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Grassroots Commentary

Iraq's Sun Darkened

Rona Swanson · Aug. 13, 2014

“[Rights] are not annexed to us by parchments and seals. They are created in us by the decrees of Providence, which establish the laws of our nature. They are born with us; exist with us; and cannot be taken from us by any human power, without taking our lives. In short, they are founded on the immutable maxims of reason and justice.” –John Dickinson, A Warning to the Colonies (Of the Right to Freedom; and of Traitors), 1766

There are days when the sun is darkened in my soul. To hear the news of what is happening in a cascade of violence and barbarism in Iraq is alarming and heart-breaking. When Might makes Right, then disregard and even gleeful destruction is the order of the day. There is a wickedness about the pleasure derived from stamping out other people’s freedoms and their ability to live in peace and tranquility. There is nothing tranquil about the rampaging wickedness of ISIS and its minions. There is no right under heaven that would validate their carnage. May we fly to the aid of the oppressed in every way that we can.

As human beings, we all long for, strain for, and seek after, the ability to live our lives in an orderly fashion as we see fit.

The worldview paths diverge when we, as cultures and societies, determine how that order will be maintained. Some enforce it with threats and violence, respecting only raw power. Others do the work, the REAL work, of growing alongside their neighbors and abiding by rules that guarantee every man, every woman, every child, a voice and an opportunity to live and grow and contribute.

As Americans, we have decided that freedom is worth the work.

The rights granted to us are handed down from heaven and it is our duty to uphold them.

We must respect one another.

We must commit to the HARD WORK of living together without the threats and violence.

We must also be prepared to disarm and disable those who have taken the other path of death and destruction. Only by muzzling evil can good people live in peace.

May God grant us sober wisdom to see and understand the choices before us.

May we be solid and stalwart defenders of the vulnerable and defeaters of those who would perpetuate wholesale destruction.

Psalm 10:18, New International Reader’s Version (NIRV): "You stand up for those whose fathers have died
 and for those who have been beaten down. You do it so that no one made of dust may terrify others anymore.“

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