The Least, First

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Archive for May 23rd, 2007

CIA returns to Iran: Here we go again

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The CIA has returned to the scene of the crime. It was Tehran, 1953, where the CIA first toppled a democratically elected government (See Wikipedia’s Operation Ajax). Iran’s crime? Wanting 50% of its own oil profits. The revolution that brought religious conservatives into power was made possible by outrage in the Iranian public toward the subsequent corrupt, totalitarian, US-puppet regime.

America should apologize. Instead, according to the ABC News’ Blotter, the US government is back at it:

Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran

May 22, 2007 6:29 PM

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

Bush_authorizes_mnThe CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a “nonlethal presidential finding” that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran’s currency and international financial transactions. […]

Ah, Mr. Bush. Please, not again. Don’t take us lower still.

Iran is changing; religious radicals—always a minority—are losing power. When America gives the Iranian public reasons for mistrust, Iranian radicals surge in popularity. Must we ever repeat our blunders? When will we learn that our aggressiveness is extremism’s life-blood?

Please, Mr. President: recall the CIA.
Please, Congress: require ethical dealing with Iran.
Please, Presidential candidates: offer alternatives. Speak up.

Forced submission means peace delayed. “Black ops” is demonstrably bankrupt.
Lead us to a better way.

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Written by Monte

May 23, 2007 at 6:14 pm

Race, gender, age barriers smashed! (readings for Pentecost 05)

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Pentecost, Nora Kelly (Ireland)What a day of surprises that first Christian Pentecost must have been! We’re not used to them even yet.

Peter stands up amidst a throng of foreigners and is heard by each in their native language. He calls out the centuries-old prophecies of Joel. And he says, “This is it. Now.” [at left, Pentecost by Irish artist Nora Kelly]

Shocking indeed, that barriers of communication among people of many nations were miraculously bridged (in amusing contrast to that which we today label Pentecostal). But look what other barriers are declared finis:

“I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your young … your old …
Your sons and your daughters will prophesy …
Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit … and they will prophesy.”

National/racial barriers removed. Age barriers removed. Gender barriers removed (as if knowing people will have a hard time believing it, he says that one twice.) It’s a perfect summary of the example of Jesus. And this is the way it was to be from then on.

But how falteringly have we Christians taken up Peter’s cry! How unquestioningly we permit nation or race to cancel Jesus’ command to love all people. How pathetic that male privilege still trumps the equity Peter announced as the new norm (and prophesy does not here mean so much a telling of the future as it does speak for God). How tragic that old and young are segregated and mutually devalued in “communities” of faith.

Back to our roots, Church! Let all see that Jesus Christ means radically egalitarian love, radically egalitarian roles, radically egalitarian hope. And let no one imprison our faith in the rule-books of restriction and exclusion.

Related post:  The radicalism of Jesus Christ

Read on for the Scriptures themselves … Read the rest of this entry »