Archives For Peace

To a wide-eyed Midwesterner like me, the current spate of ethnic or religiously motivated conflicts in the world is stupefying. Here in the middle of this vast country, we are surrounded by people who look and think pretty much as we do. There are minority populations of course, but we’ve managed to melt into one big pot of suburban blandness.

Palestinian Rally.

Seeing people forced from their homes under threat of death because of their faith, others murdered over perceived blasphemies, and civil wars fought over what language to speak is both puzzling and terrifying.

I realize those descriptions reduce conflicts of Byzantine complexity to mere tweets. But that’s how they appear to an outsider: surreal.

After hundreds, even thousands, of years of conflict, we have to wonder: Is there any way out of these conflicts?

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The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., has elevated everyone’s fears about safety and gun violence. Twenty-eight fatalities, including 20 children, have left us deeply shaken.

As a pastor, this is no abstract concern for me. Churches are not so different from schools and have themselves been the targets of senseless, deadly violence in recent days.

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