Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Only Connect

As of this writing, the four Christian peacekeepers have neither been executed nor released. They were "kidnapped," by which we mean non-governmental agents took them into secret custody and are holding them in an unknown location, subject to any number of privations which are not limited to torture, summary execution, and permanent detention with no hope of appeal.

Rather like the 350+ persons in prison at Guantanamo Bay, or, reportedly, in North Africa. "Legal proceedings in progress in certain countries seemed to indicate that individuals had been abducted and transferred to other countries without respect for any legal standards," according to a report prepared by Swiss Senator Dick Marty. So, in fact, our detentions are exactly like theirs, except that the U.S. government has access to planes, and so gets to call its brand of kidnapping the much more sanitized term: "extraordinary rendition."

Although the simpler "rendition" now seems to be the Administration's term of choice.

What hope those four men have is in their faith, at this moment.

What hope the 350+ have is in their faith, too; although even that is actively denied them, as much as possible.

It is the position of Christian teachings, if not always Christian practice, that Christ is with them all. Which should shame all their captors.

We can, at a minimum, take Paul's command to heart, and pray without ceasing. Pray, especially, that God will have mercy on our souls.

For when we observe Advent, we are saying "Marana tha." We are saying "Venite ad iudicium." We are acknowledging that the powerful have been tossed from their thrones. And we need to prepare our hearts to accept what we have asked for.

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