Tuesday, January 07, 2003

More on our "Risible" Reverends. Awhile back, the good professor remarked that he was tempted to start an Anglican-Clergy risibility watch, but didn't have the time to do it justice. Regretably, I don't think anyone does. Nevertheless, I see that there was a sermon at the National Cathedral on Christmas Sunday, the day after the Feast of the Holy Innocents, in which the Rev. Canon Michael Wyatt, Ph.D, the theologian of the Cathedral compared all of America with King Herod:
The Church celebrated yesterday the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the children Herod ordered slaughtered in an attempt to kill the newborn King of the Jews, Jesus. The acknowledged good of a stable dynasty veiled a brutal and reprehensible fact, and for the sake of that perceived possible positive outcome actual flesh was ripped open. The self-indulgence of the indolent is paid for out of the flesh of the innocents of the world, those powerless to defend themselves, except by acts of terror. Our consuming and combative choices hack away at the fabric of life, and we are slashed and burned in return. And if we answer, even sincerely, that we do not know on whose back we ride, that ignorance will not save us, and if we are lucky enough to die before the verdict comes in, that escape does not mean that we are numbered among the holy innocent.

For over a decade, the United States has held to an intensification of the U. N. sanctions on Iraq, blocking with its veto and entangling in debates any attempt to relieve that nation. As part of the “dual-use” considerations of the sanctions, by which items which might conceivably be used for military purposes are kept out, equipment to repair Iraq’s sewage plants have been held up. By 1996, all the sewage treatment plants in Iraq had broken down; 300,000 tons of raw sewage are dumped into Iraqi rivers daily. This, of course, has meant an increase of cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. But the necessary vaccines are also blocked, with the claim that they might be used to make biological weapons—a technically unlikely claim. Thirteen percent of all Iraqi children will die before their fifth birthday of these diseases and related conditions; twenty-five percent of all the children in the southern region live in chronic malnutrition. Is it better not to know about these Holy Innocents? By the grace of God, moments of brutality can become moments in which the powerful are forced into the most horrific knowledge of themselves by seeing their own violence and brought to repentance. We must see how flesh pays for our words if we are to change. The question remains, with whom do you identify?—and if it is Herod, wail.
The whole sermon may be found here -- I did give you the entire risible passage so you can evaluate in context.

Nevertheless, to a certain extent Canon Wyatt is correct -- continuing sanctions are most likely an act of war. Therefore, wouldn't the humane thing be to liberate Iraq, post haste, from its real Herod?

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