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Toting guns or getting along


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Dear Friends,

Yesterday I offered a reflection on our desparate need for community in our nation, in our neighborhood, even in our families.

We need to learn to TALK TO one another.  And more, importantly to LISTEN.  To hear what the other is not saying.

Guns at town hall meetings with the President of the United States?  God help us!!!

This is not good news.

I feel ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted by the behaviors exhibited by our public leaders.  This is not the America I want to be part of.

And, frankly, it gravely concerns me.  It could get uglier. If something should happen to the President, our whole country would go up in flames.  What do you think would happen to our economy then?

I was in Washington, D.C. the day after Martin Luther King was shot on April 4, 1968.  Much of the city was in flames; shops were looted and the entire nation’s capital was under curfew.

And then there’s this:  The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that in 2008 there were 926 known hate groups in the U.S. — Neo-Nazis, skinheads, KKK and the like.

How can we expect anything different?  Our kids are FED violence on TV and movies every day.  Teens are sending cruel text messages to one another.  I H8 U! They call that “Cyberbullying.  Kids are devastated by this stuff.

There’s a lot of anger and rage in rest of us too. I know. Rage comes out of me at times and I’m astonished!  That really isn’t who I want to be!

We’ve got simply to learn to get along, to go below the level of verbal violence in public discourse and return to civility.

We’ve got to pray.  We’ve got to look into our own hearts and consciences and take responsibility for our own sinfulness instead of accusing and attacking and blaming everyone else.

Each one of us has a role to play — responsibility to accept — if our country is going to survive.

Now enough of the negative.  Our response to hate — and there are people who hate me — is to FORGIVE and to LOVE.

The message of the non-violent Jesus will prevail.  Its tough, really tough not to retaliate when attacked.

What do you spread, my friend?  The positive or the negative?  Love or hate?

I’m reminded of Rodney King’s urgent plea in the LA riots so long ago:  “CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG?”

I wanted to send you a charming little video (but alas! I can’t) about critters who find a way to GET ALONG and enjoy each others’ company — a dog, a cat and lots of just-hatched chicks.  The pooch and the feline are SO patient with the little ones and the chicks are SO comfortable around the creatures of a different species.  They could have played with them cruelly, taunted them, teased them, squashed them with a bat of their paw.  Surely the chicks had to be ANNOYING, but the unlikely baby sitters just seemed to overlook the negatives, relax, have fun, find some common interest and  just quietly get along as they share the same space.

Take a moment  to welcome someone “different” into your space  today.

IMG_0327 Good and gracious God,

we thank you for the life and love you share with us

every day.

We are all your children.

You care for each and every one

with Your sunshine and Your love.

Help us all to get along

and help each other through these difficult times.

TOGETHER we can make it!

Draw us all together in Your love.

Amen!

With love,

Bob Traupman

priest / writer

One comment on “Toting guns or getting along

  1. I every time emailed this weblog post page to all my contacts, for the reason that if like to read it afterward my links will too.

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