Close Guatanamo Bay

By Eric Garbison  

Thursday, January 11 is the fourth year of the opening of Guantanamo Bay.
 
Representing Cherith Brook Community, I will be joining hundreds of protesters in DC this Wednesday calling to shut down the prison. I plan to play a supportive role for those risking arrest.
 
Please pray that we will speak truth to the depravity of this situation. You can be in solidarity by talking to five people that day about the issues of torture, lack of legal representation, loss of habeas corpus, arrest on hearsay, “extraordinary rendition” (prisoners shipped to secret prisons in countries that openly accept torture for interrogation). 
 
As you go throughout the day to consider the words of the author of Hebrews, “Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured as though you yourselves were being tortured.”  (13:3)
 
Attached are three articles that will also guide your reflections and keep you mindful of the issues at stake from Christian points of view.   I encourage you to use them for personal and public reflection.  I want to point out that two of the three are written by military personnel.
 
Finally, consider the irony of the Church’s witness today: Early Christians were imprisoned and persecuted; many of those persecuting, arresting and torturing today would embrace a Christian identity or consider their actions for some greater “Christian” good. 
 
But the church must learn again how to be oppressed by embracing those who are and remembering the tortured Messiah whom we claim to follow.  The nonviolent witness of Jesus was central to the church’s proclamation of his meaning for the world:  “When he was abused he did not return abuse; when he suffered he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for justice…”  ( I Peter 2:22ff).
 
Let us find again the courage of Peter and Paul who, after being arrested and ordered to stop speaking in the name of the crucified and tortured one, told the Powers-That-Be “you yourselves judge which is right in God’s sight–to obey you or to obey God.  For we cannot stop speaking…”

Eric and Jodi Garbison are founders of Cherith Brook, a new ministry located in the Northeast neighborhoods of Kansas City, MO.

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