Category Archives: Human Rights

Nicholas Kristoff on the death penalty

Nicholas Kristoff has published an opinion piece in the New York Times on the death penalty: When We Kill.

He looks and reasons in favor of the death penalty and counters them, often relying on studies and specific cases. Read the whole article, but here is Kristoff’s summation:

There is no evidence that the death penalty deters. It costs hundreds of thousands of additional dollars per prisoner. It is steeped in caprice, arbitrariness and racial bias. It is fallible — and when it fails, it undermines the legitimacy of our judicial system.

Kristoff also notes that:

One peer-reviewed study suggested that at least 4.1 percent of those sentenced to death in the United States are innocent. With more than 2,700 Americans on death row, that would imply that more than 110 innocent people are awaiting execution.

Wouldn’t killing one innocent person be one too many?

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Filed under Current Events, Death Penalty, Human Rights

Why I like New York 42: Pride month

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Work remains to do,
work always remains,
but New York celebrates Pride well –
even the MTA.
14 June 2019

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Filed under Current Events, Human Rights, New York

28 May 2019

Walk. Morningside Gardens.
Wind Spirt – Bill Miller
Native North American Child – Buffy Sainte-Marie
Hawai’i 78 – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Trail of Tears Song, We Will Go Together – Joy Harjo
We the People – Brule
Orphan Child – Cherokee National Children’s Choir
Cherokee – Walela
Ancient Ground – R. Carlos Nakai
Treaties – Frank Wain
For Those Who Cried – Jack Gladstone
Cherokee Morning Song – Robbie Robertson & The Red Road Ensemble
Song of Hope – Thunderbird Sisters

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Filed under Exercise, Human Rights, Music, playlist

The first time

59788482_10156994797076063_8186161344953712640_nOn June 29, 1980, the Presbytery of Shenango ordained me. In the approximately 38 years, 10 months, and 10 days since, I have never worn a clerical collar. Until today.

I wore a collar as I participated in the New Sanctuary Coalition‘s Life Bond Fund program. I went to the Department of Homeland Security’s office to post bond for an immigrant in detention. It was an honor.

I also recognize the privilege (white and male) that I carry and that has allowed (and continues to allow) me to appear in hospitals, nursing homes, jails, prisons, halls of power, street demonstrations, church gatherings, and other places, wearing pretty much what I choose, and say that I am a minister and be recognized as such. I am working for a world in which everyone receives the same treatment and welcome I do.

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Filed under Human Rights, Current Events

2 May 2019

Walking. Morningside Gardens.
We Shall Not Be Moved – Mavis Staples
There Is Power in a Union – John McCutcheon
Working Class Hero – Green Day
Joe Hill – Paul Robeson
Maggie’s Farm – Stephen Malkimus & The Million Dollar Bashers
Working on the Hightway – Bruce Springsteen
Bread and Roses – Judy Collins
Chain Gang – Sam Cooke
James Connolly – Black 47
Which Side Are You On – Natalie Merchant
Three Miles Down – Gil Scott Heron
More Than a Paycheck – Sweet Honey in the Rock
Bracero – Phil Ochs
She Works Had for the Money – Donna Summer
Solidarity Forever – Pete Seeger
Internationale – Billy Bragg

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Filed under Exercise, Human Rights, Music, New York, playlist

4.27 People’s Peace Chain in New York: For peace on the Korean peninsula!

58629910_1577272632407429_8217700354960130048_nWhy do we join hands?

On April 27, 2018, the Inter-Korean Summit opened the door to peace on the Korean peninsula between North and South Korea. On April 27, 2019, the people of South Korea and Korean-Americans of the New York metropolitan area will come together for the final push to obtain peace. Half a million Koreans in South Korea will gather across the country to participate in the People’s Peace Chain action, covering the entire line of the Demilitarized Zone to wish for harmony and to promote peace on the Korean peninsula. With the same goal for peace in mind, we have organized community members and formed the “Committee for 4.27 Min (People) + Peace People’s Chain Action.”

The peace process on the Korean Peninsula will not be achieved through slow inter-governmental negotiations alone. It must be fostered by people with a collective history who have the incentive and drive to chart the course of our future together. We will usher an age of renewed trust and harmony as we put forth our desire to create a powerful and lasting peace. The People’s Peace Chain will be created with all of this in mind on Saturday, April 27th, 2019 in front of the United Nations, where we will be joining hands connecting the Permanent Mission of both North and South Korea to the United Nations. On the same day, 500000 people in South Korea will create a People’s Peace Chain of three hundred and twenty miles along the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, which has been a steadfast symbol of distrust and conflict on the Korean peninsula.

A dream that is dreamt by many becomes reality. Join the ‘4.27 People’s Peace Chain Action’. Join hands in front of the UN and make the dream for a future peace reality!

Who can participate?

• Anyone who wishes for the peace on the Korean peninsula

When and Where to meet

• April 27th, Saturday at 1PM
• Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza (2nd Ave and 47th St)
• Please wear a blue top if you can.

How to Join:

• When you arrive, please register and receive a souvenir at the information desk that will be located inside the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza.
• Write a peace message on the message board, which will be delivered to the Permanent Mission of both North and South Korea.
• Enjoy cultural performances and participate in a rally wishing for the peace on the Korean Peninsula.
• After the rally, everyone will move to the area under the guidance of the Marshall Team to create a People’s Peace Chain.
• Join hands to create ‘4.27 People’s Peace Chain’ from the Permanent Mission of South Korea to the Permanent Mission of North Korea!

To support with donations
• Make a check payable to: NY NUAC
• Mail to:
Woori Church of New York
53-71 72nd Place. Maspeth, NY 11378

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Filed under Current Events, Human Rights, New York, United Nations

Advocacy Training Day 2019

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The Advocacy Training Weekend, held this year on April 5 through 8 in Washington, DC, consists of three parts. A training day for Presbyterians by the Compassion, Peace, and Justice Ministry Area.  Ecumenical Advocacy Days. And visits to elected representatives to advocate for justice. This year’s advocacy focused on protecting voting rights and working for peace in fragile countries. The weekend is a wonderful time for networking with old colleagues and meeting new friends.

This year had the added treat that my daughter-in-law, Essie Koenig-Reinke, attended.

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Filed under Current Events, Family, Human Rights, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)