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ENTRY FOR 02/15/2003

No Solutions... Lots of Slogans...

The anti-war protests abound today. In and of themselves they are fine because it is important for people to voice their opinions. But voicing pap is hardly different than what I did in the restroom this morning and far less helpful to world affairs.

"Thousands of protesters marching to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia included Quakers walking in silence, a Korean group banging drums and students chanting peace slogans."

Whenever I ask for solutions to these problems I usually get slogans or well wishes for a nicer world. I have spoken to a few people with reasoned positions and for that I am very grateful. I think they know who they are and if they are reading this they will understand the ones I'm upset about too.

Every attempt at establishing a heaven on earth in the last century has ended in mass murder. 70 million people was the last estimate I heard for all the murders laid at the feet of Communism. This far exceeds the horror that was allowed a brief romp in Europe known as the Third Reich. It doesn't work and it should not be attempted because it denies something very basic.

It denies human nature and the reality of the world in which we live. People act out of pure selfish desires and in the interest of their self-preservation. All the altruism I espouse comes from God who alone has the power to sustain such activity. Left to our own devices, we end up with Iraqs, DPRKs, and any other mess you care to mention.

So what then? The best we can do is fight for a system that upholds as many of the principles that have been proven to keep our hate in check and maintain a certain level of stability in the world. I did not say atruism but stability. They are not the same thing.

We as individuals and as congregations embued with God's grace and love must act according to those precepts but we as members of the world's population also have to be realistic and live within less than perfect systems of self governance.

This includes sometimes supporting war. This includes sometimes getting involved in politics which is a very dirty endeavor. Criticizing every move because it is not motivated by pure motives gets us nowhere fast. Go ahead and point them out by all means and hold society's feet to the fire but we also have to pull our thumbs out and do something to make a difference while we have a chance!

Spend some money on organizations dedicated to raising the standard of living for the underclass. Spend some time teaching and convincing people to love God, themselves, and others so that the hate and resentment can become self destructives activities of the past. You hate those who have more than you? Try finding ways for loving them *and* getting them to help out the less fortunate. Look for the win-win.

These are very brief and sketchy thoughts on things that have been going through my mind recently. Anti-war protests? What are they good for? Solutions or just more tired useless sloganeering?



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