Friday, December 28, 2012

Steve Clemens: "If We Wish to Stand with the Holy Innocents, We Must Stand in Opposition to Empire"

. . . This year . . . the thoughts of many Americans will be focused on the twenty innocent children gunned down at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut two weeks ago. And we should mourn their loss as well as the teachers and other adult school staff. Maybe this loss will help us as a people gain empathy for the other Holy Innocents victimized each week in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere by un-manned aerial vehicles – drones, with the names of Predator and Reaper, as though they are part of nature’s own cycle of life and death rather than the macabre machinery of military domination.

The Biblical story of King Herod killing the Holy Innocents in his frantic attempt to destroy any possible competition to his political rule is how all empires react to threats they perceive. If we wish to stand with the Holy Innocents, we must stand in opposition to empire, the creator of more victims. The candles we light are reminders that even in the midst of darkness, we are called to bear witness to the light we have been given. Quakers are known for reminding us that everyone has a spark, a glimmer, a light within – that of God or the divine within each of us. May we fan, feed, nurture that spark within us, within each other, as we remember the lives lost, the futures squandered, the hopes dashed by war, and help us to recommit to stand with the survivors demanding an end to the violence – especially that visited on children.

– Steve Clemens
"Remembering the Holy Innocents"
Remarks for Children of War Candlelight Service
Minneapolis, December 28, 2012

Related Off-site Link:
Drone Strikes Are Causing Child Casualties – 178 So Far – Robert Greenwald (, December 26, 2012).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
John Pilger on Resisting Empire
Quote of the Day – December 19, 2012
Quote of the Day – July 24, 2012
Let’s Also Honor the “Expendables”
John le Carré’s Dark Suspicions
Tariq Ali Discusses Rudyard Kipling
In Search of a “Global Ethic”

Image: Steve Clemens.

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