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SYRIA, POISON GAS, MISSILE STRIKES AND PEACE?

It has been both an emotional and a political roller-coaster. The television newscasters and the print media informed us that a political debate was underway as to whether or not the armed might of this country should be used to punish the Syrian government for violating the universal condemnation against chemical warfare that has governed the world since the horror of gas in the trenches in World War I. Pictures were released of small children, who had been the victims of sarin gas. The pictures were chilling. I enquired of a medical expert about the effects of sarin gas on the human body. He shuddered even to talk about it. His sentences were short and declarative. “It is deadly.” “There is no protection.” “Suffering is intense.” “Death is inevitable.” For almost one hundred years, despite brutal wars, both worldwide and local, with weapon enhancements like atomic power and cruise missiles, the prohibition against chemical warfare has still been generally adhered to by the nations of the world until this moment. Now the Syrian government has breeched this taboo, in an action widely believed to have been ordered by its president, Bashar al-Assad. I did not disagree with the official statement of facts and yet the debate itself struck me as deeply irrational.

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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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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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Syria: What’s Behind the Conflict- VIDEO

Syria has become the bloodiest uprising of the Arab Spring and has now descended into a full-blown civil war. Find out what’s behind the conflict and what’s at stake for the international community.

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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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Welcoming the Spiritually Independent

Let’s stop being so negative about the group that is transforming religion and spirituality in the 21st century. One-fifth of the American public – and a third of adults under 30 – do not identify themselves with a religion. This is a growth from 15% to 20% of the population in just five years, and we have no doubt that similar trends are happening around the world.

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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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