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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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    • Photo of the Day September 29, 2016
      See also the previous Wild Reed posts:• O Sacred Season of Autumn• "Thou Hast Thy Music Too"• Photo of the Day – September 22, 2016• Autumn Hues• The Beauty of Autumn in MinnesotaRelated Off-site Link:Autumn Beauty – The Leveret (November 15, 2008).Image: Michael J. Bayly.
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Australian Sojourn – May 2016 September 28, 2016
      Part 11: Last Days in AustraliaAbove: A Poldark moment! . . . though in Australia not Cornwall,and minus the eighteenth-century attire.I find it hard to believe but it's been almost four months since I returned to the U.S. from my "Australian sojourn." High time, then, to wrap-up my series of posts documenting my time and experiences in the Gr […]
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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    • Off to Summer Camp July 1, 2016
      Leaving tomorrow for eight weeks of summer camp with Czech kids, first in the forests of Krivoklat, then the beautiful rolling hills of Moravia.I do have a week off, when I hope to head for the Tatras mountains in Slovakia, and a few days of retreat at the lovely Marian shrine of Litmanova, on the border with Poland.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Orlando Update June 29, 2016
      Omar Mateen as seen in a documentary film.  Photo credit: James Varty / The Big Fix / YouTubeI will preface this brief update to my previous posting on the Orlando shooting with these wise words from Russ Baker of Who What Why. Org. Somewhere between the rush to judgment that is the neatly packaged mainstream version of events in Orlando, and the wilder meme […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
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    • The 28 Pages September 30, 2016
      In the news ... Claims of Saudi Role in 9/11 Appear Headed for Manhattan Court ...Saudi Arabia paid millions of dollars to Washington lobbyists to keep it out of court. They have been unsuccessful. And now it is up to the kingdom’s lawyers to limit the damage.With families of Sept. 11 victims now able to pursue legal claims against the Saudis, the fight over […]
      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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