Dispair and Hope

February 1, 2015

I’ve recently received two emails. One brought me despair, the other hope. The first was a review of “American Sniper,” a move that made a record-breaking $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday long weekend. The reviewer, Chris Hedges, describes it as a movie that “lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression.”

The second email was from the team organizing the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions. Like Hedges, they also noted that “hate, anger and fear is rising in our country,” but their response is that “people of love must rise with stronger relationships.” The organizers are calling for “a joint declaration on this critical issue before we all make commitments to what we will be doing to counter it.”

My own feeling is that the Dalai Lama (scheduled to speak at the Parliament) alone cannot convince the world to give up hatred. Pope Francis alone cannot do it. No single religious leader can. But perhaps the collective voice of all the religious leaders of the world can.

That’s why I’m one of the 3500 already registered for the Parliament. That’s why I encourage you to check out the Parliament and then go within and look at how God may be leading you. If it’s to Salt Lake City for the Parliament in October, I look forward to seeing you there.

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