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Today marks the seventh anniversary of the opening of George W. Bush’s Guantanamo concentration camps, which have stained the image of America around the world. Today, in gatherings of people of faith across the United States, prayer will be joined for the end of the regime of torture that Bush introduced. This an initiative of the National Religious Coalition Against Torture, whose website now features a “countdown clock.” It will count down the hours until President Obama’s first workday in office, when we hope and expect he will sign an executive order ending torture. If President Obama does not issue an executive order by 9:00 am (EST) on January 21st, the clock will begin “counting up,” marking the hours that have passed without an executive order ending torture. Here is the NRCAT appeal:
While the clock is counting down, we call on everyone to join in our multi-faith prayer to end U.S.-sponsored torture by including the prayer in a worship service between January 11 and the inauguration. We have developed a 2-sided bulletin insert with the prayer printed on one side and information about the Declaration of Principles for a Presidential Executive Order on Prisoner Treatment, Torture and Cruelty on the other. This brief prayer could be included in regularly scheduled services or as part of special services marking the January 11th anniversary or celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to justice and human rights.
NRCAT will focus much of our media outreach in January on the participation of religious congregations in this interfaith prayer, so please let us know that you plan to participate by clicking here.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.
I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.
Average number of pounds of pennies in an American home:
There were new reports of cannibalism in North Korea.
The Finnish postal service announced it will begin mowing lawns on Tuesdays.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”