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Peace & Life Connections #18 - July 16, 2010


In the News - Rules Change for U.S. Vets PTSD Benefits

        The Obama administration has announced new rules easing the burden for veterans of all wars to get disability benefits for PTSD. They no longer have to “take notes” on dates and people to show they were in specific traumas, only that they were in fact where combat was. This will especially help U.S. women soldiers, who don’t do direct combat but are often in its vicinity. This is also helpful on all issues of violence, since saying that violence leads to post-trauma symptoms is like saying that water is wet. The more we as a society acknowledge how its tentacles spread beyond the dead victims, the better we will be able to heal and prevent it. 

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In the News – U.S. Presbyterian Assembly Good News / Bad News

        The good news is that the Assembly is now on record opposing the war in Afghanistan, to “cease direct combat operations” and “peruse non-combat actions that will support stability, prosperity, and peace.” The bad news is that a statement to educate about one of abortion’s devastating effects, coercion against women, was deliberately watered down. The proposed statement was “that we stand with all women against the injustice of any forced or coerced abortions.” They added “and the injustice of any forced or coerced decisions to carry a pregnancy to term.” The “pro-choice” ideology will not have the pain of abortions inflicted on unwilling women to be acknowledged by itself, despite its shocking level of prevalence.

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Observations from the International Peace Research Association (IPRA)

CL Weekly 18       Co-editors of Consistently Opposing Killing, Stephen Zunes and Rachel MacNair, are pictured in front of Zunes’ organizational sign. Both attended IPRA in Australia last week and observed again the phenomenon that internationally the attitude toward abortion is far less extreme and polarized as it is in the United States. There will be other countries with similar problems, of course, but when people come together from different nations, there tends to be a more positive reception. The presentation of our survey led to a discussion of the actual merits of the survey, rather than a distraction on the abortion issue being included in it.  

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Members Act - Interfaith Peace Work

        Veronica Whitty, an officer of Respect Life (the UK branch of CL) and a CL Advisory Board member, was part of a unique Christian/Muslim women's peace event.  The women met to pray for peace and honor the Virgin Mary with Muslim and Christian readings. 

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Quotation of the Week

Nat Hentoff, columnist

“You Don’t Have to Believe in God to Be Prolife,” U.S. Catholic, March 1989, 28-30, p. 29

        “A primary objection, I was told, to the seamless-garment approach was that it would dilute the anti-abortion message, and that was more important than any other because the unborn were being killed right now . . . I understand the point, but the anti-abortion movement would be stronger if it had more members – members across the spectrum of American politics, religion, and no religion.”

[The same thought applies internationally, of course.]

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