standing in a flowering field. He looks very intentional, don't you think? I see him as preparing to dance a prayer of praise and surrender to the Divine Presence. Part if this image's appeal is to do with […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
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    • Pentecost in Prague May 15, 2016
      Attended Pentecost services today at the beautiful Catholic Church of St. Thomas in Mala Strana (something I rarely do). Surprised to see that the papal nuncio, Bishop Giuseppe Leanza was presiding - over a confirmation ceremony of 4 young teens, two boys and two girls, and one adult male. Bishop Leanza has just recently been elevated to the red hat, Cardina […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • RISEN: Film Review May 9, 2016
      Yet again - I've been neglecting this blog, despite my best intentions. I had hoped to comment on the Easter visit to Catholic Slovakia and the Marian shrine of Litmanova. A deeply moving event for me - going from secular, cynical Czechia (Czech Republic's new nickname) to staunchly, vibrantly Catholic Slovakia (with its dark history of collusion w […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
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    • Memorial Day and other stuff May 30, 2016
      - PericlesIt's Memorial Day, the holiday for remembering the people who died serving in the armed forces. I don't have any relatives or friends who have done that, but this day makes me think of Pericles' funeral speech (we read the History of the Peloponnesian War in college) ...It was an established Athenian practice by the late 5th century […]
      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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