With all of the back-and-forth this week on the possibility of punitive strikes against Syria, I saw the just peacemaking paradigm put to use many times around the web – and invoked, even if not by name, many more times. We have posted two articles to this end this week, one analyzing the course of the civil conflict in Syria and another suggesting a constructive alternative to punitive strikes for the U.S.
Below you will find a couple of links that detail various positions on the Syrian conflict, but also several articles addressing others of our “areas of focus.” For instance, I read Enuma Okoro’s article thinking about the role of “songs of justice” in one’s formation for a life of peacemaking.
I would like to encourage the reader to engage with my take on whatever articles/issues are on tap here and also to let us know what sources we should be following when we’re missing something important. All of this can be done through the comments field below, via our social media channels (e.g., our Facebook fan page and Twitter feed), or in an email to the editor at email@example.com.
August 28, 2013
Enuma Okoro – “The Women Who Sang Out for Civil Rights“
Over on the her.meneutics blog, Okoro describes a key contribution of female voices to the civil rights struggle: singing songs out against injustice – a powerful form of truthtelling. Having read Stacey Floyd-Thomas’ book Mining the Motherlode this week, I appreciated Okoro’s description of “moments” in time but also involvement over time as life’s work. “In our day and age, when young women make the news for singing and performing in vulgar, suggestive, and less than life-giving ways, the anniversary of the march is—among many things—a much needed reminder of the transforming power and legacy that women can have with their voices and with song.”
September 3, 2013
Kristopher Aaron – “Back to school means back to worrying“
One of my classmates from McAfee School of Theology calls us to return from our summer break to the struggle for sensible laws that address both gun control and mental illness. Encouraging Christians to get involved, Aaron says, “God covets our prayers, but we must do more than pray. It is time for action. The school year has just started. May there not be more dead children and teachers before we do something.”
Jonathan Merritt – “On Syrian conflict, three Christian perspectives“
In this post about Christian attitudes toward a punitive strike against Syria, Merritt curates responses from three Christians of different positions on the merits of war. Just Peacemaking is featured prominently, and David P. Gushee offers some thoughts from that angle: “Just peacemaking theory would suggest that the United States should first test the UN’s own principles by taking a case for rigorous international intervention in Syria before the UN Security Council. Show all the evidence. Call for the UN to live up to its own principles. Draft a strong resolution. Only if such a resolution should fail would the US have a case for going it alone.” (Sojourners also posted a multi-response article entitled “The Ethics of a Syrian Military Intervention: The Experts Respond.”)
September 4, 2013
Patrick Lynch – “This September, Ask a NASA Climate Scientist“
Throughout the month of September, experts from NASA will be answering questions about climate change and their observations (e.g. via satellites). So go ask them a question! And look for more information soon regarding an event this fall on the subject of extreme weather featuring a scientist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA.