I read the report about Tom Fox
, the peace activist from Clear Brook, Virginia, found dead in Iraq with a deep sense of sorrow. Didn't know the man, never met him. But the news struck me with the same intensity as if it were a friend who died. The fate of Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll is unknown. According to Newsweek
,there are 46 hostages, including 15 Americans, unaccounted for. We question the violence raging in different parts of the world,we rail against the unjust war in Iraq, weep for the dead,but most of us are powerless to do much to prevent them. Selfless people like Tom who knowingly face danger to help the distressed and do what they can to bring peace are very special. The excerpts are from a piece "Why Are We Here
", written by Tom Fox the day before he was abducted and published in CPTNet
(Christian Peacemaker Teams) on December 2, 2005.
- As I survey the landscape here in Iraq, dehumanization seems to be the operative means of relating to each other. U.S. forces in their quest to hunt down and kill "terrorists" are, as a result of this dehumanizing word,not only killing "terrorists," but also killing innocent Iraqis: men, women and children in the various towns and villages.
It seems as if the first step down the road to violence is taken when I dehumanize a person. That violence might stay within my thoughts or find its way into the outer world and become expressed verbally, psychologically, structurally or physically. As soon as I rob a fellow human being of his or her humanity by sticking a dehumanizing label on them, I begin the process that can have, as an end result, torture, injury and death.
- "Why are we here?" We are here to root out all aspects of dehumanization that exist within us. We are here to stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization. We are here to stop people, including ourselves, from dehumanizing any of God's children, no matter how much they dehumanize their own souls.