The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

War in Gaza: Tragedy for All, Call to Peace

Back in the day, when I was an undergraduate studying Anthropology, I saw a film about the Yamomami people of the Amazon. While the premise of the film has been somewhat refuted in decades since, the premise was that these peoples (roughly 35,000 in number) were in a state of never-ending warfare with their neighbors and each other. They had a system requiring revenge for injustices done to their people, even for injustices committed by accident. Revenge equated to violent death. The anthropologist noted that this created an endless, terrible cycle of death, a cycle no one could break free from, a cycle the anthropologist believed would lead to the extinction of this people unless they could come to a different solution to their problems. Unless they could develop a non-violent way to resolve issues of injustice between members of their tribe and neighboring tribes, one day there would be no more Yanomami. The war in Gaza between the Palestinians and the Israelis has the same feel to it. This endless cycle feels like a war destined to end in extinction, unless some other way is found, a way of peace instead of revenge and endless death. It presents both sides with an endless wheel of bloody tragedies and perpetual screams for deadly revenge. Somehow the counting of injustices and demand for blood in return for every crime must come to a stop before death wins all.

For a review of this sad situation, see: This is not a perfect review, I'm sure, and has been revised for balance after complaints, but it is a short summary of the events since the late 1940s.

Pope Francis has made news recently for calling for an end to all war. I agree with him. We must find a way to free ourselves from our basest, most violent ways and become peacemakers and protectors of each other and our world. My denomination, American Baptist Churches, USA, has a treatise written in the 1980s deliniating our stance on peace, and it is a good one for your consideration. You'll find it at:  The document was last modified in 2007, so the thinking remains recent.

Praying and working for peace. Perhaps we could find a way to do this instead:

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