Pondering Syria

Much attention this past week has been focused on the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria. What, if anything, should the world do in response? That the situation is complicated is the one thing that almost everyone seems to agree on. This has led, in many cases, to more thoughtful public debate than we often see. It has raised many issues that we need to consider.

In our theoretical debates, we can end with “it’s complicated.” In the real world, some people need to make real decisions – to act or not to act – remembering that to not decide is, in fact, a decision for the status quo. While I do not currently support a military strike, I am also grateful that I am not one of the people charged with making the ultimate decision.

I have been asked about the issue from a Unitarian Universalist (UU) perspective and so share with you here a few resources.

  • My colleagues Rev. Eric Cherry of the UUA’s International Office and Rev. Kathleen McTigue of the UU College of Social Justice offer us A Reflection and Prayer after Sarin Gas.
  • Rev. Peter Morales serves as the president of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). On Thursday, he issued a short statement about the proposed military strikes in Syria, which reflected the values of many Unitarian Universalists.
  • In 2010, after 4 years of study and action, delegates at our UUA General Assembly adopted a “Statement of Conscience” titled Creating Peace. It attempted to describe the complex, yet thoughtful, perspectives of Unitarian Universalists on broad issues of war and peace.  You can read that 5-page document here.  If you are interested in the process by which this statement, and other statements like it are created using our democratic processes, you can read about that here.

As the world continues through the discernment process, may we continue to raise important issues, to share our perspectives, and to hold those with decision making power in our prayers. May we, once again, commit ourselves to active engagement in the issues of peace and justice, for it is only through such engagement that the world of our dreams will emerge.

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One Response to Pondering Syria

  1. George Hooper says:

    Rev. Martin Luther King had it right when he said,“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

    Our approach to Syria is like a parent who beats his child saying, “How many times have I told you not to hit someone?”

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