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    Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    Prince of Darkness goes public


    The descent of humility, generosity, charity, meekness, chasity, temperance, perserverance.
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    The ascent of pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, sloth.
    What would it look like in the extreme? It would look like us in our worst situations and opportunities.
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    Thank Goodness that most countries' governments can keep the lid on our desires. Somewhere between feeding us, locking us up, repression, idol worship, or the moral dictates of the citizens, the genie of chaos can be contained.
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    But not in the Congo it seems, where critical mass of evil has been reached.
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    Africa is a wild continent where it is beast against beast for survival. But with the wild animals there is no evil, just hunger and the laws of nature. Only man can be good or evil. Animals are just animals, the animal-rights folks notwithstanding.
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    But man is more. Filled with grace, or filled with darkness we have souls that dictate to our animal nature unless we are sleeping or dead.
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    What's happening in the Congo is a proof of the sin we can exhibit when unrestrained by failed government. Take away the constrictions of neighbor and law, and good will pretty much seem the same, but evil will gain vibrant color and depth, red and deep.
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    This is scary no? All those vices we treasure in private really look like the Congo in public. Anger becomes murder, lust becomes murder. Pride, avarice, envy, gluttony, and sloth become murder. And all of it a lie as to what we could be given our breath of life soul and grace.
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    Let's not be too smug, that our little private vices suppressed by strong government makes us seem nice. Too many of us placed in the Congo would be doing Congo things to our amazement.
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    Our little vices are only such because we are repressed by force of fear and society. Let us loose and their color would be vibrant too like the blood vice always calls for.
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    Our sometimes friend, that Dark Prince, has only the two tools of murder and lies. Restrained as in most of us, or loose like in the Congo, it's the same thing, and to God the same sin.
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    Saints are Saints because they recognize all sin as murder and injury, and everything not of God as a lie.
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    Except for the grace of God, we are the Congo. We can hide that fact thanks to law and society, but hiding it is not the same as not being it.
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    Sexual atrocities in Congo's volatile province of South Kivu extend "far beyond rape" and include sexual slavery, forced incest and cannibalism, a U.N. human rights expert said Monday.
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    "The atrocities perpetrated by these armed groups are of an unimaginable brutality that goes far beyond rape," she said in a statement. "Women are brutally gang raped, often in front of their families and communities. In numerous cases, male relatives are forced at gun point to rape their own daughters, mothers or sisters."

    The statement continued: "Frequently women are shot or stabbed in their genital organs, after they are raped. Women, who survived months of enslavement, told me that their tormentors had forced them to eat excrement or the human flesh of murdered relatives."
    The Panzi hospital, a specialized institution in Bukavu near the Rwandan border, sees about 3,500 women a year suffering fistula and other severe genital injuries resulting from atrocities, Erturk said.

    Army units have deliberately targeted communities suspected of supporting militia groups "and pillage, gang rape and, in some instances, murder civilians," she said.
    The tactics include "pillaging, torture and mass rape," she said, citing a December incident when 70 police officers took revenge for the torching of a police station in Karawa by burning the Equator town, torturing civilians and raping at least 40 women, including an 11-year-old girl.

    No police officer has been charged or arrested in relation to the atrocities, she said, adding that similar operations have since been carried out in Bonyanga and Bongulu, also in Congo's northwest.

    "The justice system is in a deplorable state," Erturk said. "It is overwhelmed even by the limited number of cases, in which women brave all obstacles and dare to report sexual violence. Reports of corruption and political interference in the judicial process are widespread."

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