Sunday, December 29, 2013

Who but the Lord?

I listened to this poem by Langston Hughes watching the "King: a Filmed Record" DVD. In chapter 4, around 32:10. In this excerpt at Democracy Now, it's at 22:22.

Who but the Lord?
by Langston Hughes

I looked and I saw
That man they call the Law.
He was coming
Down the street at me!
I had visions in my head
Of being laid out cold and dead,
Or else murdered
By the third degree.

I said, O, Lord, if you can,
Save me from that man!
Don’t let him make a pulp out of me!
But the Lord he was not quick.
The Law raised up his stick
And beat the living hell
Out of me!

Now I do not understand
Why God don’t protect a man
From police brutality.
Being poor and black,
I’ve no weapon to strike back
So who but the Lord
Can protect me?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Justiça Restaurativa


Outono de 2013, volume 1, número 4
Compilado por Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz e Stephen Siemens
Justiça Restaurativa: a promessa e o desafio

(Início do texto)

O Comitê Central Menonita (MCC) tem uma história longa e pioneira de prática e teoria de justiça restaurativa tanto no Canadá como nos Estados Unidos. Por exemplo, Howard Zehr, o primeiro diretor da Secretaria de Crime e Justiça da MCC nos Estados Unidos tem o crédito de apresentar uma ótica diferente para olha nosso sistema legal e o crédito de conclamar um novo paradigma de justiça relacionada a crime. Essa mudança paradigmática envolvia mudar as perguntas feitas dentro de um sistema de justiça punitiva - "quais leis foram quebradas?","quem cometeu o crime?" e "qual deve ser a punição? - para um novo conjunto de perguntas focando no que a justiça requer de vítimas e perpetrador, questões como "quem foi ferido?", "quais necessidades surgiram do crime?", e "sobre quem recaem as obrigações de corrigir as coisas da melhor forma possível?"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On brain transplant and salvation

  I have a question for Christians: suppose that Jack is not a Christian. He goes into coma and has a cerebral death. But he receives a brain transplant from Peter and lives. Next day he converts to Christianity. The next day he dies. Who will go to heaven, Jack or Peter?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada

  The Native Women's Association  of Canada urging the Canadian government to create a National Inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. They created a petition to the Federal Government with this request. The petition is also promoted by the United Church of Canada.
   Here are the links:



  Last Sunday and the next Sunday the Adult Formation Class at the Ottawa Mennonite Church explores a "Feminist reading of the nativity story". Knowing about the schedule of the class in advance, I was able to select a petition related to the subject. I collected a good number of signatures on the one copy of the petition that I had and sent it yesterday to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper.

Write for Rights on the International Human Rights Day

  Today I went to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) to join them in their "Write for Rights" write-a-thon. Amnesty International promoted events all over the world, inviting groups to write for cases of Human Rights problems. I invited the few other members of the OMC small group to come along, but there was no reply. It was a very productive night, where we took the time to write by hand to various leaders about specific cases of Human Rights violations. I know there were other locations in Ottawa where other groups also gathered to do the same.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Open For Justice campaign in Canada

  The second petition that the Write for Human Rights small group from the Ottawa Mennonite Church signed and sent was related to the issue of mining. The Open for Justice campaign was launched this year, supported by many organizations. It asks for mining companies to be accountable for their actions abroad. And it asks for Canadian legislation to change so that affected communities have access to the Canadian courts, and have a chance of fair trial. So far this has not happened. And the behaviour of Canadian mining companies show a record of human right abuses in poor countries. And the majority of these affected communities have no access to justice in their home countries either. The self-regulatory mechanisms that Canada tried to implement, where the companies themselves would voluntarily avoid and resolve conflicts with communities did not work. More than a legal problem, mining by Canadian companies abroad pose a problem of justice: not only the justice are systems by-passed, the mining deals are in themselves extremely unfair economically to the communities living on or near the exploited areas.
  Here are the petitions that we discussed, signed and sent over. In PDF and in Word. They were addressed to the Honourable Minister Edward Fast and the Honourable Minister Peter Gordon MacKay.

  Here are some links to the campaign:
    From the United Church of Canada
    From the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability
    From Amnesty International Canada

  I sent my letter 3 weeks ago and haven't received any response yet.

Ricardo Esquivia - Colombia - Write for Human Rights

  We started at the Ottawa Mennonite Church a small group called "Write for Human Rights". We choose a subject and write petitions together. The 1st petition was on behalf of Mr. Ricardo Esquivia from Colombia, who has received threats and false accusations. To know more the case, access this link. Here are the letters that we sent: in PDF and in Word.