Let Us Give Thanks
Nuclear Weapons Are Illegal
The United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons went into effect on January 22, 2021. Though the nations that actually possess them didn’t ratify the treaty, the international community has made it clear they should stop.
Roe v. Wade Is Overturned
While it doesn’t mean that people have seen the light on what’s wrong with abortion, it does remove a major obstacle toward making progress on protecting unborn children plus all of their families and communities that suffer from the violence used against them.
Last year, we commemorated the tragedy of Roe and the hopefulness of the U.N. Treaty. We still observe on January 22 the anniversary of a court decision that will take us years to recuperate from even when it’s now overturned. But because after all this time it’s finally no longer in effect, and we’ll have our first protest of abortion in general rather than of the court decision in particular, we have more hope for the future. Thus, our Day of Horror and Hope has added more hope.
The Death Penalty Keeps Losing Support
Despite a rise in violent crime in the U.S., two polls show that support for the death penalty is at a 50-year low.
Euthanasia for Depression is Ruled Unjust
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the euthanasia of a depressed woman in Belgium violated Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The woman was given a lethal injection at the age of 64 for “incurable depression,” a surprise to her psychiatrist and a deep anguish to her son. We can hope that people like this woman can get greater care than can ever be available when being killed is pushed.
Referendums against Poverty & Racism Succeeded
Referendums passed in the United States for Medicaid expansion in South Dakota, minimum wage increases in Nebraska and Nevada, and school lunches in Colorado.
Almost all referendums to abolish slavery entirely by removing the exception for those convicted of a crime passed by healthy margins The one exception was Louisiana, where wording was messed up and supporters asked people to vote against it and let them try with better wording next year. But the movement to remove this exception from all U.S. state constitutions is on track.
Quotation of the Week
Practicing Peace, 2007
Bayard Rustin, chief organizer of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s March on Washington, D.C., once spent a weekend in New York City doing political canvassing . . . tall tenements loomed over narrow streets, filtering out most of the sunlight and darkening the debris-littered sidewalks. His canvassing partner for the weekend said that for the first hours or so he had a difficult time following Bayard because he was erratic in his canvassing . . . After a while, his canvassing partner recognized the pattern: Bayard walked only on the sunlit side of the street and lingered for a few moments on each corner where he took pleasure in lifting his face toward the sun. After observing Bayard finding enjoyment in difficult circumstances, his canvassing partner concluded that Bayard had the strength to survive the abuse and jail sentences he endured as a civil rights organizer, in large part because he so deeply cherished the gift of life.