Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama and the Weather

Eboo Patel has a new one up at the WaPo's Faith Divide: Obama and the Weather

It's a very keen metaphor that he employs. Forecast calls for SWEET.

Bloggers United for Refugees

Bloggers Unite

UPDATE: EarthlyExplorations blogs about refugees and displaced people in the Philippines.

Today is Bloggers Unite/Refugees United Day, so I'm getting involved! It occurs to me that our conception of refugees or refugee status can be conceived of in a few different ways, owing largely to the different definitions of state, nation, and country.

1. Statelessness - Being stateless means that your group (however you conceive of it) lacks a territorially-defined, internationally-recognized place. The Kurds, for instance, number in the millions but still lack a state of their own.

2. Nationlessness - OK, that one got underlined so it's probably made-up. Still, lacking a nation is where being a refugee becomes a bit odd. Nationless people could very well be a part of a state, physically speaking, but being disconnected from people of your own group or even feeling apart from your own people is tough.

3. Countrylessness - That one didn't get underlined; must be real. I used to view countrylessness as some romantic notion of the "world citizen;" beholden to no government and floating throught he world on the wind. Probably OK for some, but when it's not by choice...

On a day like today, when thousands of bloggers are talking about the rights of refugees, helping them to find their families, and to reunite them with their homes, it's important to remember just how complex all these issues really are. They are seldom as simple as we would wish them to be, and international law can only do so much. It may be up to ordinary people to take the necessary steps to promote justice for those who have no home.