It has been said that the only thing necessary for evil to persist is for good people to remain silent.
This past week I have watched in amazement as debates have been held over whether or not Syrian leaders have engaged in chemical war tactics to kill and mutilate their own people. The images of children, teens, women and men agonizing, tortured with severely burned flesh, corpses wrapped in sheets, cries of indescribable pain and looks of bewilderment should all shock and provoke outrage in the hearts of the humane.
Instead, national and international leaders are participating in political posturing. Rather than joining forces to do what is necessary to send a clear message that the world will not stand by and tolerate another holocaust of sorts, world leaders are engaging in a fact finding excursion for the obvious. While an abundance of caution is necessary when considering any kind of military action, the emboldened stance of rouge perpetrators must not be ignored. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Let us pray for our leaders, our President, our Congress, and the United Nations to have the wisdom, the strategy and the courage to boldly and decisively intervene, not only in Syria, but in Darfur and other nations where genocide is a reality. May we as preachers, teachers and leaders be more committed to the mandates of Luke 4:18. May we be more concerned about the impoverished, the abused and the marginalized and may that concern be made manifest through our collective work in the church, our civic organizations, at the voting polls and in our communities.
Martin Niemöller spoke to the dangers of misappropriated silence...
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
Sometimes silence is not golden.
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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,