Testimonies for the Life of N. Gordon Cosby

gordon cosbyAs I said in yesterday’s post, the stories are beginning to pour in about the tremendous affect that Gordon Cosby had thousands of people around the world — and he did it without hardly ever traveling beyond his neighborhood of Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C.

(See links to testimonies below. Also see Elaina Ramsey’s In Remembrance of Gordon Cosby, a collection of Gordon & Mary’s writings for Sojourners over the years.)

As I preached outside the White House today, linking Palm Sunday with the movement against the Keystone XL pipeline, I could feel Gordon’s encouragement. I could hear him say: “Well, Jesus surely stirred up a hornet’s nest in Jerusalem and it looks like this new group against this pipeline has got some of that same spirit.”

Now we walk into Palm Sunday and Holy Week knowing that Gordon is cheering us on from that great cloud of witnesses. He’s getting a perspective on things that even he never had before.

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Does Wearing a Cross Make You a Torture-Supporter?

witness-against-tortureorigOver at Brian McLaren’s blog he’s been responding to the the recent Pew Forum study, reported by CNN.com, that correlates “White evangelical Protestants with those most likely to say that torture is often or sometimes justified.”

More than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

Additionally, evangelical pastor Gabe Salguero wrote a great piece in The Washington Post also responding to the data:

Torture is morally reprehensible. Christians, who serve a Christ who was tortured and murdered by a brutal Empire should know this to be true. Torture is not just an affront to the human dignity of the person being tortured but also on the one’s who are dong the torturing. Any society that sanctions torture has lost its moral compass and threatens the ethical integrity of all its people.

What about the Catholics?

The Pew research also shows that 19 percent of non-Hispanic Catholics think that torture “can often be justified.” This is the highest percentage of the religious breakdowns in this category. Nearly half of the Catholic interviewed said that torture “can often be” or “can sometimes be” justified.

But, on the same day that the report was released, 62 members of Witness Against Torture, started by a group of Catholics, were arrested at the gates of the White House demanding that the Obama administration support a criminal inquiry into torture under the Bush administration and the release of innocent detainees still held at the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp.

Each of those arrested wore the name of a Guantanamo inmate who had been cleared for release or who had died in prison.

“We sent a powerful message to the Obama administration and beyond,” said Witness Against Torture’s Matthew Daloisio, “that the rule of law can be restored only if the law is enforced. President Obama cannot deny indefinitely the mounting evidence of torture under Bush, and must move to hold those who committed, ordered, and justified torture to account.”

This civil disobedience was the culmination of a 100 Days Campaign to shut down Guantanamo.

Send these folks a note of thanks for representing true Christianity at the White House yesterday.