Friday, October 20, 2006

David Korten in Columbus, October 14, 2006

This is the beginning of my transcription of David Korten's remarks at the Earth Charter Summit that took place in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, October 14.

It is such a joy to be here in Ohio with such a great group of people --I've just been meeting extraordinary activists everywhere I go. And, I hope you'll excuse me if I just take a moment here to go shake hands with Granny D (laughter and applause). Granny D is such an inspiration, when I was facing my 65th birthday and thinking, "Well, you know, this is kind of a transition. I guess the rest of my life I should be starting to think about winding down and passing on the responsibilities." (Laughter) And Granny D of course is an extraordinary example of what we should all be doing with our elder years. She's a great inspiration.

Now, I'm also fascinated by your politics here. Dennis Kucinich is one of my heroes--one of the most visionary politicians of our time. (Applause). And of course I note that you cover the range, to a candidate for governor who really should be in the penitentiary. Anyhow, hopefully he will find his way to the appropriate outcome.

This is a very special weekend here, I'm sure you know this is one of four sets of activities by different initiatives. And of course the Earth Charter and the Earth Charter Summit is what brings together the visionary framework for all of the rest of our work. And I'm so pleased that the Earth Charter folks here in Columbus are framing the issue in terms of creating earth community, because that, to me, is really the way to frame the Earth Charter. That it presents the principles for the earth community that we must bring forth. And that gives the substance and the lead-in to action.

And then of course the other initiaives, CIRCA, which is focussed on ending corporate colonization--that is one essential step on the path to earth community. Then Simply Living, which working on, "Okay, how do we implement it in the way we live, the way we organize our living space? The way we organize our economies."

The key to this is positive. As was mentioned in the introduction, one of the things I've come to is resistance alone is a losing strategy. Ultimately, to win we must come forward to create the positive.

And then of course the fourth, and absolutely foundational element of this quadrangle is the Voting Rights Revival. And of course Ohio here reminded us all that, among all the democratic reforms we need, it starts with counting the votes. Absolutely foundational. So, I congratulate you all on your work, and thank you for the invitation. I hope my comments today will help put the work you're doing in a deeper historical, cultural, and to some extent spiritual context.

Now, the underlying message of the Great Turning is quite straightforward. We humans have come to the end of a long and deeply destructive era. It is time to turn this world around for our own sake, and for the sake of our children for generations to come.

There's good news and bad news, and it comes in the same package. The news is "business as usual is over". Peak oil, climate change, the collapsing U.S. dollar, and spreading social disinigration born of the marginalization of the majority of humanity are coming together in a constellation of forces desined to fundamentally change every aspect of modern life.

Now, whether this convergence of forces plays out as an epic human opportunity or the final human tragedy, will depend on the stories by which we understand what's happening, and undrestand the choices that it is ours to make. And I'm going to be talking about those choices.

(More to come)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Heads-up to people of faith for Strickland

It might be nice to have a counterpresence for this...

Columbus, OH – On October 18 Christians for Social Justice, an Ohio based organization, will educate voters that “Strickland is Wrong” on moral issues at the “Turnaround Ohio” Rally for Ted Strickland.

Ted’s Truth Truck along with handheld signs and banners will be used to expose Ted Strickland’s record on abortion and homosexual unions. Ted’s Truth Truck has visited several cities in Ohio since its launch on Sept. 28. Dozens of Christians will make the point that Ted Strickland’s votes and public statements on key social justice issues are contrary to the views of most of Ohio’s faith community.

Christians for Social Justice's wes (sic) site, is designed to compare some of Ted Strickland's votes, positions, and statements to the Biblical Christianity.

The “Strickland is Wrong” Voter Education Outreach will present a billboard truck, banners, and handheld signs displaying Strickland’s record on abortion and homosexual unions at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion (formerly PromoWest), 405 Neil Avenue in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday Oct. 18, 2006 from 5 - 7 PM

Appropriating "social justice" for a narrow conservative agenda...the mind boggles.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Earth Charter Summit

What: Earth Charter Summit 2006
When: October 14th, 2006 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Where: SGI-USA Columbus Community Center
1197 Noe Bixby Rd
Columbus OH 43213
Why: Because you support

I. Respect and care about the Community of Life
II. Ecological Integrity
III. Social & Economic Justice
IV. Democracy, Non-violence & Peace

In addition to "top-down" reforms, ... any lasting solution will require commensurate "bottom-up" reforms that build and strengthen solidarity at the people's level. These are the two interlinked prerequisites of change on a global scale.

