I saw my friend, Andrew Rice, in church at Mayflower today. What I am about to say does not constitute an endorsement of his candidacy for the Oklahoma Senate. I feel that my position as a Democratic Party official precludes me doing that. However, I believe that what he told me about a campaign tactic being used, in nearly all certainty, by the Republican Party reveals a party operating without a regard for morality in its grab for power.
Several of the voters in Andrew’s district, Oklahoma Senate District 46, have been getting phone calls whose callers claim that Andrew favors terrorism. First, you have to understand that Andrew and his family are one of the victims of the worst terrorist attack in American history. On September 11 2001, investment banker David Rice was killed when the World Trade Centre collapsed. Later, a group called Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation were contacted by the mother of the alleged 20th hijacker, Zacharias Moussaoui. She had a unique request. She wanted to meet some of the families of the victims and ask for their forgiveness. Andrew, along with several other victims’ families, met with, this grieving Madame al-Wafi, who begged their forgiveness for her son’s hatred. Andrew forgave her because he felt that to return hate for hate dishonored his brother’s “spirit”, and I feel Andrew knew he was following the commandment of the man from Nazareth who comanded us to forgive though we are wrong 70 times 7 times and who forgave those who were responsible for his execution.
This act, done in the spirit of Christ, is the very deed that some group, headquartered in Indiana, paid $300,000 by a Republican organization, is trying to use against Andrew Rice. The cry that Robert Welch uttered against Joesph McCarthy echoes down to our time, “Have you no sense of decency?” You claim to be the party that defends the practice of Christianity in the public arena, the party of values, the party of morality. Where are your morals now? In Oklahoma, we have seen candidate after candidate in their political ads extol their Christianity, their time spent teaching Sunday School, their donations of land to build churches. I have no doubt of their personal sincerity, but I demand in the name of the one whom they claim to serve that they denounce this discipable act in no uncertain terms, that they honor this most Christian act of Andrew’s, or all their claims of faith ring hollow to me.
If you wish to read about Andrew’s act of forgiveness, you can go to http://www.theforgivenessproject.com/stories/andrew-rice to read his remarkable testimony.
Justice for All,