I Think I've Had Enough
Each week, I listen to Ira Glass' awesome program "This American Life." This week, they rebroadcast a Peabody Award winning episode from last year entitled "Habeas, Schmabeas." In it, they interview men who have been released from Guantanamo Bay. They also present some of the facts about how these men got there. There is also some conversation about the doctrine of Habeas Corpus, and why it is such an important part of the law.
As a church leader, I am very well aware that political conversations are dangerous. This is especially true in our current cultural setting where people are so divided between "red" and "blue." I have no desire to politicize my church (as many other pastors have done). I want my church to be a place where people find their identity in Christ, not in their class, party, race, etc. I would never, for instance, even suggest which candidate a person should vote for, or what party they should support. Further, I don't see that any politician or political party well represents my understanding of Christian political ideas.
All that said, it just seems that our government must hear the voice of Believers. For me, that means I am currently writing a personal political statement. Not a "red" or "blue" statement, but a statement of political values that I hold. I have also decided that I need to express some of these values on this blog. I am not interested in attacking any politician or party. However, I think there are issues that, as a Christian, I must speak about. I did this last week when I voiced my opposition to partial birth abortion. I'll go another step and say I am opposed to abortion on demand (but that is another post).
So, here is what I want to say today. As I listened to the report on Gitmo, I became physically ill. The idea of human rights being violated in the name of my country made me angry. I am speaking about torture, but I am also speaking about holding men indefinitely without even telling them why. I would encourage you to listen to this episode on-line, or download it, before you make up your mind.
So, I have taken a moment to write a short letter to President Bush. In it, I asked him to give the right of Habeas Corpus to those detained at Gitmo. I also asked him to release those men who are still being held even though the military has declared that they were never enemy combatants.
My little political manifesto is being formed in my brain. I'll post it once I write it.