Daisaku Ikeda, "The Challenge of Global Empowerment"

We share one planet. What happens in one country can affect the other. We are so inter-dependent that we cannot behave as if we live in isolation.

-- Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, interview in A Quiet Revolution

Sometimes when we think of global problems, we get disempowered. But when we take action at the local level, we are empowered.

-- Dr. Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement

Contact Ernestine Jackson for more info: 614-237-3815

Guest Speaker: David Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Letter from We Believe to Rod Parsley

September 18, 2006
Pastor Rod Parsley
World Harvest Church
4595 Gender Road
Canal Winchester, Ohio 43110

Dear Pastor Parsley,
Several Christian Clergy who are members of We Believe Ohio received your invitation to meet at Mt. Sinai Ministries in Cleveland on September 19. Your letter outlined your hope to explore how the resources of World Harvest Church, the Center for Moral Clarity, the World Harvest Church Ministerial Fellowship, and Reformation Ohio might be used to help area churches "win Ohio for Christ."

As members of We Believe Ohio, an interfaith group of religious leaders from across the state, we are concerned about your tactics of manipulating religion for political gain. Faith should inform public policy, but our Constitution does not permit the establishment of any one religion over another. Your wish to “win the state for Jesus Christ” may be shared by many. However, your repeated use of this kind of language in the political arena is exclusionary and crosses the line separating religious and governmental institutions, which has allowed religion to flourish in our state and nation.

We believe the most effective way to promote and protect all Ohioans is to lift our state’s diverse faith voices in support of the common good. Our faith calls us to build a state that includes and celebrates all Ohioans, affirms their dignity and protects their rights. Our faith calls us to build an Ohio in which children and adults no longer fall into poverty and lose their health care and housing. Our faith calls us to build an Ohio in which people earn a living wage to support their families. Our faith calls us to ensure that all children receive a quality education. Our faith calls us to invest in our neglected inner cities and rural areas. Our faith calls us to bring these moral issues into the public arena.

Religion should not be used to divide and exclude, it should unite and include. In your book Silent No More, you wrote of one of our faith traditions, “America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed.” Therefore, we can only assume that when you implore us to “win the state for Christ” you mean that the faiths and traditions of those who are not Christian in Ohio must lose, or even be destroyed. The implications of your perspective are frightening for Ohio.

As brothers and sisters in faith, we call upon you to end your divisive tactics that violate the American tradition of religious tolerance. End your campaign of manipulating religion for political gain, and end your rhetoric that separates Ohioans from one another. Some of the We Believe clergy who you invited to Tuesday’s meeting at Mt. Sinai Ministries plan to attend. We invite you, in the reconciling spirit of the God who loves us all, to join with us in building a united Ohio—an Ohio in which all of God’s people are accorded the dignity, well being and freedom that our faiths and our Constitution demand.

We Believe Ohio –
Northern Ohio Clergy Leadership
Imam Abbas Ahmad, First Cleveland Mosque
Rabbi Richard A. Block, The Temple-Tifereth Israel
Rev. Daniel Budd, The First Unitarian Church of Cleveland
Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, Chautauqua Institution
Rev. Felix Carrion, Euclid Avenue United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. Kenneth W. Chalker, First United Methodist Church
Rev. George T. Hrbeck, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry
Rev. Dr. John Lentz, Jr., Forest Hills Presbyterian Church
The Very Rev. Tracey Lind, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle, Antioch Baptist Church
Rabbi Howard H. Ruben, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple
Kuldeep Singh, Sikh Youth Federation
Rev. Georgiana Thornton, St. Paul AME Church

Columbus Area Ramadan Iftar Dinner

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 7, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Ohio Union West Ballroom, 1739 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-5200
DETAILS: Sharing Ramadan Iftar Dinner is a community event sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ohio Chapter.

Reservations requested by calling the CAIR-Ohio (Columbus) Office at 614-451-3232.

Please note, there is an OSU home football game at 3:30 so please carpool and leave early to avoid traffic delays. Valet Parking will be available near the Union entrance on High Street for a small fee.