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Apathy of Biblical Proportions

by Open-Publishing - Friday 3 February 2006

Edito Wars and conflicts Prison USA Monica Benderman

by Monica Benderman

Across the country men and women have been jailed, not for committing a crime, but rather for making a conscious choice to live by their moral principles adhering to the laws of a higher authority. They are jailed because those who believe themselves to be in positions of authority are frightened by the truth of their stand and the strength of their convictions.

Who are these people of “authority”? They are people who have been elected to serve the citizens of our country; elected because campaign promises led us to believe they understood what the people wanted; promises, which, upon election, were accentuated by an oath of office in which they swore to uphold the law. They are not the authority; they are the people from among us chosen to follow the consensus of the people. They are people who seem to have forgotten who wrote the Law.

Some people write and say we must “submit to authority” and many argue that we must respect authority when authority tells us what to do.

Who is the authority of which they speak?

If they are referring to those currently in positions within our administration, what made them the authority? Until we, the people, elected them to their position, they were no different than us. Why do we believe that we give people who live, eat and breathe as we do authority over us - when we have simply given them an office from which to carry out the work given to them by “we” the people. Wouldn’t that give us as much authority as those who have been given the position by which to keep our country steered in the right direction? Isn’t it simply a matter of using our authority to make the system of government we have in place work for us?

There is ONE authority, and it speaks, well tries to speak to all of us. Some of us have chosen not to listen, while others have chosen to allow themselves to be led to believe they are not able to hear its voice without an interpreter. We all can hear the voice, if we are human. It comes to everyone of us - it is CONSCIENCE.

When did we, the people, reach the point that we needed someone to tell us right from wrong? We didn’t elect people to office to tell us the difference between the two. We elected them because they claimed to understand the difference and took an oath to keep this country moving in a direction far away from wrong. They have simply been given a position in a government designed to keep the country organized, not to keep the people from having a voice.

Now we are being tested. Some have risen to the test and have faced the challenge. Men like Sgt. Kevin Benderman saw wrong in the direction this country was being led, listened to HIS conscience, and refused to be part of what moved us further in that direction. For daring to listen to true authority, he was imprisoned. In a country where those in our administration had sworn to uphold the right to freedom and steer this country with integrity, Sgt. Benderman is imprisoned for demonstrating integrity and declaring his right to freely choose to follow his conscience.

Many are facing the same choice Sgt. Benderman had to make. Many are choosing the path he has chosen - to listen to their conscience when they know that the direction they have been steered is wrong. They too suffer injustice. They too have taken a lonely path for while many give voice to their support of a principled stand, most simply avoid controversy and watch from the sidelines as those who believe they have authority try to imprison the truth to avoid facing their own fears.

A long time ago a man was crucified for daring to challenge those who believed they had authority.

What was God thinking as He watched a man whose followers claimed was His son being beaten, persecuted and nailed to a cross? What was His hope for this man who had traveled the countryside teaching God’s word in the actions of his life? This man had many followers who professed to believe in his words, and who wrote of the glory of his actions. This man had disciples who claimed him to be a hero - the man with the courage and patient wisdom that they lacked. He believed them when they said they understood. Their actions proved differently as they simply watched while corrupt men in positions of “authority” destroyed the truth to avoid facing their own fears.

What was the lesson taught that these followers never learned?

How would our world be different if those who professed true love for this man, and true respect for how he had chosen to live, had grabbed the whips from those who beat him rather than stand silently watching, praying for God to save him?

How would we live today if those who claimed to have learned what this man lived to teach, had picked him up and carried him away rather than offering to pick up the cross and carry it for him when it became too heavy?

What makes people believe that God wanted the followers of this man to simply stand beneath the cross and watch him die rather than tearing it down, daring to give him the water those who abused him refused to offer?

What if the followers of this man had respected his life and the way he lived it to the same degree that they chose to glorify his death - so much so that they fought to keep him alive rather than watch him die, and gave him life to teach his lessons for 33 more years?

