Thursday, March 22, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
How to Drive Out Snakes: Lessons from a guy who wasn’t even Irish.
Sometime in the fourth century Patrick, a sixteen year old boy, was captured and sold into slavery with a number of other Welsh people. Yep, he was Welsh. So Patrick’s first encounter with Ireland was not one of shamrocks, beer and drinking songs. It was actually an encounter with violence, conflict and for Patrick, suffering. It is a harsh introduction to the people for whom he would one day be remembered.
Nevertheless, Patrick probably remained in slavery for 6 years or so before he escaped. He returned to his family in Wales and there entered the Church. Years later, after having been ordained bishop, he returned to the land of his enemies to serve them. Voluntarily. He went to genuinely, make peace in a place where he had know pain.
While he may not have actually chased dangerous slithering reptiles off the island, there is a still a sense in which Patrick shows us how to drive out snakes from our lives. One doesn’t chase out dangerous little threats with Gandalf’s staff or a piper’s pipe. One has to change the whole ecosystem. Transformation is not simply taking dangerous things away but by introducing a new goods to fill a space with a different kind of life.
Patrick turned great enmity into redemption. He refused to see his enemies as only that. He returned, literally, to a place of resentment specifically to offer new hope for that place and that people. He brought new life to chase out the would-be snakes of hatred and animosity. Patrick spent his life exorcising the little demons in his life and ended up tilting history.
Wishing our world took seriously the exemplars of forgiveness we have had in our past, so that our future could be less violent and more peaceful.
Toward eupan ~
~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Today's headlines from Afghanistan note:
"Sixteen Afghan civilians killed in rogue U.S. attack"
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan | Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:19pm EDT
(Reuters) - Sixteen Afghan civilians, including nine children, were shot dead in what witnesses described as a nighttime massacre on Sunday near a U.S. base in southern Afghanistan, and one U.S. soldier was in custody.
While U.S. officials rushed to draw a line between the rogue shooting and the ongoing efforts of a U.S. force of around 90,000, the incident is sure to further inflame Afghan anger triggered when U.S. soldiers burned copies of the Koran at a NATO base.
U.S. officials said an American staff sergeant from a unit based in Washington state was in custody after the attack on villagers in three houses. Multiple civilians were also wounded, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition said
But, this U.S. attack is part of a deliberate program of extended violence!
How then is the killing "rogue" except that we want to label it as something "other" than what American troops are doing all over Afghanistan each day?All of the violence in Afghanistan is, in fact, violent. All of the attacks are, in fact, attacks.When we permit sanctioned violence, other forms of violence begin to permeate from our midst.A better way can be found in peacemaking! Toward eupan.~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I've been aware of the Fetzer Institute for quite a number of years . . . but realized that perhaps some persons I know might not be aware of their work.I'd encourage you to click through their links and become aware of who they are - as they seek:
To foster awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in the emerging global community.
In collaboration with our Fetzer Advisory Councils, we seek to understand the motivations and preconditions of exemplary cases of love and forgiveness in the world. From these examples, we develop projects to grow an even greater awareness of love and forgiveness in action in individual and community life.Toward eupan ~~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
“It’s not a war. It’s a massacre, an indiscriminate massacre.” Chilling words from a photojournalist on the ground in Syria.
“As I’m talking to you now, they’re dying.” Injured Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy gives Sky News an interview from his hospital bed. This is a really important interview. His descriptions of what’s happening in Homs are painful and terrible. He spoke of the scheduled regularity of the shelling, beginning with horrible predictability at 6:00 every morning.
I’ve worked in many war zones. I’ve never seen, or been, in shelling like this. It is a systematic … I’m an ex-artillery gunner so I can kind of follow the patterns… they’re systematically moving through neighborhoods with munitions that are used for battlefields. This is used in a couple of square kilometers.
He described the state of fear in Homs, calling it “beyond shell shock,” and the actions of Assad’s forces “absolutely indiscriminate,” with the intensity of the bombardments increasing daily. Conroy’s detailing of the inhumane conditions and the position of the Syrian citizens and the Free Syrian Army is important, because we don’t have as many journalists who have been able to tell us what it was like to be there as we have had elsewhere. He tells us that “The time for talking is actually over. Now, the massacre and the killing is at full tilt.”
I actually want to quote his entire interview about the people who are living without hope, food, or power and his conviction that we will look back on this massacre with incredible shame if we stand by and do nothing. In lieu of that, you must must must watch every bit of this interview.
Shared from "On Being" Public Radio Broadcast Blog Site. Toward eupan.~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.