Category: covenant


On March 20, 2003, I participated in a peaceful protest against the war. I was arrested, incarcerated, handcuffed, booked, fingerprinted, had mug shots taken, put on trial, convicted and sentenced. My conviction is currently under Appeal in the Vermont State Supreme Court. Courtroom procedure allows the condemned the Right of Allocution. This was the first time that I was allowed to speak freely and openly to the court. Below are my words, as I spoke them, to Judge David Suntag, in Vermont District Court, in Bennington, Vt., on October 7, 2004.

Your Honor, I would like to express my gratitude to you, the Prosecutor Mr. McManus, the members of the Bennington Police Department, to my family, especially Christine, to all those who support me, and especially to Mr. Saltonstall.

It is my profound respect for the Rule of Law that brought me to the 4 corners on March 20, 2003. At the precise moment of my arrest, the federal government of the United States was bombing civilians. The bombing of civilians is a violation of international law, a violation of U.S. treaties, a crime against humanity, and a war crime. Now that same government is sitting in judgment of many who have protested the war. Last week, in a court in Philadelphia, Lillian Willoughby, an 89-year-old deaf woman, in a wheelchair, was sentenced to prison. She had participated in a peaceful protest. Also in Philadelphia, Andrea Ferich, a 22 year old, was sentenced and she has just spent a week in solitary confinement. She also had participated in a peaceful protest. I have just been told that Michael Berg, father of Nick Berg, was arrested in a peaceful protest on Saturday, in Washington. All over this country, hundreds of those who have peacefully protested the war, are now condemned by the government. The way that this country is headed, eventually, all people of peace will be behind bars. I am in solidarity with them and all others who have resisted the government in the past, or will do so in the future.

Your Honor, it is with deep respect that I voice some concerns. How can it be that a nation, that is itself in violation of the law, can then hope to impose the rule of law on its citizens? I believe that either the rule of law applies to everyone, or else it applies to no one. Even a nation as powerful as the United States, can not have it both ways. The fact that the government of the U.S. is in violation of the law, is a fact that has been documented by many around the world. William Blum, one of the world’s leading historians, and also former member of the U.S. State Dept., has authored several books on the topic…even naming one of his books about US foreign policy, Rogue State.

I have here a copy of the Indictment of 19 charges against members of the government as compiled by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. [I held the documents up for all to see.] Also, here is a statement from a group of U.S. law professors. The statement is entitled “U.S. Lawyers Warn Bush on War Crimes.” Also, here is a report from an international human rights organization that is accredited by the United Nations. This report documents extensive U.S. war crimes in Iraq. This is just a small sample of information that is easily available. Can all of these experts be wrong? Also, I have here an Associated Press report that was released shortly before my arrest, stating that the U.S. was threatening to use nuclear weapons. That, too, is a war crime.

Your Honor, I believe that our government will not regain its legal and moral authority until it gives up its life of International Crime, and in the words of William Blum, is no longer a rogue state. It is important to say here, that the war in Iraq is not the first violation of human rights and International Law by the U.S. The abuse of people, people just like you and me, started back in 1492 and has been a consistent pattern ever since. Talk to some Native Americans, especially now that Columbus Day is upon us. Talk to our black brothers and sisters. Talk to the people of Diego Garcia or Panama or Hiroshima or Cuba….the list is endless.

As individual citizens, we all have rights and responsibilities. I believe that it is the responsibility of all citizens to resist any government, anywhere, anytime, when that government is slaughtering civilians. I, and many other protesters that I know, would gladly spend the rest of our lives in prison, if only the U.S. would stop bombing civilians.

I have always been opposed to any form of violence. Seeing the photographs of the bombed Iraqi children has changed my life and strengthened my commitment to working for justice for those children. I do not understand how anyone can stand by silently, while knowing that civilians are being bombed. If what I, and the many thousands of others who protested the war, did, was wrong…what then would be the right thing to do? If you saw a child being beaten up and murdered on Main Street by a gang of thugs, should you write a letter to the editor or call your congressman or write a book on how adults should interact with children? Of course not. When children are being killed, immediate, direct, and powerful intervention is called for. What the other protesters and I did should be criticized in only one area. We all did too little. To all of the people of Iraq, I would like to say, “I am sorry. I will try to do better in the future.”

I pray for the day when factory workers join with farmers, and police officers join with poets, and judges join with veterans in protesting the illegal acts of our government. Now is a time in history when silence is the greatest of all crimes.

What happens to me here today is not important. Since the day of my arrest, more than 13,000 Iraqi civilians, many of them children, have been killed. That IS important.

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. She can be reached at dissent@sover.net.

