In conversations with
JAM, with the
SaveDarfurSPB group and with
St. Gregory's members we
have a growing awareness that whereever the world is growing more peaceful, whereever it is healing,
women are playing an important role. Some of us are concluding that the empowerment
and protection of women in places that are hurting should be a very high priority.
We haven't been able to stop violence and abuse in Darfur, in Rwanda, in the Congo, in Somalia,
in Zimbabwe, in Haiti; maybe our effort should go to ensure that those who are likely to have the will for rebuilding
can do so. JAM is taking the lead in convening a planning committee to develop these ideas in SE Florida
(Boca Raton). The planning committee will decide what sort of activities should take place.
We assume there will be one or more community events. The planning committee will decide what sort
and who should be its presenters. St. Gregory's Episcopal Church is solidly in
support of this and will welcome other faith communities and community organizations who
will join us. If the planning committee decides the following video is inappropriate,
we'll remove it. Meanwhile, hope, believe, and enjoy....
Before and since Abraham we have been driven by an instinctual sense that force is the appropriate response to threat. We have seen that instinct become circular and self fulfilling; we have seen it become preemptive; and we have seen it formalized into national policy (the Bush doctrine). Now and then a prophet will assert a different view: (turn the other cheek or ....), but preparedness for or show of force remains the dominant strategy for group survival for our species. We have seen horrid consequences, even since the Holocaust. 900,000 people were murdered in Rwanda in 90 days in 1994. Five million have been killed in the past ten years in the Congolese Civil War. The number of people killed in the Bosnian War is estimated at 200,000 with an additional 1.8 million displaced.
How does a nation rebuild after such destruction ? In Rwanda there is evidence that it may be in woman that the greatest strength for rebuilding resides.
If we made a short list of major phenomena hampering progress on our planet our treatment of women would be on the list (along with our propensity to go to war). These phenomena illustrate this: