For Victims and Perpetrators of Injustice
(From “Prayers for Justice and Peace”)
For all those who have fallen victim to hatred and inhumanity, for those loved ones who are left behind to mourn, for the souls of those whose hearts are cold, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who are being born into this world of conflict and violence, for women and mothers who suffer needlessly, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all those who have been forced into unemployment, who long to return to work, for all those who struggle to support their families, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the soldiers who are misguided in thinking that their bullets will bring about peace, for those who feel called to conscientiously object to military orders, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who cry in their beds at night and wonder “what have I done?”
For the mothers and fathers who must try to explain the unexplainable, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all the children who have died before their time, for the soldiers who allow their uniform to strip them of their humanity, for the healers who are denied the opportunity to use their gifts, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the redemption of souls of both victim and perpetrator, for those who commit themselves to the forgiveness of sins, Lord, hear our prayer. AMEN.
A lie is a lie no matter how many times it is repeated. It is the opposite of the truth, Wrong is the opposite of right. Evil is diametrically opposed to good.
It doesn’t matter how many times a lie is told, or evil is lifted up as good, a lie is a lie and evil cannot be good. Rick Warren is right about this. It doesn’t matter how many accept a lie or agree that evil is good. A lie can never be the truth and evil can never be good.
This is especially critical for us to understand during this Presidential Campaign. We all recognize a lie when we hear it. We all know the difference between right and wrong. We have all been taught the difference between good and evil.
I will cast my ballot for the candidate who has not repeatedly been caught lying during this campaign, the candidate who does not have a long history of racism, bigotry, fear-mongering, inciting violence, and defrauding all those possible. I cannot in good conscience vote for a pompous, egotistical, self-aggrandizing braggart whose bullying is already legendary.
Some of the values I have learned from my faith are love, humility, gentleness and service to others. One candidate reflects these values with a lifetime of public service. The other consistently demonstrates just the opposite.
For me the choice is simple. I recognize a liar when I hear one. I know the difference between right and wrong. And like you, I definitely know the difference between good and evil.
Terrorism, like everything else, a matter of perspective. For the majority of our human family who always lives in the shadow of poverty, who are stalked daily by hunger, and who can never escape the claws of disease, terrorism is being forced to watch your children suffer needlessly while you realize you can do nothing to help.
The true terrorists are those of of who can change the lives of millions, yet do not care enough to help and are too busy to get involved. The true terrorists are those of us who have sufficient resources yet refuse to share.
True terrorism is turning our backs on those that need our help the most while we quietly sip another latte at Starbucks.
If we are ever to achieve true global community we must all stand up and make our voices heard. Silence in the face of intolerance is not acceptable. It is complicity.
Intolerance comes from fear and insecurity. Love is about openness and acceptance. I choose love. I choose openness. I choose acceptance.
What about you?
The Dalai Lama, long an advocate of peace and reconciliation among various faith traditions, recently declared that once a person or a group decides to indulge in violence they are no longer being true to their supposed beliefs. He pointed out that the Koran even states that once one commits bloodshed that person can no longer be called a follower of Allah.
Christians need to take a lesson from the Dalai Lama. In a time when so many are promoting divisiveness, here is one spiritual leader who continues to seek reconciliation. As followers of the Prince of Peace, we are called to be “ambassadors of peace and agents of reconciliation.”
There is no room in Christianity for hate speech, xenophobia, and divisive rhetoric. Faithfulness to Christ means we love and accept each other even as we have been loved and accepted. Violence, even in response to violence, is not part of the Gospel.
Faithfulness to Christ demands more. The faithful Christian response to terrorism is love. The faithful Christian response to terrorism is forgiveness. Anything less, as the Dalai Lama would say, is to be untrue to what we proclaim we believe.