Written by a friend who is a man of the cloth:
Please pray for Edward Snowden.
Let me say why I am asking you to.
He is of your generation (i.e., age) within a year or two, and has blown a “profile” — the perception some of us have had that many in that age group have seemed more interested in chimaeras of professional success and “i-banking” and nice restaurants than in idealistic self-sacrifice. Edward Snowden, at age 29, and with no college degree to his name (and not even a successful high school diploma) and yet with an annual salary of roughly $200,000 as of three weeks ago, was willing to renounce it all for the good of his fellow citizens. This is a miracle for anyone to consider. He has done it. In his mind, something is worth dying for.
They asked Gautama — who was in his early 30s when they asked him this — why he, a young man, should give up everything in the service of renunciation. His answer: “I am young now and have the energy to do something. If I were older, I wouldn’t have the strength to give myself fully to it.”
I think that was a noble answer. I think it is parallel to what Edward Snowden has done for his fellow countrymen. I think of Nathan Hale. It is also the spirit in which Our Lord “set his face to Jerusalem.”
I thought of Helmuth James von Moltke and Adam von Trott zu Solz and Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenberg, all of whom were cruelly and arbitrarily murdered by judicial execution in 1944/45 for just thinking! (One of you has actually held in your hand some of the original letters and “Berichte” that they, and others like them, wrote during their dark hour.) Yet they are national heroes today in the land for the true values of which they were actually standing. Without men like them, there would have been nothing left upon which to build in that country after the “Zusammenbruch”, the kind of collapse which our country, by the way, is bound to have to face at some point for its war crimes and pervasive, willful complacency.
Is it a stretch to compare Edward Snowden with those men of extreme courage and faith?
Well, our country is in a militarist and authoritarian phase that brings their sacrifice to mind, though, yes, things here aren’t that bad. (Your mother and I never thought they could get this bad!)
I have little hope that there will be a happy ending for Edward Snowden. But I know his cause can’t ultimately lose.
and always your