Violence and Nonviolence

Gareth Higgins 1-17-2008

Tim Burton's striking and gruesome film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical 'Sweeney Todd' made me feel alternately impressed by Johnny Depp's singing talent and wince at the violence. The story of a 19th century barber who avenges the loss of his wife and daughter by providing the closest shave ever to a litany of customers including the judge who caused his pain left me preoccupied by [...]

Gabriel Salguero 1-08-2008

Last year, my wife Jeanette and I returned to Honduras with a group from our congregation. What alarmed me was that a decade ago the MS (La Mara Salvatrucha) had a considerable presence in many of the poorest neighborhoods. Now they have a stronghold. One of my pastor friends told me, "Gabriel, people are afraid to come to church. The MS killed a woman in front of the church just the other day." The MS is going global. Recently Law & Order had an episode that featured the MS [...]

Gareth Higgins 12-06-2007

Here's the good news: The Golden Compass does not promote atheism. It isn't going to steal your children. It does not signal the end of hope for religion in the West. That's the good news. Here's the bad news: it promotes the same, shallow "don't touch my stuff or I'll kill you" message that appears in so much of popular culture. But more than this, in spite of delightful visual imagery, [...]

Logan Isaac 12-05-2007

After more than six years of field exercises in some of the most grueling weather our country offers, I am rarely affected by even the most chilling winter rains. Months of accumulated time in the forests of North Carolina, the deserts of California, and the wetlands of Louisiana - training for war has built up in me a bit of immunity to succumbing to the shivers. However, there is one thing that [...]

Bart Campolo 12-03-2007

Suddenly it seems there's a full-scale war going on in our neighborhood, and we and our neighbors here are in a new kind of danger.


On their way back to college after helping out at our weekly dinner party, our friends Jenny and Alyssa stopped at an intersection and noticed a group of guys milling around in the early evening, less than a block from our church. A moment later, guns started [...]

Gareth Higgins 11-28-2007

When a film ends with the recounting of a dream in which a weather-beaten, life-weary man searches for the fire his father is building to warm them, it's impossible not to think of the love we all yearn for and can hopefully muster. It's also a welcome spiritual respite when that film has seduced its audience on a journey into a hell of the relentless violence that follows a man after he steals [...]

Ryan Rodrick Beiler 11-21-2007

Two months ago, for the first time in my eight years living in Washington, D.C., I was mugged. Two young men rolled up in a pickup truck while I was unloading groceries from my car in the alley next to my condo building. They made me lie on the ground, held a gun to my neck as they took my money, and then locked me in the trunk of my car as they made their getaway. Fortunately I still had my cell [...]

Philip Rizk 11-06-2007

Gaza is a place isolated and unknown. Although the small coastal strip is all too often in the media spotlight, this can be a source just as much for generalization as information.


The murder of Rami Ayyad one month ago today was a source for such confusion concerning what would have brought about such a horrendous act and who would have carried it out. It is too simple to suspect that [...]

Philip Rizk 11-06-2007

Gaza is a place isolated and unknown. Although the small coastal strip is all too often in the media spotlight, this can be a source just as much for generalization as information.


The murder of Rami Ayyad one month ago today was a source for such confusion concerning what would have brought about such a horrendous act and who would have carried it out. It is too simple to suspect that [...]

Philip Rizk 11-06-2007

Gaza is a place isolated and unknown. Although the small coastal strip is all too often in the media spotlight, this can be a source just as much for generalization as information.


The murder of Rami Ayyad one month ago today was a source for such confusion concerning what would have brought about such a horrendous act and who would have carried it out. It is too simple to suspect that [...]

Philip Rizk 10-10-2007

The last time I saw Rami, we were at the beach near Gaza City. A group of us were in the water and I was trying to force Rami underwater. Rami was a big man, weighing at least twice what I do. Needless to say, I did not manage to get him to budge. When he in turn came after me, all I could do to protect myself from suffocating under him was flee. Eventually I was able to sneak up on him under water, [...]

Jim Wallis 9-28-2007

The news this afternoon from Myanmar/Burma is not good. A recent AP story said that



Soldiers clubbed and dragged away activists while firing tear gas and warning shots to break up demonstrations Friday before they could grow, and the government cut Internet access, raising fears that a deadly crackdown was set to intensify.


The government said 10 people have been killed since the violence began earlier this week, but British Prime [...]

Gareth Higgins 9-28-2007

It's intriguing how many current films address questions of revenge and justice. Like all cinematic epidemics, this is a mixed bag, from Quentin Tarantino's alternately boring and horrifying car-crash fest Death Proof, just released on DVD, to the slasher-style terror of Death Sentence starring Kevin Bacon, to the mature and moving reflection on justice and fatherhood in 3:10 [...]

Jim Wallis 9-11-2007

It was a big day for a general on Capitol Hill yesterday, as Gen. David Petraeus made his long-awaited "progress report" to a joint House committee. But one congressman remembered the last time a general's testimony drew such public attention. It was on April 1967 that Gen. William Westmoreland made his speech to Congress about how much progress we were making in Vietnam. Later, in November 1967, the [...]

John Dear 9-10-2007

On Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007, six of us were found guilty in federal court in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by a federal judge for trying to visit the office of our senator. We will be sentenced in a few weeks.

It all started one year ago on Sept. 26, 2006. That day nine of us entered the Federal Building in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and tried to take the elevator to the third floor to the office of Sen. [...]

Administrator 3-23-2007

This past week has been a blur of activity with the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, but I didn't want to let the passing of Rufina Amaya go unmentioned on this blog. If that name is unfamiliar to you, Amaya was the sole survivor of the worst single massacre in modern Latin American history.

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