Let's Hold Glenn Beck to His Pledge of Nonviolence

On his radio show last week, Glenn Beck read a vow of nonviolence, which he said he'd been working on for about a year, and pleaded his followers to take it as well. The pledge itself is actually quite good, and even Gandhian, at parts. Here is an excerpt:

Today, quarters of the Earth are endangered by tyranny, discrimination, barbarism, and subjugation by fellow man. With an understanding of basic rights and equal justice, we must remain loyal to God and deliver the rights which [God's] benevolence has bestowed upon us to those who have been denied the blessings of liberty, justice, and equality. More importantly, we must protect them from being robbed in the future, so that forever the world may be safe, and her people free from malevolence. Together, we must be prepared to do our duty no matter the cost and we must do so inexorably. We must march forth steadfast and unconquerable and defeat the forces of evil not by sword, but through our love for mankind and his creator.

Still-Open Wounds

Two days after his inauguration, President Obama signed orders to end the CIA’s use of torture as an interrogation tool and to close the notorious Guantánamo Bay detention center within a year. That deadline has passed, and about 200 prisoners are still being held at Guantánamo without due process. Meanwhile, plans for transferring prisoners to new locations proceed at a glacial pace: Only 30 detainees were moved in 2009. In November more than 40 senior leaders of major faith groups signed a statement with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) calling for the immediate closing of Guantánamo, saying that “closing Guantánamo Bay is necessary for the nation to continue healing the wounds left by this sad chapter of its history.”

For NRCAT executive director Richard Killmer, moving prisoners from one location to the other is not of value in itself. Rather, the United States must close Guantánamo as a symbol of its moral stance against inhumane detention. “The religious community has said from the beginning: Even if torture was efficacious, it would still be wrong because we believe human beings deserve to be treated with honor and respect,” Killmer told Sojourners.

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Sojourners Magazine March 2010
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