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Hebrew Scriptures . . . Leviticus | ToC

Clean and Unclean Foods

11 The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them: 2Speak to the people of Israel, saying:
From among all the land animals, these are the creatures that you may eat. 3Any animal that has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed and chews the cud–such you may eat. 4But among those that chew the cud or have divided hoofs, you shall not eat the following: the camel, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 5The rock badger, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 6The hare, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 7The pig, for even though it has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed, it does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean for you.
9 These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the streams–such you may eat. 10But anything in the seas or the streams that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and among all the other living creatures that are in the waters–they are detestable to you 11and detestable they shall remain. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall regard as detestable. 12Everything in the waters that does not have fins and scales is detestable to you.
13 These you shall regard as detestable among the birds. They shall not be eaten; they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 14the buzzard, the kite of any kind; 15every raven of any kind; 16the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; 17the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18the water hen, the desert owl,a the carrion vulture, 19the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.b Continue reading

Apocrypha

The origin of the word apocryphon is Greek, meaning “closed” or “hidden”. This refers to the books being kept away from common souls. St. Jerome (Hieronymus, ca. 342-420) used the word to indicate the books that were not part of the Jewish Bible, the Tanakh, but were included in the Greek Septuagint Bible. Today the word usually refers to a series of mostly pre-Christian religious books not part of the official, canonical Bible.

Most of the apocryphal books in the King James Version are part of the Old Testament in the Catholic Bible. Catholics refer to these books as deuterocanonical: they are part of the Bible (i.e. canonical), but became so only after the first list had been determined (hence deutero). The deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament are: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, 1 en 2 Maccabees and the Additions to Daniel and Esther. Some books in the New Testament are also considered deuterocanonical: Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James, Jude and Revelation. Protestants, however, regard these books as fully canonical. Continue reading

April 10, 2007

CARLSBAD, Calif. — On a marquee outside and on a banner inside, Pilgrim United Church of Christ proclaims, “All are welcome.” Sustained by the belief that embracing all comers is a living example of Christ’s love, Pilgrim now faces a profound test of faith.

In late January, Mark Pliska, 53, told the congregation here that he had been in prison for molesting children but that he sought a place to worship and liked the atmosphere at Pilgrim.

Mr. Pliska’s request has plunged the close-knit congregation into a painful discussion about applying faith in a difficult real-world situation. Congregants now wonder, are all truly welcome? If they are, how do you ensure the safety of children and the healing of adult survivors of sexual abuse? Can an offender who accepts Christ truly change? Continue reading

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no pre-requisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.

If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahada” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.

With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahada”, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.

Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:

“Do you not know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it?” (Saheeh Muslim)

When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance, but if the sin involved usurping a right of another human, such as stealing, then they should strive their utmost to return what was wrongly taken. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. One should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.

The Holy Quran and Hadeeth both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:

“The only religion in the sight of God is Islam.“ (Quran 3:19)

In another verse of the Holy Quran, God states:

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).” (Quran 3:85)

In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:

“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word[1] which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) Continue reading

Do you remember?

from http://www.ilmfruits.com 

January 20, 2007 on 2:57 pm | In Tazkiyyah, Aqeeda
1 Comment | By Taymullah

Why are we on this earth? This time, this place. People, make the use of the situation based on a cycle. The EAT-WORK-SLEEP cycle, which I believe turns out to be boring. Monday work starts, lasts till friday. Then again the same old weekend, were some claim to enjoy.

Or lets look at life as a whole. A person is born, goes to school, goes to university/ college, gets a job. marries, buys a house and he/ she starts a new person’s cycle (their kids).
The same old story again and again.
So again what are we doing here? When Allah created us he sent us down with something, can you remember?

Ibn Abbas (ضي الله عنه) reported that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) related that,
“When Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) created Adam (عليه سلام), He took a covenant from him in a place called Na’man on the day of Arafah. Then He extracted from him all of descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ and they all replied, ‘Yes, we testify to it.’ Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said, ‘That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely we were unaware of all this. We had no idea that You, Allah , were our God. No one told us that we were supposed to worship You alone.” Allah went on to explain that it was also in case some people would say: ‘It was our ancestors who made partners (with Allah) and we are only their descendants; will you then destroy us for what those liars did?’ (Collected by Ahmed, Classified sahih, see Silsilah al-Albani’s al-Ahadith as-Sahihah)

Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said this in an explanation of the verses (interpretation of the meaning): And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily, we have been unaware of this.” Or lest you should say: “It was only our fathers afortime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?” (Tafsir At-Tabari). (Qur’an 7: 172-173)
The explanation and the ayah’s are clear proof for people, that the reason we are on earth is not for any other than recognizing Allah as our Lord, and worship Him.

Now it can be seen that MUSLIMS are so much into the EAT-WORK-SLEEP cycle. And they go on and on, with the same old reasons, a good house, a good car (which are mostly mortgage based). So lets remember ( and I advive myself first) why we are here, because if we do, and abide by it, then the rewards we will receive will be infinite , unlike the perceived rewards of this world, which are limited and fragile.

References

Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. The Fundamentals of Tawheed. 2nd ed. Riyadh: IIPH, 2005. 61-62.