Violence and Nonviolence

Who's Winning in Colombia's Conflict?

What have you heard about the paramilitary leaders extradited to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges? As formally demobilized paramilitary, they were being processed under what is known as the "justice and peace law" and were in the midst of hearings. Their confessions of macabre acts, partial at best, evolved to include naming ties with the Colombian government and international corporations. [...]

An International Day of Peace

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Peacemaking is an important responsibility of people who follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Christianity requires that we, ourselves, become the living, breathing, flesh-and-blood manifestation of the teachings of Jesus. Our calling is to a radical obedience to Jesus' call to follow him (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship). The teachings of Jesus are extreme [...]

Tennessee Church Shootings: The Culture War's Latest Casualties

Tragically, the culture war crossed over fighting words to shooting bullets. Once again, a community of faith was caught in the crossfire. While 25 children sang songs from "Annie," a gunman fired three shotgun blasts inside the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. The seven people shot and two people murdered on Sunday morning are the latest victims of the culture war.

Sadly, this wasn't the first shooting to occur at a house of worship in the [...]

Tennessee Church Shootings: The Culture War's Latest Casualties

Tragically, the culture war crossed over fighting words to shooting bullets. Once again, a community of faith was caught in the crossfire. While 25 children sang songs from "Annie," a gunman fired three shotgun blasts inside the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. The seven people shot and two people murdered on Sunday morning are the latest victims of the culture war.

Sadly, this wasn't the first shooting to occur at a house of worship in the [...]

Making Sense of Zimbabwe's Violence

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Luke 12:6-7).

He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight (Psalm 72:14).

My friends and I were discussing the ongoing violence in Zimbabwe -- it [...]

Four Iraqi Evangelicals

Recently, I had the unique opportunity of meeting with four Iraqi evangelicals at a conference in a country near Iraq. They were young church leaders. Despite the circumstances in their country, they were upbeat and gracious. Having never been to Iraq, nor having personally met an Iraqi, I was eager to hear their perspectives on current events. My conversations with them helped me understand to a greater degree the true complexity of war.

One of them was a church planter in a large [...]

Good News from Colombia: Rescue of FARC Hostages

Its been months since I´ve written anything about the current events in Colombia. But I can't let "the hug the country has been waiting for" slip by without comment.

My infant daughter Amara and I were at the deli counter when the news broke. A current ran through the grocery store causing eruptions of joy. Ingrid Betancourt, former Presidential candidate, the three U.S. contractors and 11 others kidnapped by the FARC guerrilla group were freed this afternoon.

See reports in

Don't Shoot!

"Don't shoot -- I want to grow up," read the protest sign an 11-year-old boy held in the wake of 30-plus shootings of Chicago schoolchildren this school year. The Supreme Court's recent assertion of the individual's right to own a gun for self-defense stands in sharp contrast to the anguished pleas of the father of one of the schoolchildren to stop the tragic gun deaths in our community, and to get rid of the guns so available on our streets. His pleas reminded me of Jeremiah's [...]

Gundamentalism

Last week's headlines blared the news: The Supreme Court has ruled that there is a constitutional right to gun ownership. I'm not surprised -- disheartened, dismayed, disappointed, yes -- but not surprised. The photo accompanying the headline was of jubilant gun rights supporters carrying signs saying "Guns Save Lives." "The Great Object: Every Man Be Armed." "If guns kill people, do pens misspell words?"

And that's the real problem with gundamentalism (and I do see this ruling as an [...]

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