Peace Please!

A group of us went to a small candlelight vigil for peace in nearby Hackensack this evening. There were about 50 folks there, and many supporters who honked or flashed peace signs as they drove by. It was one of over 600 vigils held this evening across the country.

There's something that I find compelling about standing on a street corner as a witness for peace. Will it stop the war tomorrow? No. Is it an important expression of my faith and belief in our common humanity? Yes.

I ran across a quote recently in America Magazine that gets at what that "something" is:
We believe peace is possible ... You have to believe that it is possible to resolve conflicts in this world without violence. The world does not need anyone to inject war into every conflict. Instead, in these difficult situations, we need people to inject hope, build bridges and create reconciliation ... We need to globalize hope. For hope to be possible, it must be a reality for all humanity, rather than confined to people in a few safe countries. Our only option is to consider ourselves part of the human family. - Monsignor Hector Fabio, director of the National Social Pastoral Secretariat of the Columbian Bishops Conference and Caritas Columbia
This message is all the more powerful as it comes from someone involved in the church's peace building effort in Columbia, where civil war has persisted for four decades and over 3 million people have been displaced from their homes.

Our own country is currently injecting war into a conflict. What if we made an effort to inject reconciliation? The folks at NETWORK, the Catholic Social Justice Lobby, are asking our government leaders this very question. You can join in. Click here to send an e-mail to our President, Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice, and your members of Congress, advocating for an Iraqi Peace Conference along the lines of the Dayton Peace Process that brought an end to the war in Bosnia/Herzegovina.

As Monsignor Fabio says, "we need people to inject hope, build bridges, and create reconciliation." If we are to build the political will to create change and build a peaceful tomorrow, that has to include you and me and we have to start somewhere.



Anonymous said...

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.

Jimmy Carter (1924 - )

Garpu the Fork said...

The Hoopy Frood and I were stuck in a bus when they shut down a main road in Bellevue on Monday for Dubya's motorcade. We were about 2-3 blocks from the hotel, but it was encouraging to hear him greeted by boos and protests. People were too scared to protest a few years ago.