Originally created 01/24/02

President Bush, attorney general stand on slippery slope



This is a tragic and absurd moment in American history. Life will never be the same, for our universe was shattered Sept. 11, 2001, as we watched in horror the symbols of American power tumble to the ground. At that moment, we knew we had encountered an evil we only spoke of in whispers from the corners of our subconsciousness.

As the dust settles and smoke clears, it is evident people of faith must be vigilant in the proclamation and praxis of our beliefs.

Our leader, President George W. Bush, and his attorney general, John Ashcroft, stand upon a slippery moral slope as they attempt to respond to this horrific act with legal procedures that shred the foundation of our Constitution and ignore the Judeo-Christian ethic woven into the fabric of American culture.

People of alleged Arab descent are being detained without access to legal representation and, in some cases, being held at secret locations. The attorney-client privilege, which has been lauded the world over as one of the great laws instituted within American jurisprudence, is being threatened by shortsighted political pundits.

This administration is considering secret tribunals to prosecute persons who are "alleged" to have knowledge of this terrorist attack.

We live in a country where the ethic of "due process" is valued over understandable rage and anguish, but we cannot subvert our values to provide an emotional anesthetic to our deep sense of sorrow and justified anger.

I am disturbed as a person of conscience and faith by the actions of this administration. I in no way want or attempt to demonize decent but flawed persons such as our president and administration, but I speak out of a deep sense of commitment to Christ and the ethic of democracy. I speak from the tradition and perspective of a people who understand and know what injustice is and the horrific effects it has upon individuals, family and the fabric of community ...

Pastor Otis Moss III, Augusta

(Editor's note: The writer is the pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta.)