Yesterday I enjoyed the cool weather and the colorful, falling leaves. I need seasons and I savor them. We may not get snow right here, but certainly there is a sense of the light moving south and the planetary response. I am well-tucked into fall.
I am reading The Sutras of Abu Ghraib, Notes from a Conscientious Objector in Iraq by Aidan Delgado.
It demonstrates so clearly what The Lucifer Effect shows, how what we have done in Iraq has been as harmful to our own people as it has been to their's. This is a painful and important book to read. I think there has to be some accountability for the horrors committed and the permission granted by the leaders of this country. How is our president and our congress not responsible for what has gone on?
I have been re-visiting my childhood, feeling how strongly my parents and upbringing did not fit the norm, and feeling gratitude for that. We moved often, and, therefore experienced adjustment and not fitting in. That allows perspective. It is what allowed Delgado to reach and persist in his need and desire to be declared a conscientious objector.
I had not realized that one of the original drafts of the Second Amendment included an objection for conscientious objectors - that "no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service." According to Delgado, "The proposal was voted down and reworded. Thus, conscientious objection was just a few votes shy of becoming one of our fundamental freedoms, along with the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion and the freedom to bear arms: the freedom not to bear arms."
We each need to feel comfortable enough in ourselves to speak out. It is a challenge to go against peer pressure, against the norm, and people are doing it, and are writing about it. I feel hopeful that we are in a place of change, and can now begin to work together to address and repair environmental and psychological damage before it is too late.