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Written by CPT's Tom Fox Day Before He Was Kidnapped PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Saturday, 03 December 2005 04:58
Written by CPT's Tom Fox the Day Before He Was Kidnapped
Why Are We Here?

Christian Peace Teams
- As I survey the landscape here in Iraq, dehumanization seems to be the operative means of relating to each other. U.S. forces in their quest to hunt down and kill "terrorists" are as a result of this dehumanizing word, not only killing "terrorist", but also killing innocent Iraqis: men, women and children in the various towns and villages.

It seems as if the first step down the road to violence is taken when I dehumanize a person. That violence might stay within my thoughts or find its way into the outer world and become expressed verbally, psychologically, structurally or physically. As soon as I rob a fellow human being of his or her humanity by sticking a dehumanizing label on them, I begin the process that can have, as an end result, torture, injury and death. "Why are we here?" We are here to root out all aspects of dehumanization that exists within us. We are here to stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization.

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Date: Sat, 03 Dec 2005 11:13:47 -0800
From: Jacob Rempel < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Subject: "Why are We Here?" by Tom Fox the day before he was abducted in Iraq

The following reflection was written by Tom Fox
the day before he was abducted in Iraq

Why are We Here?

By Tom Fox

December 3, 2005

The Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Iraq team went through a discernment process, seeking to identify aspects of our work here in Iraq that are compelling enough to continue the project and comparing them with the costs (financial, psychological, physical) that are also aspects of the project. It was a healthy exercise, but it led me to a somewhat larger question: Why are we here?If I understand the message of God, his response to that question is that we are to take part in the creation of the Peaceable Realm of God. Again, if I understand the message of God, how we take part in the creation of this realm is to love God with all our heart, our mind and our strength and to love our neighbors and enemies as we love God and ourselves. In its essential form, different aspects of love bring about the creation of the realm.

I have read that the word in the Greek Bible that is translated as "love" in the word "agape". Again, I have read that this word is best expressed as a profound respect for all human beings simply for the fact that they are all God's children. I would state that idea in a somewhat different way, as "never thinking or doing anything that would dehumanize one of my fellow human beings."As I survey the landscape here in Iraq, dehumanization seems to be the operative means of relating to each other. U.S. forces in their quest to hunt down and kill "terrorists" are as a result of this dehumanizing word, not only killing "terrorist", but also killing innocent Iraqis: men, women and children in the various towns and villages.

It seems as if the first step down the road to violence is taken when I dehumanize a person. That violence might stay within my thoughts or find its way into the outer world and become expressed verbally, psychologically, structurally or physically. As soon as I rob a fellow human being of his or her humanity by sticking a dehumanizing label on them, I begin the process that can have, as an end result, torture, injury and death. "Why are we here?" We are here to root out all aspects of dehumanization that exists within us. We are here to stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization.

We are here to stop people, including ourselves, from dehumanizing any of God's children, no matter how much they dehumanize their own souls.

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Christian Peacemaker Teams is an ecumenical violence-reduction program with roots in the historic peace churches.

Teams of trained peace workers live in areas of lethal conflict around the world.

CPT has been present in Iraq since October, 2002. To learn more about CPT, please visit http://www.cpt.org. Photos of our projects may be viewed at http://www.cpt.org/gallery

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 December 2005 04:58
 

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