Thursday, 24 July 2008

Justice and peace kiss - solidarity with the Cartoon Blog from a woman Bishop?

I have sent a small black armband to Dave Walker at the Cartoon Blog - it should arrive at the Lambeth conference sometime over the weekend. (Thank you Dr B.) Dave was threatened with legal action if he didn't remove his campaigning articles about the SPCK bookshops in the UK from his blog, which was certainly not an easy decision for him. In a bygone century a black armband was worn as a sign of grief and I suppose the black wristband I'm sending him is trying to say something about my sadness and grief about yet another sign of the death of free speech.
The black wristbands pictured here, one of which Dave will get, were the idea of Bishop Margot Kässmann of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover to protest at human rights abuses in China in the run up to the Olympics. ENI reports her as saying:
"It shows that people want to stand up for others and show what they believe in." ...
Kässmann told the German Protestant news agency epd on 16 July that the reaction to the initiative had been overwhelming. Originally 2000 bracelets were produced for athletes and others attending the games, to be worn as a protest against the violation of human rights in China and Tibet. The idea then found a huge response in schools, sports clubs and church congregations. The black silicon bracelets are inscribed with a verse from the Bible, "righteousness and peace will kiss each other" (Psalm 85:10). You can read the full story here.

I suppose sending one of these black wristbands to Dave is my way of saying, this setback concerns all of us and we need to find a way of standing up and speaking out against wrong - in totalitarian capitalist societies and in democratic capitalist societies. Dave please feel supported, not for having removed the posts about SPCK, but for having dared to speak out in the first instance. Not many people even bother to campaign in such a personal way.
For more information and to find out how to find the deleted posts you can got to Doug Chaplin's MetaCatholic blog.