Very rarely do I venture into the realm of politics on my blog. Mama always told me there are some things you don't discuss in polite society. These are politics, religion, and sex. Seeing as how I've violated her proscription on religion and sex on these very pages, let's go for a troika and blast the politics taboo as well.
Here's the background. Several years ago, a young priest from the diocese of Renk came to our parish as a home-away-from-home parish while he was studying at seminary. Renk is in Southern Sudan. He brought with him stories of genocide, Arabic north against the native African south (mostly indigenous Dinka), Islamic north against the traditionally Christian south. This was before Darfur. This was before George Clooney and the world wanted to help.
Our parish partnered with the diocese of Renk to build schools, buy a seed drive, establish a health clinic. Our parish became a refuge for the Lost Boys and Sudanese families driven from their homeland by rape, murder, slavery, hunger, and war.
In the almost 60 years of Sudanese independence, almost 40 of those years have been engulfed by Civil War. There is a current peace agreement between the north and the south. On the 9th of January 2011, the southern Sudanese will vote on whether to remain part of Sudan or become an independent country.
No, we can't vote on that referendum. What we can do is urge our Senators and Congressmen to support southern Sudan's efforts to create a new nation. The Sudan Peace and Stability Act of 2010 offers American help to achieve the goals of the peace agreement while holding southern Sudan accountable.
There is a real chance for peace. At the same time there is a real threat that Sudan could erupt into violence along the lines of Rwanda. Will we stand by and let another Rwanda happen?
Regardless of whether you, like I, consider the southern Sudanese brothers and sisters in Christ, I would hope that we all agree that killing another human being for the simple reason that he or she is of a different tribe or ethnic group is wrong.
That's why you're getting a twofer blog today. That's why I'm urging you to stand for peace, freedom, and democracy in a part of the world that has been suffering for so long. That's why I'm asking you to ask your Representatives to support the Sudan Peace and Stability Act of 2010.
Peace be with you.
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