Dear Bishop Spong,
I just read “Making Sense of Violence and Terror in Boston”, and am surprised and disappointed. i have been an Australian fan of yours since before you were well known in this country. I have always found you to be fair and generous of spirit, taking responsibility for what you said.
The angry outbursts the young men who let of two bombs and grenades in Boston were shocking and horrifying, but do not come out of a vacuum. They need to be seen in the light of the gross damage and devastation caused in Iraq, and now Afghanistan by America and Australia and other “willing” nations. The aid agencies with access to Iraq determined the deaths to exceed 600,000. That includes hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who were killed, and never made it to hospital, but were buried that day by family, friends, tribe. They were not counted in official US figures. CIties were rendered unliveable by the focused destruction of infrastructure, hospitals, schools. Americans are still killing Moslems in Afghanistan. No wonder these Moslem boys were angry. It does not excuse their actions, but it certainly explains it.
I lived in Boston for 10 years, and the imperialist chutzpah of the US was a shock to me – I saw a real sense of entitlement that the US had, giving themselves the right to go stomp into any other sovereign nation at it’s pleasure. It is the substrate to the antipathy to the US of so many around the world today, including two Chechnyan young men.
Bishop Spong, where is your acknowledgement of the damage done around the globe by America, particularly since George W Bush’s terms? America maims, oppresses, deeply hurts, and expects no repercussions? I’m saddened that you seem to have forgotten that. Oppressed, beleaguered people react. The Boston experience was just such a reaction – two boys carrying the resentment of many.
I pray to hear you call the US to account for the harm, past and present, and for a blossoming of acceptance and responsibility for actions against peoples and nations of the world. America has such potential, but greed and dirty tricks seem pre-eminent.
The Boston bombings are a call to America to question what contribution the US has in what happened. You have been a clarion for peace. Be so now, please.