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IN THEORY:Reflections on war in Iraq

March 17, 2007

On the Sunday after 9/11, I preached on Psalm 18, saying that in the soul of each individual and in the spirit of every nation there dwells both a savage and a savior. I prayed that the savage would be routed by the savior. But we became hardened as individuals, and our nation chose to enter the never-ending spiral of violence that for millennia has confronted and confounded people of the Psalms.

On this sad anniversary of deepening that spiral, and as we Christians once again approach the Passion of Jesus, I am mindful that God-in-Christ shares with us the experiences of terror and death. But when we speak to God the language of hatred and rejection, nails and spears, terrorist attacks and calculated bombings, and the bleeding bodies of children anywhere, God refuses to answer in that language.

We may always be dreaming up evil, but God is always working for good, coming up with wild and wonderful transformations, and surprising us with the ways love conquers hatred and reconciliation overpowers revenge. I pray that we will think God's thoughts, speak God's language, do God's will.

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I am weary of hard-heartedness and have written our elected representatives who have the power to cease our participation in the spiral of violence. I would wholeheartedly participate in "The Christian Peace Witness for Iraq" as part of what I perceive is doing my best to follow the Prince of Peace.

(THE VERY REV'D CANON) PETER D. HAYNES

Saint Michael & All Angels

Episcopal Church

Corona del Mar

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