August 13

Reflection

Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates his brother is a liar.
1 John 4:19-20

The hatred, bigotry and violence of the far-right, white supremacist groups gathered in Charlottesville do not represent who we are as God’s people or citizens of this nation. In the face of such hatred and ignorance, we must stand together in witness to the all-inclusive love of Jesus Christ and our nation’s values. Waving Confederate flags, chanting Nazi-era slogans,  saying “You will not replace us,” and carrying torches and firearms is counter to all we stand for and meeting violence with violence is counterproductive. When David Duke states:”We are determined to take our country back”, the challenging question is, ” From whom and for whom”? This incident is not only upsetting, it is frightening.  What are we becoming? Is this the nation we want to give our children? Is this the nation we hope deserves the respect of the world community? Where is the powerful voice of strong condemnation? When foreign terrorists cannot undermine our democratic principles, but our own citizens try to do so we are in trouble.

Prayer

May we work for justice and unity and not promote hatred.

Make me an instrument of your peace.
Francis of Assisi

Action

Be careful not to encourage bigotry and hatred either by speech or silence. Acknowledge and name the issues and be willing to discuss them.

Suggested Reading

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Ephesians 4:31

He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother or sister, is in darkness.
John 2:8-11

Even today we raise our hand against our brother… We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal we continue to sow destruction, pain, death. Violence and war lead only to death.
Pope Francis

Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men.
Pope John Paul II

If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.
Bayard Rustin

What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by an assassin’s bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled or uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.
Robert Kennedy

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Isaac Asimov

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
William J. H. Boetcker

The very first step in nonviolence is that we cultivate in our daily life, as between ourselves, truthfulness, humility, tolerance, loving kindness.
Gandhi

The best weapon is to sit down and talk.
Nelson Mandela

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
Martin Luther King

 

 

 

 

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