Sobering Thoughts for Conflictual Times and Scared People [9-5-14]


I despair of public discourse these days, and maybe some of you do too. Occasionally I find articles that seem sobering and wise in the face of extreme polarities and hostile positioning.

The Middle East is boiling and something must be done! Russia is on the march and must be stopped! Racism and poverty are intertwined and we are at odds on what to do about them!  Maybe we should just engage in cut-and-slash rhetoric through the next elections and then, maybe, we can be wise and governable?

Perhaps the following recent articles might be helpful! Or, maybe not?

Thomas Friedman seems to me to discern the de facto quandaries facing the deep conflicts in the Middle East that were not created overnight and refuse oversimplifications.

Thomas Edsall continues to hustle data and discerning comments about the grave and discouraging racial and poverty issues that are eating away at our minds and hearts. Is it possible to actually talk soberly about the multiple dimensions of our racism, poverty, and capitalism’s fragility? Edsall writes some sense-making comments about our life together.

Pope Francis continues to amaze folk, coming close to suggesting that the Roman church tradition is not primarily interested in protecting itself and the powerful, but might even have an irrefutable obligation to the poor and politically persecuted. Might Liberation Theology, roughly so-called, have a voice in the high courts of the Vatican?

It is never inappropriate to pray about these matters, but it might help to be thoughtful in our minds and perhaps even in our actions.



Comments welcomed.

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Reader Responses

Bob Tucker

responded on 09/06/14

Deep concern for our current state, despair no.
1. We survived the Civil War with approximately 670,000 (newly revised figure) men killed. Think of what that also did to women’s lives and the orphans.
2. Ferguson was bad, but we survived the LA Rodney King riots in 1992 with 53 people killed and roughly 2000 injured, 3600 fires and 1100 buildings destroyed.
This is written not for complacency, but for perspective.