My God, My God

Why-Did-Jesus-Say-On-The-Cross-That-God-Had-Forsaken-Him.jpg“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

This has to be one of the most shocking and disconcerting utterances in all of Christian scripture. And coming from the mouth of Jesus, this cry of dereliction has the power to shake one’s faith to the very core.

In ways big and small, yes, we’ve known abandonment.  

I remember the day I received that fateful notice in the mail which began, “Greetings.”  Within what seemed only a few days, I was at the U.S. Army reception station at Ft. Polk, LA.

It hadn’t been more than a several months before  that I had begun seeing this wonderful Occidental College coed. Thoughts of her had begun to fill my waking moments and occupy my dreams at night. And now, I wasn’t sure I would ever see her again.

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ICUJP Condemns Inflammatory Threats Against Muslims from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz


In the wake of the tragic deaths and injuries in Brussels on Tuesday, March 22, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz callously poured fuel on the fires of hatred and bigotry by issuing inflammatory attacks on Muslims.

Asked about the attacks in Belgium, Trump announced that "We're having problems with the Muslims." He added: "You need surveillance, you have to deal with the mosques whether you like it or not." Meanwhile, Cruz said "[w]e need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized."

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America's Terminal Illness

GettyImages-460019528.jpgThere is an ongoing conversation about race matters in this nation and in fact all over the world. Lights from our political stage are ablaze with xenophobia, racist rants and unapologetic crudeness that set in motion acts of cruelty and savagery.

Conversations on the militarization of the police, the body count of black men killed in streets at the hands of police, the issues raised by justice movements, including ‘Black Lives Matter,’ point to a pernicious evil we call racism and its interrelatedness to other systems of wickedness.

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Free Leonard Peltier

peltier021.jpgAfter 39 1⁄2 years of unjust imprisonment, why this call now? The answer is that his international defense committee has mounted a campaign for clemency. We want Leonard Peltier free before President Barack Obama leaves office.

And I’m appealing to the ICUJP to do everything in its power to help, not only to free a good individual but to lift up the Indian people of the Americas. (Now, as to whether I use the term “Indians,” “American Indians,” “indigenous persons,” “Native Americans,” or “First Peoples,” their activist community hasn’t agreed on this. Leonard says, “I am an Indian.”)

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ICUJP Wants Gitmo Closed

Jon Krampner, ICUJP member and 'Close Guantanamo Now' Organizer

Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” begins with this memorable sentence: “Someone must have traduced Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong, he was arrested one fine morning.”

Although only about 100 men are held captive there now, the Guantanamo prison camp has held more than 700 Joseph K’s in its miserable 14-year existence. For all the horrors of Guantanamo, though – torture, denial of human rights and violations of national and international laws such as the Eighth Amendment, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, and the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) – it is best understood not only as a physical location, but as an emblem of one of the most systematic and wanton episodes of disregard of human rights in the history of the American republic. This is why we will be seeking its closure in our action on Monday.

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Close Guantanamo Now!

ICUJP Visits Sen. Boxer's LA Office

boxer.jpgOn Aug. 28, 2015, representatives of ICUJP met with Maurice Lyles, Field Representative, and Brian Sutter, Legislative Correspondent, in Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-CA) downtown Los Angeles office.

The ICUJP delegation expressed its thanks to Sen. Boxer for her courageous stand on the Iran Nuclear Agreement, knowing how complex the issue is and how many conflicting points of view she must be hearing, from constituents as well as from colleagues and lobbyists.

ICUJP stands ready to call upon our membership to support her publicly on her stand whenever opportunities may arise.

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Bug Splat -- PlayStation Warriors

jr_kpk_full.jpgOur April 17, 2015, the Rev. Jerry Stinson provided the program which was entitled "Bug Splat -- PlayStation Warriors" ("Bug Splat" being the actual military term for a drone kill). It was a superbly researched account of the history of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) -- that is, drones -- and their increasing use around the world for surveillance and by Israel and the United States for targeted assassinations.

While drones, which can be as small as an insect or as large as a cropduster, can have positive uses such as search and rescue or firefighting, it is the escalating use by the military and especially the CIA (which denies using them so cannot be held accountable) that is cause for grave concern.

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Reflection: 'Hope' by Stephen Rohde

(Originally published on March 16, 2007)

hope.jpgA few weeks ago, I left an ICUJP Friday morning meeting very depressed. I came away worried about the very future of ICUJP. I was deeply concerned whether we would be able to continue to sustain the organization financially. I was equally worried about our focus and whether we were actually advancing our mission.

I drove to my office deeply worried not just about ICUJP but about those who are suffering in the United States and around the world because of injustice and war and violence. ICUJP exists to serve them and without ICUJP the struggle for peace would have one less peacemaker and the struggle for justice one less justice seeker. 

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Reflection: 'Finding Hope after September 11' by Stephen Rohde

(Originally published in Spring 2002)

911_tributeB.jpgThe unbelievably savage attacks on September 11 prompted conflicting feelings in all of us. I felt scared, angry, confused. How could this be happening in American soil? How dare these fanatics attack innocent people going about their daily lives

Then I began to fear what America would do in retaliation. For years we have pleaded, cajoled and threatened warring nations around the world, from the Middle East to Northern Ireland to Kosovo, to settle their ancient differences through peaceful negotiations and international treaties, not through escalating war, renewed violence and ever more bloodshed.

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