Street theatre in churches? Straight talk, to Washington, on Philippines murders

OUTCROPPINGS . . . by Bob Cramer, June 15, 2007

USING STREET THEATRE AND STRAIGHT TALK
TO MOVE PUBLIC TO PRESS USA ON PHILIPPINES KILLINGS

In May, 2007, the Northern California-Nevada UCC Conference’s annual meeting sent a strong message to delegates to their denomination’s upcoming Synod.

Little seems to have happened after the 2005 Synod issued a plea for ending years of extra-judicial murdering of hundreds of pastors and church workers who agitate, in the Philippines, for social justice, the far-west UCC region said.

Conference delegates approved a call for the USA to stop proclaiming that the Philippines is a shining example of democracy in Asia . . . because it is NOT.

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On June 14, the communications director for a sister denomination, the California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church, reported that Bishop Beverly J. Shamana and other leaders had visited three areas impacted by the Philippine death-dealers.

Now, Nor-Cal United Methodist congregations are being visited by a team telling the stories of more than 800 victims over the past six years. “It’s clear why people of faith have been targeted,” writer Jeneane Jones quoted the Rev. Arturo Capuli, a member of the team using “street theatre” in congregations.

The victims “are leaders, for one thing. They awaken people. They enlighten people. They encourage people to stand up for their rights,” Capuli says. “Rights” include working for better conditions for farmers.

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Some delegates to the UCC’s regional meeting felt more than a resolution was in order. It would appear that the United Methodists may be demonstrating what the rest of us could do to pressure our government to disavow, and stop supporting, the ugly anti-democracy the USA refuses to effectively challenge. Any takers?