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Is the War Working?

Hello friends,

Is the war working? This is the question I asked the fellow behind the Veterans booth at our County Fair. A little to my surprise he said, "Well, that's obvious. It is not." Later I asked the same question of the fellow at the Republican Party booth. He was a lot more unclear in his answer, but ended by saying: "I do think we need to do a lot more talking and negotiating than we have been doing." I hope this can trickle up to the higher ups in the party.

Both of these are evidence of the growing clarity amongst our population that the ways of violence and war are not practical, that in the end they do not work. That is one thing about war, the more you have it, the plainer the truth about its failures become to more and more people. The ways of the world do not work. I find great hope in this for the future. I see this also in the growing positive responses and the diminishing of negative responses at our weekly peace vigil at our court house.

In addition to my sign at my booth at the fair that asked the question, "Is the war working?", I also had the following signs: "Love the troops, Hate the war", "But I say to you, love your enemies- Jesus", "Remember suffering troops and families" and "Pray for Peace Act for Peace" . It was encouraging to hear most people answering in one way or another: "It's clear it is not working." I found this to be a good question to ask because I think it encourages people to think through their answer to this important question and to come to their own conclusion as to what is the reality and the truth about the war in Iraq.

It was also good practice for me to learn to listen, because I never knew what their answers were going to be. One fellow responded: "I think you are right it is not working. We did the same mistake in Vietnam. I think our government is wrong in sending our soldiers in this way. It is not their fault. What we should do is just level Iran and Iraq."

I responded, "Do you think Jesus would do that?" He said, "Well, didn't God order it at times in the Old Testament?" I then quoted the scripture from Jesus, "You know it has been said of old: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for tooth, but I say to you: love your enemies". We had 45 minutes of good conversation going back and forth like this.

Reflecting later, I sensed the Lord was working to get us both to be gentle with each other. And in the end he signed up to receive my emails. I think we both came to appreciate each other in the end. Getting to know people who disagree with me like this brother is one of the most important parts of my peacemaking.

Thanks for your interest and support that enables me to have these kind of dialogs.

Peace to you today,


PS: Last Call for Christian Peacemaker Teams Delegation to Colombia October 3-16, 2006
Participants will meet with human rights workers and church leaders in Bogotá, travel to the industrial city of Barrancabermeja where CPT's long-term team is based, and spend time in the countryside where the lives of displaced people are threatened by illegal armed groups. A public action in solidarity with local people will be part of the delegation. It will be in many ways a learning tour of CPT work. Cost is US $1800.
For more information and to apply:

I will be there during this time and it would be great to visit with you there.


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