In Northern Ireland, there has been a big increase in suicides since the early-nineties, before the first ceasefire in 1994, rising particularly throughout the period after the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Many are concerned about the trend, which is often seen when peace comes to a country – whatever side people are on, the cohesiveness that being involved in conflict brings to communities is weakened post conflict. And the situation may actually be worse than people think. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘peace’
In a recent book, War and the American Difference*, Stanley Hauerwas explores why it is that Americans have a distinct lack of unease with war. War, he says, ‘is America’s central liturgical act necessary to renew our sense that we are a nation unlike other nations.’ In other words, the war on terror means that Americans have a common enemy that unites them nationally. War is a moral good. It is the pursuit and defence of ‘freedom’. (more…)
‘They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks’
Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3
Recently I heard it stated that ‘…creatives, artists, have responsibility to define the vision of the future (of what peace might look like in N Ireland), and that ‘…only creatives can see the way’. Given that God’s people have His ear and He has ours, we are also in a very privileged position to define what peace looks like and how it might be achieved. This is where Isaiah’s (and Micah’s) prophecy comes in with its powerful counterpointing of destruction caused by swords and spears and abundance resulting from ploughing and pruning. (more…)
In the days after the Twelfth this year a perusal of the different media gave a variety of different perspectives on how it had been. Unionist-leaning websites gave evidence of a happy family day out, in the sun, at Keady, Ballymena and elsewhere. More nationalist-inspired media made much of an ugly incident outside a Catholic church in Belfast. Above all, of course, there were those horrible scenes of mayhem, that could have included murder, at the Ardoyne shops. (more…)
The following p.s. is issued as part of Community Relations Week 2012, which takes place from May 14 to May 20, organised by the Community Relations Council, with the theme ‘No More Them and Us?’ Over 150 events will take place across all local council areas making this the biggest event in the community relations calendar.
A full listing of Community Relations Week events can be found at www.nicrc.org.uk and printed programmes can be obtained from local libraries. Click here for details of our ‘In Conversation With Ian Bothwell’ on Tuesday 15 May.
I have snapshots in my head of mindless hatred by one tribe against another in various parts of this Province. At first sight it appears to be excused by saying that those involved are unthinking and therefore not really to blame – they are merely acting out of ignorance, but it is more complicated than that. Even a cursory reading of European history shows the revulsion displayed by all classes of society towards those they consider the enemy. Hitler’s abhorrence of the Poles and Polish Jews in particular allowed an official policy of human destruction that aimed to reduce the population of Warsaw by 400,000 people and decimate the population of the entire country by over 10%. (more…)
‘Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers and sisters, be compassionate and humble.’ 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
Peter urges the readers of his first letter to ‘live in harmony with…’ What does ‘harmonious living’ look like?
Harmonious living is partly explained by Peter’s next phrases – being sympathetic, loving, compassionate and humble – but is Eugene Peterson’s ‘Be agreeable’ sufficient? (more…)