Monday, November 23, 2015


A rising tide of fear and reactionism has become the routine response to terrorist acts, near and far.

But the rush to war is opposite to the way of Jesus.  War is hell, therefore from the devil, just or unjust it doesn’t matter to him.  Stir it up and God’s children inflict terror, lethal pain upon each other.   That war can lead to peace is a lie—the intrinsic evil of justified violence, killing in the name of God & country.   Never has, never will.  War leads to the next war.  God sent his only begotten son Jesus to bring us the living message that is the opposite of war—truth, justice, mercy and reconciliation.  

To deepen understanding of the dilemma that faces us in our response to radical Islam, and the greater Muslim community worldwide, at this time of post Paris terrorism, I add these resources to last week’s posting.

Thoughts in the Presence of Fear
by WENDELL BERRY  A farmer, writer, ecologist born & bred in Kentucky, who knows the value of work close to the land.

I. The time will soon come when we will not be able to remember the horrors of September 11 without remembering also the unquestioning technological and economic optimism that ended on that day.
II. This optimism rested on the proposition that we were living in a “new world order” and a “new economy” that would “grow” on and on, bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would be “unprecedented”.
III. The dominant politicians, corporate officers, and investors who believed this proposition did not acknowledge that the prosperity was limited to a tiny percent of the world’s people, and to an ever smaller number of people even in the United States; that it was founded upon the oppressive labor of poor people all over the world; and that its ecological costs increasingly threatened all life, including the lives of the supposedly prosperous.
    Read the rest of his 27 points.

And by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, head of a synagogue in NYC, who preaches and promotes peace & justice for all, across all faiths and cultures.

After Paris, Where and How?   Sustaining Abundance & Sharing Justice -- Not Imposing War

Dear friends,
We must mourn the dead of Paris. Later in this letter you will see a Mourners Kaddish in Time of War and Terror, in Aramaic/ Hebrew and in English, with an invitation to all of us to draw on it, to use it in our own tongus and teachings..
We must affirm and join the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world in utterly condemning these atrocities.  Below you will also see statements issued by the President of Iran  and by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local Muslim organizations.
And we must also, as quickly as possible, assess what to do now to prevent such atrocities.
In that assessment, we must take into account what terrible mistakes our government and people have made in the past that served to sprout the seeds of terror that already existed in the Muslim world  -- as in other worlds, including some hyper-nationalist and hyper-racist Americans.
There were two such profound mistakes. One was broader than the Middle East, and has not received the focused attention it deserves. It was the failure of the US and other governments to respond to scientific warnings of impending disaster from global scorching. As the NY Times has reported  (March 2, 2015;  see <>),
“Drawing one of the strongest links yet between global warming and human conflict, researchers said that an extreme drought in  Syria between 2006 and 2009 was most likely due to climate change, and that the drought was a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011. …
“They cited studies that showed that the extreme dryness, combined with other factors, including misguided agricultural and water-use policies of the Syrian government, caused crop failures that led to the migration of as many as 1.5 million people from rural to urban areas. This in turn added to social stresses that eventually resulted in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.”
So one urgent lesson for the future is that the US and other governments must take swift and  vigorous action in the forthcoming Paris international conference on the climate crisis. Without such action, we can expect more such civil wars, millions of refugees, and desperate acts of war and terror as food and water vanish in many regions of the Earth.   More ...

  An interfaith prayer card from Pax Christi USA 

In Thanksgiving for abundant blessings received in the USA.  May we share equitably and graciously with all, the many immigrant cultures and indigenous who make us who we are today.
Deo gracias

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