Saturday, June 10, 2006

Purpose of the Canaanite's Call

This blog is primarily an archive of submissions for the Canaanite's Call, a publication for radicals of faith. There will also be additional posts that have not been published in the paper, though they will be in keeping with the spirit and purpose of the paper. The following piece explains our mission:

When I sat down for coffee and picked up the newspaper one Sunday morning (I generally read the Olympian), I was struck by a great big photo on the cover of the South Sound section. Two women squared off with each other, nose to nose, faces red with anger, yelling and pointing fingers at one another. What was the argument? …The war in Iraq.
According to an editorial published several days later, many complaints had been sent to the Olympian since that photo was published, accusing the editors of a bias against the peace movement and of choosing to portray the only bitter incident in a largely peaceful gathering.
The truth of the matter, however, is that there is a great deal of bitterness and acrimony between the two sides of the war debate, and that little communication occurs between peace movement activists and war supporters.
War supporters often label peace activists as ungrateful, naive, and cowardly hippie-dippies who ought to just get a job – or leave the country. Peace activists often label war supporters as ignorant, aggressive country-bumpkins who ought to put up their shotguns and get an education.
Both sides yell “Support Our Troops!”; it has become the vitriolic rallying call to hippie-dippies and country-bumpkins alike. Yet I have yet to meet a single person (outside of the Catholic Worker at least) who has offered their living room couch to a disabled homeless veteran.
The problem in the debate is that very few people are willing to approach their ideological opponents as intelligent, thoughtful human beings. The spirit of fellowship is utterly absent. This dynamic is not limited to the war debate, either. It has shown up between business people and homeless people, business advocates and homeless advocates, cops and the homeless, Evergreen students and townies, liberals and conservatives, etc.
It is the official position of this paper, the Canaanite’s Call, that our opinions, though important to us, are far less valuable than the way in which we relate to others. Our purpose is to humanize people who have been dehumanized, to offer dignity to the marginalized, to advocate for direct personal responsibility for community problems, and to advocate for reconciliation and love between all people.
You will not find a lot of political diatribe in the Canaanite’s Call, though what you read may alter your political views. What you will find is the human story brought to life in a politicized and polarized world. No matter what your politics are, this paper will challenge you, disturb you, and could even make you angry. Or it might make you fall in love with your neighbor.
-Phil Owen, editor

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