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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want all to thrive in

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

J. what's christian about bush - new mexico

we got to new mexico just before dusk last nite - the town of clovis. after going thru desolate, almost emply stretches of land, clovis appears to be a huge city of around 30,000 with tons of military. we stopped at a convenience store & ran into two such young - i mean entering 11th grade - males in uniform - military recruits, one black, one white. these two young men-boys told us, to our horror, they had already enlisted this summer in the army & were willing to die defending their country. they were getting paid $1500 per month for early enlistment (who could resist that, especially in new mexico) & they both believed that iraq did NOT attack the u.s. on september 11th, but that the war in iraq is a war against terrorism.
these young men spoke with us for probably close to 45 minutes & let me say, we (adults) have failed our youth in new mexico. ben, the young african american man, was of the mind-set that slavery was good for his people because how else would africans have come to this country. he was shocked when i informed him that africans had been here over 100 years before his people dragged here in chains. the young white man's whole life was military since his grandfather was killed in world war II, his dad in the vietnam war, and maybe he'll be killed in this war - he's willing to die for us.
ben told us his mother would be very happy, very proud of him, if he was killed defending his country. they both spoke of honor, pride, self-preservation. they both said that even though they thought bush was wrong going to war against iraq, even though they both believed we should not be at war with iraq, they personally would fight there to protect our country.
ben was much more open to speaking with us and even invited us to come talk to his class of air force rotc recruits - george nixed that idea without a moment's consideration, saying the officer who taught the class would never allow us in. okay. we talked for a few more minutes about how american was this & then we left sadly, hoping we had de-glorified war just a little bit in these boys' eyes.
we rushed off to the library to get voter reg forms before they closed. the first librarian didn't want to give us more than 5 forms but then we found another librarian, an older, robust white woman all smiles & charm who was willing to give us more. we asked her about how the voter registration was going there in clovis. she was so proud to say that this was the first time so many folks had registered... i smiled ... republican....i frowned. okay.
rae & i decided we didn't want to vigil in such a town after dark so off we went to the office depot to make some desperately needed 'pink slip bush' flyers & quarter page info sheets re:marriage quotes from the bible. a young white womon began helping us. we found out she was 21 years old with a 18 month old son and a husband who was in the military. missy said she didn't really want to vote. when asked about why, she said she hadn't really thought about voting, she certainly hasn't talked about voting & her husband didn't like talking about voting because he's in the military & was afraid he'd lose his job. missy identified herself as a christian, saying she's been one since she was 3 years old. she declined the opportunity to be part of our video but she did say that if she voted, she'd vote for bush because he's a christian. i asked her what is christian about bush & she basically said she wasn't sure, that she'd have to ask her pastor but she believed it was because he talks to god and because he's defending our country in iraq. i asked her if she thought we should be killing people in iraq and she said no. she didn't want her husband to go to iraq & she knew families in clovis that had lost their husbands and sons.
she said she didn't really like bush but kerry was awful because he wanted to kill babies and do stem cell research and let gay people marry. she told us a few months ago, she had to copy a holy union ceremony for these two, well, fellows, and she thought that just wasn't right. she said the bible said homosexuals are not holy - deferring again to her pastor for the exact chapter & verse of this information. we shared with her the marriage quarter pages we were just running off - it has several bible quotes on one side, and the marriage & divorce records of the opponents of same-sex marriage on the other. she confessed its been ages since she's actually read the bible but she was going to ask her preacher & look up those quotes because they weren't right either.
i asked her, as i do everyone who takes her position, trying to look into her very inner being "do you really want to dictate to me who i can marry or who i can't marry?"
she hesitated a few moments, thinking, and finally said 'no, i guess i don't.'
but bush is a christian, she continued, because of his protecting innocence unborn babies. i asked her what about innocent born children in iraq? she thought that was wrong but that abortion was wrong also. we talked about the difference between being pro-abortion and being pro-choice. she admitted how hard a decision it is for wimmin, her friends and she confessed she would take the morning after pill.....rae pointed out to her that bush would not allow her to do that if he had his way.
missy ended up taking all kinds of codepink info from us & promised to read up on the things we were giving her. she also REGISTERED to vote! AND she gave us big discounts on all the flyers we were copying!!! a sucess story!
we headed out of clovis & spent the nite at a beautiful new mexico rest stop under a tiny sliver of a moon and a myriad of stars we never get to view in the bay area!


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