Monthly Archives: March 2015

#‎cecilonmymind‬

I contacted Missouri’s Governor Nixon asking him to stop the execution of Cecil Clayton.

I mourn for the family and friends of police officer Christopher Castetter.

Clayton was convicted of the murder of Christopher Castetter. There appears no question of his guilt for. No excuse. None. It was an appalling crime.

But, in executing Clayton, the state, we demean human life and degrade ourselves. We become murderers. I become a murderer. And I refuse to do that, as far as possible, silently.

The execution may proceed but it will not do so without my protest. However small my voice, however ignored my voice, I will raise my voice!

It is past time to abolish the death penalty.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty

17 March – each year, every year

I speak for no others,
only for myself.
For me, this day has
nothing to do with
green beer or
green rivers or
green clothing,
this day has nothing to do with
pinching me or kissing me;
my bad jokes aside,
this day has nothing to do even with Jameson.
Today is a day
to remember oppression
to honor resistance
to recognize that, despite the efforts of
systems of race and racialization
to separate us,
struggles for dignity and justice,
freedom and equality,
human rights and humanity
are inseparably linked:
none of us are free until all of us are free.
for that reason, in that spirit, and in my own fashion,
I mark this day, and each 17th of March.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Fitzgerald, from County Cork, on my mother’s side.

See you along the Trail!

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights, Ireland

Career move?

As the Presbyterian participants in the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women gathered for an orientation, I discovered that I had to hand write two name tags.

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Do I have a career in font design?

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, Friends, Photo, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, United Nations

What We Need To Hear

Larissa Kwong Abazia, Vice-Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) reflects on what the story of an interaction between a Syrophoenician woman and Jesus teaches the church today.

What We Need To Hear.

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Stop the execution of Kelly Gissendaner

The state of Georgia should not execute Kelly Gissendaner on Monday, 2 March as currently scheduled. Tell Governor Nathan Deal to stop the execution.

The state of Georgia should not execute Kelly Gissendaner because:

  • while she asked someone to kill her husband, she did not kill him;
  • the person who killed Doug Gissendaner does not face a possible execution for his actions;
  • she has repented of her role in her husband’s murder;
  • she has been rehabilitated in secular terms; transformed by God in theological terms;
  • she has demonstrated that transformation in her living;
  • she has ministered to other inmates, serving as a “calming spirit”; and
  • inmates report on her role in their lives, including several who she helped as they contemplated suicide.

For all these reasons, the state of Georgia should not execute Kelly Grissendaner.

But, even if none of these reasons existed, her execution should not take place.

The execution of Kelly Grissendaner, or of any other child of God, demeans the state. It lowers the state to the level of those who kill. At the same time, it places the state in the position of God, making life and death decision. And, to paraphrase Dean Smith, state executions, in a democracy, make murderers of us all.

The state of Georgia should not execute Kelly Gissendaner on Monday, 2 March as currently scheduled or at any other time. Tell Governor Nathan Deal to stop the execution.

See you along the Trail.

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Former inmates say fight to save Gissendaner is only the beginning

Women who knew and served with Kelly Gissendaner reflect upon her life, their incarceration, and their effort to work for their sisters still imprisoned.

Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center

“As we stand on the precipice of participating as a society in another state killing of a human, I pause to think of the tragedy that extinguishing Kelly’s life perpetuates. In vengeance and punishment there is no real resolution for the living, only the uneasy perpetuation of violence. Resolution is for fiction and not true to the reality of human existence. The truth in the reality of human existence is our only resolution is death and hastening the death of another that we have judged does nothing but add a new complexity to life’s tragic scales. In acting to finalize any life, we truncate any real possibility of faith in redemption for ourselves. We limit our faith to systems, rote moral codes, social structures and rigid law. When we deem ourselves worthy of pronouncing final judgment on a soul as impossible of repentance, impossible of redemption, impossible of regeneration we…

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The death penalty

Like a middle manager
he sympathetically consults,
“There is really nothing
that I can do.”
This he smilingly says
as he pulls levers
and moves the gears
of the thousand ton machine.

“My hands are really tied”
and you would swear
a tear swells in the corner
of his aged lids.
His sad resignation
almost masks pudgy fingers
sliding and pushing buttons.

Brian Merrit, Evangelist and Founder of Mercy Junction of Chattanooga, and my friend, wrote this as he reflected on the impending execution of Kelly Gissendaner by the state of Georgia.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty