|Jason Örnberg (c) NOH8.com|
I just found out that a friend and colleague, Jason Örnberg, passed away this weekend (31 March) near Berlin, Germany.
Jason was an extremely gifted young artist, social activist and lover of German history. Admittedly, I had grown somewhat dependent on his insights to German and Dutch culture and his help with both the German language and history. His assistance and influence will be sorely missed -- and his unique ability to relate everything to one or another zombie movie.
I understand that many of you might not agree with his politics but had you met him, you could not disagree with his heart… the NOH8® Campaign was especially important to him…
For those of you who are interested in peace and justice – check out their website at : NOH8.com. For those too quick to judge – the dog tags he is holding are from his service time with the German Army in Afghanistan, for that alone he deserves gratitude and respect.
30 April 2012 Post script:
|Eric Unger courtesy FaceBook|
Another NOH8 supporter, Eric Unger of Deerfield, Illinois, was attacked in a potential hate crime situation for identifying with the LGBT community.
Unger, a student at Illinois State Univerity, was seriously injured while walking home with from school with his sister 21 April, 2012.
While the LGBT identity, the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell in the United States military, same-sex marriage, gay adoption and anti-discrimination rights for the gay community promise to be a controversial matter in the 2012 United States Presidential election, as socially minded, Pacifist Evangelicals, Mennonites need to be aware of how our political rhetoric can have a very real impact on the lives of others -- especially if that rhetoric is used to encourage and justify violence against groups such as the LGBT community, racial minorities, ethnic immigrant communities, and as the Mennonite community learned in World Wars I & II, against those with whom we disagree.