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I’ve had time to think about the awful events of last Friday in Paris, and there is no possible way to justify, in the name of any religion, the slaughter of innocent people in such a way. I worry though that our reaction in the west will be more of the same, not in such a cold-blooded way of course, but essentially fighting fire with fire. We need to get heads together to sort out Syria, to sort out Afghanistan, to sort out the West Bank. As Winston Churchill once said, ‘jaw-jaw is better than war-war’.
The other day on the radio I heard an arrangement of this old song by James Taylor and it sums up, via its reference to Martin Luther King and its general sentiments, how I feel about any situation like this. I hope and pray that we heed its advice:
Let us turn our thoughts today
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us,
All men and women living on the Earth.
Ties of hope and love,
Sister and brotherhood,
That we are bound together
In our desire to see the world
Become a place in which our children
Can grow free and strong.
We are bound together by the task
That stands before us
And the road that lies ahead.
We are bound and we are bound.
There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness
And the mist
And though the body sleeps
The heart will never rest
Shed a little light, oh Lord,
So that we can see,
Just a little light, oh Lord.
Want to stand it on up,
Stand it on up, oh Lord,
Want to walk it on down,
Shed a little light, oh Lord.
‘Shed a little light’ by James Taylor