A Pessimist for Peace, And the Question of a Just War

Our nation is currently embroiled in a contentious debate over the Syrian regimeʼs alleged use of chemical weapons, and what should be the appropriate response by the U.S. and the international community. Public opinion polls comprising an odd coalition of liberal peace-nicks, a war weary citizenry and political antagonists who oppose in knee-jerk fashion most all of the Presidentʼs proposals, all suggest strong opposition to our countryʼs military involvement of any kind in yet another Middle East conflict. Regardless, the underlying question and dilemma remains. Is there a moral imperative to act? If so, how? What is the justification for a violent response to a deplorable, unjust and violent act?

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Syria: Groupthink or Grouppray?

With morbid fascination, I’m watching the leaders of the United States group-think their way into a counter-productive use of American military force. It’s disturbing to observe otherwise intelligent and well-motivated public servants drift into a bad decision.

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St. Augustine and Syria

Christianity has concerned itself with matters of war and peace for almost its entire history. The one unifying assumption of the faith has been that war is terrible and is to be avoided assiduously. There has always been a part of Christianity that has rejected war absolutely, considering participation in it to be completely contrary to the teachings of Jesus. But alongside it has been a strand of the faith that recognizes that war is morally justified in certain circumstances. “Just war theory” dates back to St. Augustine in the early days of the church. I think it still is a useful way of prayerfully considering whether or not a war, and/or one’s participation in it, is appropriate.

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John Shelby Spong: Re-Casting the Christ Story- VIDEO

Bishop John Shelby Spong’s message might alienate certain types of believers–namely, biblical literalists. But he stands strong in his analysis of the Bible as a symbolic work and calls Christ’s followers today to recognize their savior as a “boundary-breaker,” not a “blood offering.” This lecture ended Spong’s weeklong stint as 2 p.m. interfaith lecturer, a gig he titled “Re-Claiming the Bible in a Non-Religious World.”

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Giving Without Expectations- VIDEO

The Thai telecommunications conglomerate True is getting rave reviews worldwide for its latest spot, “Giving,” which tells the story of a man unexpectedly rewarded for a lifetime of good deeds he performed without expecting anything in return.

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Give Peace A Chance (w/Andy Holtgreive)- SOULSEEDS radio

Audio Sermon

There’s a cycle of violence in the world, and to a great extent we’ve all bought into it. None of us are innocent. Every one of us has a mind and a worldview and a responsibility to craft a worldview, a story; one that is full of peace, one that changes the cycle.

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Bound: an Earth Walker’s Handbook

Are there any fun theology books written with today’s reader in mind? Contemporary Christian thought leader Phyllis Tickle says “imaginative theologically and charming as well as rigorous, Bound, an Earth Walker’s Handbook is the best example I have ever seen of riveting and holy fun.”

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The Business of Guns- VIDEO

The firearms industry generates roughly $32 billion in revenue every year, $10 billion more than the Ford Motor Company — and employs 98,000 people, five times more than Google Inc.

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Einstein’s Circle of Compassion- VIDEO

Abby Martin gives a heartfelt remark about Einstein’s ‘Circle of Compassion’ by reflecting on how to balance personal stability with the plight of humanity by establishing a sense of global empathy.

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Syria, Obama, and the Mark of Cain

Genesis 4:1-16; Romans 2:1-24, 12:14-21; Mark 3:31-35. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has clearly stated that so far as the U.S. government is concerned, crimes against humanity were committed by the president of Syria and his agents….Is there a war?

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State by State the Longest List Can Be Done

In “Where Have All the Flowers Gone? A Singer’s Stories Songs Seeds & Robberies” Pete Seeger reports that the words to this iconic union anthem were printed in the preamble to the constitution of an early coal miner’s union. In 1948, Pete set the words to an Irish tune from the 1840s, “The Praties they grow small.” Looking back over the past 50 years to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (“The Great March on Washington”) while progress seems to have been made, for 245 years (716 if we start with Magna Carta in 1297) the struggle for human rights – meaning equality under the law, and access to food, clothing, shelter, and education for all – has been raging, and shows no signs of abating any time soon.

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I Will Not Pray That You Are Healed

She hesitated, “You won’t like it but I want God to make you buy me more stufties!

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