Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

1,000 Rockets

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Events unfolding in Gaza are troubling.  I find myself unable to grasp it.  I read this morning that over the past week over 1,000 rockets have been launched out of Gaza at Israel.  Israel, as is well documented, continues to retaliate with air strikes and the threat of invasion.  And none of it makes sense.  None of it.

The crudeness of weapons will continue to be refined leading not to less collateral damage but to more targeted damage that people mistakenly believe in the end will curtail violence.  Yet there is nothing in human history that evidences that progression, a progression in which the increased sophistication of weaponry is mistakenly believed to give birth to more peace.  We are not less violent for having moved from swords to F-18′s.

And the problem is not “out there” but as always “in here.”  We simply have to choose differently.

And we can find those answers.  I actually believe we know them. The choice however has been to ignore them in the heated rhetoric and political posturing that press us towards the darkness of vengeance.  There is an actual “living energy” far different than that darkness, as New Church theology phrases it, imbedded in our souls awaiting our awareness.  Where is that voice in the Middle East?  Where is that voice in us?  Where is the voice that echos with Christ’s clear call in the face of violence – “The pain stops HERE!”

Unrest in the Middle East

Friday, September 14th, 2012

The unrest in the Middle East continues to grow today, fanned by popular anger over a video that denigrated the prophet Mohammed.  How do we hold this?

It is sad when one reads – correctly – that the vengeful video that escalated into the unrest was partially the work of right wing Christians.  The sad part is that it is true – historical Christianity does carry within it an aberrant strain of violence, not only apparent in this incident but spread throughout history.  But that strain is our fault, not Christ’s.  It is indefensible. One could readily argue that Christ’s clearest message was indeed the opposite – non-violence.  The entire crucifixion narrative, captured at Easter, clearly portrays the redemptive nature of non-violence.  And yet, mankind will do with any religious message whatever they will.

Non of this excuses the virulent anti-Western sentiment apparent in much of the Middle East either.  It does not excuse in any way those who murdered the American ambassador to Libya.  We must call intolerance in any form darkness.  And as with all things spiritual, we must start with ourselves.

Hatred and judgement readily cascade downward into violence.  This is no small thing.  This is not “over there” or “among them.”  This is “here now” and “among us.”  What are we to do?  Pray.  Light a candle.  Gather in loving, diverse community. Care. Live our way into a new way of thinking.  The word “Christian” should mean far more than it does.