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Church News Volume 3, Issue 2

Dear friends,

What a terrible month we have just lived through! The devastation to life, limb and property, caused by such wicked acts of terrorism, have stunned the world. How will the nations of the world respond? How will the United States of America respond? How should we respond? Revenge and retaliation born out of great anger are the first natural feelings.

At the time of writing this, no response has been made except global condemnation of the perpetrators of this terrible crime and a resolve to try and combat world terrorism. History shows us that response in the heat of the moment is not the best course of action. Rather a considered, unified response is the most effective in dealing with such evil acts. I am reminded of some words from Martin Luther King, who said that unless we learn to live together as brothers we shall die together like fools.

What does drive people to sacrifice their lives in acts of terrorism, to take innocent lives in the process? When the story begins to unfold these people are not evil monsters with no regard for life. It would of course be easier for us all if they were.

They are often described as quiet, polite, hard working, family loving individuals who become so involved in a cause that they are prepared to sacrifice everything to be heard. If there is one lesson we all must learn from the terrible events of this last month it is that we must begin to listen to other people, however different from us they may appear.

The Western world has for too long dismissed the rest of the world as being "second class". We have treated other countries with contempt, manipulating them for our own capitalist ends. We sell arms to one country and allow another to starve. We use the resources of the Third world, giving little return to the poor but gaining huge profits for our multinational companies.

Why do so many of the Third world countries hate the West so much? Is it because we have been led to believe that those who do not hold to our Western ways are evil in some ways? Is it because the West always appears to believe it holds the "moral high ground"?

We need to listen to the cry of those who feel they can only be heard in the violence of terrorism. We must find ways of treating all people as our equals, stop exploiting them for our own political and economic ends, and then, perhaps, the exploited will begin to see that they can be heard through dialogue without the bombs and guns.

I am not excusing in any way the evil acts of the past month - but we need to try and understand why these things happen. If only we could learn to live together as brothers, listening to one another, accepting our differences, then maybe we shall not die together as fools.

Rev'd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011