Monday, June 12, 2006

The Real Moral Issues

I do not subscribe to the National Catholic Reporter, but I was recently sent a copy of an article by Joan Chittister, OSB about a letter from the Global Peace Initiative of Women about an Iraqi woman who was a participant in a recent conference called Dialogue of US-Iraqi Women.. This letter reveals the true nature of the effects of our invasion of Iraq not the doctored news we get from our so-called objective media.

Dear Dena [Merriam, convener of the Global Peace Initiative of Women], Joan [Brown-Campbell, chairperson], and Joan [Chittister, co-chair]:

I finally called [one of the delegates to the GPIW] today, as we had not heard from her for a while. She was due to join us [for an upcoming event] but is now afraid to leave her family

She has lost her uncle and nephew recently in a bombing and so there is tremendous grief in her family. They have decided to try to leave Iraq for another Arabic speaking country as they say it is much worse now than ever before.

Women cannot wear slacks now. They cannot drive. They must be veiled and the bombings and shootings have increased manyfold.

She said when they were here in the United States during the meeting things were so much better. But now it is impossible to live there. There is hardly electricity. There is talk of turning off cell phones and even the Internet for a month or two. She has been unable to access her e-mail for many days. And when she walks to her work each morning she now fears for her life.

She said that there is not one family in Iraq that has not faced a tragedy.

I am sorry to convey such sad news from Iraq.”

Our mid-term elections are less than five months away and the presidential election in 18 months. According to every poll taken in this country the Iraq war and what we have done to Iraq as a result of our illegal and ill-conceived invasion of that country is right at the top of the list of concerns but you would never know it by the current hot topic in the Republican Party and their senate supporters: same-sex marriage.

The founders of the US never intended to have the Constitution amended to remove a right and deliberately made it very difficult to amend so that frivolous amendments would not be approved. The Republicans know that this amendment will never get the required votes in the Senate let alone get to the states for a vote but it provides a good distraction from the real issues and is an attempt to energize their rapidly evaporating conservative base.

As Joan Chittister says more eloquently than I, “From where I stand, the issue of same-sex marriage is not at the base of US decline today. At the base of US moral deterioration today is political oligarchy, corporate greed and the complete breakdown of the kind of morality that is not only social but civil and Christian. That kind of morality, unfortunately, we haven’t seen for years, even from some of out moralists.”

David M. Goldberg