"I am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values," prophetically declared Rev. Martin Luther King in NYC's Riverside Church exactly one year before his assassination. "When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more...

Military spending - when including past, present and preparations for future wars - constitutes the largest portion, by far, of the federal budget excluding Social Security (which is really a trust fund and has no business being part of the official federal budget). For fiscal 2018, the official US military budget is over $824 billion, a sum larger...


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INTERFAITH STATEMENT FROM THE MAHONING VALLEY IN OHIO ON THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS REGARDING THE HOLY CITY*

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6)

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem...how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing (Matthew 23:37)

Who did take His Servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless - in order that We might show him some of Our signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth [all things] (Surah 17:1)

As People of the Book and members of Abrahamic faiths, we reaffirm our covenantal bonds and common commitment to peace and justice in God's world, particularly in the Holy Land.

Whether hailed as Jerusalem (city of peace) or al-Quds (the abode of holiness), we recognize the unique status and pivotal destiny of this Holy City as well as its vital significance as a sacred space for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

As such, we faithfully and firmly reject any unilateral action by any group or individual to undermine its sacred standing and violate its unique status as an international and interfaith city of peace.

We regard President Trump's recent designation of occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a grave and dangerous error, one that brazenly violates international law and openly reverses some seven decades of established American policy. The provocative and offensive nature of that unilateral proclamation is greatly aggravated by his misguided decision to move the US embassy to the Holy City and thereby pre-empt any negotiated settlement on its final status.

We view these reckless and alarming actions by our government with grave concern, and call upon the Trump Administration to immediately withdraw them and fully recognize the acute political and religious sensitivity of the status of Jerusalem al-Quds in any final and sustainable peace settlement in the Holy Land and beyond.

*composed by Rev. Dr. Lange; signed on Jan. 24 by scores of clergy and laity representing Abrahamic faiths; and sent to the White House in February. There was no response.

Lenten Protest Fast

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE BEGINS PROTEST FAST

To call attention to the many social and economic problems facing Appalachian Ohio and to protest the utter failure of the GOP-dominated government, especially at the federal level, to even meaningfully address, let alone sufficiently meet, the many dire needs of this distressed region, one Congressional candidate has started a protest fast on Ash Wednesday and intends to continue it until Easter Sunday.

"The governmental abuse and neglect suffered by working families and the communities of need in Appalachian Ohio is a social sin, and should be a crime", said Werner Lange, a certified Democratic candidate for Ohio's gerrymandered 6th Congressional District.

"Instead of serving the salt of the earth here, the current GOP incumbent has joined the Trump regime in pouring salt into their wounds."

"What this hard-pressed region needs is a public servant of the 99%, not a bought-off political puppet of the 1%. Whether that is me or the other fine Democratic candidate in this race, is up to voters to decide. Either of us would be a thousand times better than the current (mis)Representative."

Lange eats a meal with solid food only once per day, and from sunrise until sunset takes only water or juice. On the sixth day of his fast, Monday, Feb. 19, Lange will be in front of the Steel Trolley Diner (140 E. Lincoln Way) in Lisbon starting at noon for his first of weekly vigils.

Protest fasting has a long and proud legacy in America and the world. To show their solidarity with the 1773 Boston Tea Parry, American patriots throughout the colonies engaged in fasting on June 1. American and British suffragettes effectively used protest fasting and hunger strikes to help gain the right to vote. Cesar Chavez, founder of the National Farm Workers Association, lived almost exclusively on water for 25 days to help win a long strike against corporate agribusiness. Fasting was used by American students to protest the war in Vietnam. Gandhi used fasting to help end end colonial rule in India; and Mandela did the same to gain freedom for himself and South Africa. Most recently, the Presbyterian Hunger Program encouraged clergy and laity to join a 5-day Freedom Fast just last month to protest unfair labor practices against the United Farm Workers union.

"Like prayer, fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps connect us deeper with the Power of Love, not the love of power", said Rev. Dr. Lange.

The Spirit of '76 lives on...


From our family to yours: 

Thank you and God bless!