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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Rays of Hope

When I picked up the New York Times this morning I'm not sure what I was expecting to read. I know it wasn't good news, but good news is what I found.

Oh sure, the world is still full of terror and anger and horror and fear, but a few rays of hope are shining through.

Somehow, it ended up on page A10, not exactly headline news, but that's okay, I'll take my hope where I can find it:

Heather Wilson is calling for an investigation of the Bush Administration's wiretapping activities.

Well, of course lots of people are, but we're being warned by the White House and by certain Republican leaders that it would be "unwise at best and reckless at worst" to report on classified matters. But there's a climate shift in Washington D. C. these days, and Heather Wilson is one of the best indicators I've seen.

Please tell me why Heather Wilson should not be listened to, why her opinion should be considered unwise or reckless. It's not just that she's Chair of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence that oversees the National Security Administration.

Heather Wilson is a Rhodes Scholar. She's a former Air Force officer, and the first graduate of the Air Force Academy in Congress. She was an aide to the National Security Administration during the first President Bush's administration. Try and tell me she doesn't have the knowledge, the experience and the background to voice her concerns.

Finally, she's a Republican.

These concerns are not broken down in party lines, and anyone who tries to claim that the Democrats don't remember 9/11 or live in a fantasy world because they've been kicking up dust over this issue had better start tossing some of their favorite Republicans into that same category. Arlen Specter has questioned the legality of the wiretaps, and four of the ten Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voiced concerns about the wiretapping at during Attorney General Gonzales's testimony yesterday.

I call that hope for the Constitution, and for Americans.

If the current administration really needs to circumvent our current laws, let them go to Congress and fight for it. The way Congress rubber-stamped the initial Patriot Act proves it wouldn't have been hard to do. If it's harder today than it would have been before, well, they have only their own actions to blame.

But let's flip the lens, and look on the same page and find another story that brings me hope. Check out this headline:

86 Evangelical Leaders Join to Fight Global Warming

One of the signers is megachurch pastor Rick Warren, author of the ubiquitous The Purpose-Driven Life. His best sellers have broken out of the Evangelical ranks and into mainstream churches, almost as mandatory as a Bible, or so it seems.

Add the voices/signatures of 39 evangelical colleges and other leaders, and you have some pretty heavy-hitters, despite the fact that they they are bucking opposition among their colleagues to do this. According to the NYTimes: The statement calls for federal legislation that would require reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through "cost-effective, market-based mechanisms" — a phrase lifted from a Senate resolution last year and one that could appeal to evangelicals, who tend to be pro-business. The statement, to be announced in Washington, is only the first stage of an "Evangelical Climate Initiative" including television and radio spots in states with influential legislators, informational campaigns in churches, and educational events at Christian colleges."

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

And finally, I read and savored every word of the front page story of the funeral of Coretta Scott King. Each of the attending Presidents were quoted.

According to the article President Bush's words were eloquent. "Americans knew her husband only as a young man. We knew Mrs. King in all the seasons of her life. And there was beauty and dignity in every season. By going forward with a strong and forgiving heart, Coretta Scott King not only secured her husband's legacy, she built her own. Having loved a leader, she became a leader."

President Carter "mentioned the difficulties that Mrs. King and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., endured as they became the target of secret government wiretapping." (Never underestimate that soft-spoken Southern gentleman, ahem.)

President Clinton spoke without notes, from the heart, "I don't want us to forget that there's a woman in there. Not a symbol, a real woman who lived and breathed and got angry and got hurt and had dreams and disappointments."

And the first President Bush represented those of us among the "frozen chosen*" well by bringing a bit of laughter to the solemn proceedings, bringing cheers when he announced, "It may be your lucky day, I've lost a page."

But it was when I reached Maya Angelou's words that I saw the example Mrs. King set that resonates with the hope I've felt simmering as I've been reading this morning. "She prayed nightly for Palestine and equally for Israel."

If we can look beyond labels like Republican, Democrat, Evangelical in a search for truth. If we can listen to each other's voices instead of drawing lines in the sand and enforcing them with barbed-wire prejudice. If we can bring our best minds and efforts to the struggle to protect this land, this democracy, without destroying it in the process, surely there is hope.

* Episcopalians


At 5:16 PM, Blogger Candace said...

Oy! From your lips to God's ears!
Great post, Pooks.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger pooks said...

I hope I wasn't just drunk when I read it.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Mrs. Wonderful said...

thanks for the wrap-up. I've had my head in a post-hole for more than a week. I feel all caught up now.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger pooks said...

A posthole? Tight fit, wasn't it?


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