Who Keeps the Peace?

Our church today celebrated the second Sunday of Advent 2019 in a traditional way, lighting the Candle of Peace. Though there are different practices and traditions attached to celebrating Advent, this observation draws us to reflect on what’s truly important about Christmas (the birth of Christ).

Angels were the first heralds to announce “Peace on Earth, Good will to Men.” (Luke 2:14) But peace often seems out of our grasp. I’m reminded of Longfellow’s 1863 poem “Christmas Bells.” Each stanza echoes the words peace on earth, good will to men while the sixth stanza derisively proclaims “there is no peace on earth.

Continue reading “Who Keeps the Peace?”

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Battle Lines

With all the chatter in the news and online about the so-called “militarization of local police departments,” I decided it was time to pitch in my two cents. In the days following #Ferguson, the hue and cry has been incessant. Commentators who had previously broached the subject (of supposed militarization) nodded their heads, anxious to remind others of their brilliant insight.ferguson-police-700

Capitalizing on the current hysteria about law enforcement militarization, the ACLU released its opinion on the subject in a July report titled “The War Comes Home.” This report promotes a perception that the weapons used to fight our wars over the last 20 years have been purposefully brought from the battlefields in foreign lands to hyper-arm our home-based law enforcement units. Further, the ACLU suggests the attitudes of war are pervasive among state-side police officers, who have adopted “a warrior mentality … who think of the people they’re supposed to serve as enemies.Continue reading “Battle Lines”