Sunday, December 10, 2006

Today is Human Rights Day

Today is UN Human Rights Day. When I mentioned this in the comments of the last thread, Holly commented that it was cool to find out that her birthday was Human Rights Day. So a very happy birthday to Holly!

On the subject of candles, here's that link to Rene's candle page again. In the last thread, puddle wrote:
I just talked to Thankful, she sez to tell you she's internets deprived, but wanted you all to know she showed Rene the candle site, and he was really moved, kept saying Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Very thankful family Thankful comes from! She came by her name honestly, lol!
puddle | Homepage | 12.10.06 - 12:09 am
Anyway, since Human Rights Day *is* a UN thing, this seems like an appropriate place to post the UN Millennium Development Goals:

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Promote gender equality and empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal health
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development

I encourage everyone to read more about the goals, and do what you can to support them. And I will leave you with part of a sermon by Desmond Tutu:

And, God says, God says, "Yes, I do have a dream. Like, Martin Luther King, Jr." God says, "I, too, have a dream. I dream that my children one day will discover that they are family."

Now, that, actually, is not sentimental. It's one of the most radical things that Jesus ever uttered: "They are family." Family, you don't choose your relatives. Sometimes you wish you could. Family: a gift from God to you. And you: a gift to them from God.

And, in this family, there are no outsiders. Just all, all… all belong. It's an incredibly radical thing. All, all, all. You see, when Jesus spoke about… "If I be lifted up, I will draw…" he didn't say I will draw some. He didn't say I will draw some. He said, "I will draw all, all into this incredible divine embrace of love." All. Beautiful, not so beautiful. Tall; stumpy, like me. … Rich, poor, white, black, red. All, all, all, all. All belong. All. All. Gay, lesbian, so-called straight, all. [Laughter and applause.] All, all. All. All. [Applause.] All. All. All. All. All. Sharon, Arafat, all. Roman Catholic, Protestant in Northern Ireland. All. All. Bush, bin Laden. All. It's quite serious because, you see, God has no enemies.

Secondly, my enemy is not God's enemy. That's incredible: That we are family. And, if we are family, we are not doing our sisters and brothers a favor when we help them out of their poverty. The ethic of family: from each according to their ability, to each according to their need. If we are family, how the heck do we justify spending as much as we do on what we call defense budgets? Budgets of death and destruction. [Applause.] When we know, we know full well that a minute fraction of those budgets would ensure that our sisters and brothers, those people out there, would have clean water to drink, would have enough food to eat, would have a decent education and health care, would have a safe environment in which to live. It's our sisters and brothers out there in those refugee camps. Those are not statistics. It is the mother of someone. It is the child of someone. Loved. And this God that we worship says, "I have no one, except you, to help me realize my dream."
You're family too, Oscar, so please come back to visit as time permits. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, you don't get to choose your family. And God never said it was going to be easy.

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