What if his followers saw him as a man of simple means yet strong in moral courage, someone they could emulate, rather than a deity placed high on a pedestal so as to have an excuse for never having to try to be what he had been?

This man wasn’t the authority. This man was the teacher. We have had many teachers over thousands of years and they have spoken to us with many different voices. When will we hear? We will hear when we realize there is only one authority, and it speaks to all of us - it comes to us in the voice we can recognize, in the way we alone will understand - Conscience.

When will we listen to our voice of conscience rather than the voices of strangers who have never walked in our shoes telling us to wait in apathetic silence while we watch the truth being imprisoned and beaten by those who wish it would simply go away?

I don’t care to ask, “What would Jesus do?” He’s not here.

What will YOU do, in his place?

Monica Benderman is the wife of Sgt. Kevin Benderman, currently serving a 15 month sentence at the Ft. Lewis RCF for daring to speak the truth, angering his command to the point that they fabricated a case against him rather than authorize his Conscientious Objector claim. For more please visit www.BendermanTimeline.com and www.BendermanDefense.org.

Monica and Kevin may be reached at mdawnb@coastalnow.net

Forum posts

  • Democracy and Freedom in the United States - it died in 2000 and it was buried in 2005. R. I. P.

  • Dear Monica,

    I think you hit the nail on the head: "We all can hear the voice, if we are human." I am coming to the conclusion that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. are no longer to be classified as human, if they ever were. In that case, the best thing to do would be to destroy them, the way we destroy any mad and dangerous animals. They have sold their souls (or integrity, to use a less loaded word) for power, forgetting that they were elected to serve. Anyone who so desperately wants the power of the presidentship should on no account be allowed to do the job.

    As for telling right from wrong, looking to them for such a decision is pretty much the same as asking an imbecile to explain the theory of relativity or quantum mechanics; they are inherently incapable of doing so. All they know is their own wants; anything they want is "right," and everything else is "wrong." Most people grow out of this stage before they enter primary school. This shows the true mental age of these people.

    Your husband has shown a level of moral courage that these people could never aspire to, let alone understand. He is showing them, just how far they have fallen, and how far from redemption they truly are. That is why they punish him.

    I hope the trials and tribulations of your husband and yourself will soon be over.


  • Apathy compounded by way too many stupid people. America is a complete joke - stumbling about the world stage like some drunken oaf. ’They hate us for our freedoms!’...no they hate America because America has become a force for evil in the world.

    • Things will remain the same, unless they change.

      The revolution?...... France got rid of their "overclass", by force and decapitation, no need for that, just a boycott of walmart and mcdonalds.

      Here in europe the boycott of hollywood films and coca-cola has sent both "industries" into a financial morass.

      Americans can boycott their own products too. Eat fresh food and drink water.

      Watch buffet and cheney fade into the fog.

  • My heart and prayers go out to the real Authority on your behalf. These mere cowards with thier multiple deferments are hardly an authority on the very things they want from Kevin Bernderman and too many others who have given all for the lies and greed. Wealth and an arrogant sense of entitlement does not equate to authority. This country has fallen into the hands of undignified, illiterate, rotten, spoiled brats who are daily weighed in the balance of GOD, only to come up wanting. One day, this empire they are building will be taken from them, that the real heirs, the meek and humble of the Real Authority, can inherit the Earth. Until then, were this more than Kevin could bare, God would have long delievered him. I encourage him to be of strong heart and great faith as a real Christian and a true countryman. These be the days of our adversity. We must all remember the admonishment of Saint Paul. Let us not be weary in well-doing; for, in due season, we shall reap a harvest of blessings, if we don’t faint.

  • Exceptional words, intelligent, informative,wise and well written. This was the voice of reason and truth and a pleasure to read. I wish you peace. Namaste, Tina Louise www.armsagainstwar.info www.pledgebank.org/armsagainstwar

  • Why did he Re-enlist in 2000 after 9 years of service if he really was a C.O.?
    Many words here but lots of questions arise.