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No fear

October 14th, 2008 (02:21 pm)
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Via dwer - this bit from Street Prophets:

For decades, Americans have been told to be afraid of one thing after another.

We were told to be afraid of Communists.

We were told to be afraid of racial desegregation.

We were told to be afraid of angry black men.

We were told to be afraid of North Vietnam.

We were told to be afraid of hippies.

We were told to be afraid of feminists.

We were told to be afraid of Communists again.

We were told to be afraid of the Sandinistas.

We were told to be afraid of Saddam Hussein.

We were told to be afraid of a national healthcare plan.

We were told to be afraid of gays and lesbians in the military.

We were told to be afraid of a philandering president.

After all that fear, you might think we would be done. Instead, that was only the warm-up for eight years of the rule of fear.

We were told to be afraid of the Kyoto Accord.

We were told to be afraid of the imminent collapse of Social Security.

We were told to be afraid of global Islamic terrorism.

We were told to be afraid of terrorists among us.

We were told to be afraid of anthrax.

We were told to be afraid of Saddam Hussein. Again.

We were told to be afraid of North Korea.

We were told to be afraid of Iran. Again.

We were told to be afraid of anyone who stood in the way of American Security.

We were told to be afraid of John Kerry.

We were told to be afraid of looters and displaced persons.

We were told to be afraid of immigrants, documented and undocumented.

We were told to be afraid of committed couples marrying.

We were told to be afraid of an angry black man. Again.

We are told presently to be afraid of Barack Obama.

We are told to be afraid of the collapse of the global economic system.

Have I missed anything? For decades, we have been taught to cower before the shadow of every tin-pot dictator and every sliver of cultural difference. All up and down the social, economic, and political order we have been told: Be Afraid.

I think it's time for that to come to an end, don't you?

The Bible tells us over and over again: Fear Not. Over and over again, scripture instructs us not to fear war, disease, death, oppression, you name it. Just to cite the most famous example, Psalm 23 tells us: "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil."

It is time to put away fear and the abuses it enables. It is time to actively resist fear.

It is time to stand up in our churches, synagogues, mosques; in our social groups, in our political meetings, in the coffeehouses, schools, and sidewalks; in the barbershops and grocery stores; in the highways and the byways: I will not be afraid.

I will not be afraid of military threats to this, the strongest nation on earth.

I will not be afraid of economic threats to this, the richest nation on earth.

I will not be afraid of people who look, talk, think, worship, or make love differently than I do in this bastion of liberty.

I will not be afraid of black people.

I will not be afraid of my neighbor.

I will not be afraid, and I will not allow my life to be governed by fear.

I will not allow my nation to be sucked into useless war based on lies.

I will not allow my nation to be stampeded into economic policies that benefit only the rich.

I will not allow my nation to surrender its liberties in order to protect freedom.

I will not allow my nation to slide back into racism, hatred, and intolerance.

I will not turn off my porch light, lock my door, and hide myself away in fear of Those People or That Thing.

I will deal with all problems responsibly, soberly, and confidently in the sure knowledge that "there is nothing wrong with America that what is right with America can't fix," and that "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear."

I will not be afraid. What about you?

 
While we are on the topic ...

-- From a BBC News article about The Journey, an unconventional church out of St. Louis, where the emphasis is on connection, service, and discovery.

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