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Toward a just and peaceful world

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By Betty Quick

A dove and the word peace were featured in full color on the cover of our church program on a recent Sunday. It was the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. We remember that he said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

Jesus lives in the hearts of many of us who want to overcome anger and greed in our own lives. We want to live lives inspired by Jesus’ love and compassion and devotion to peace. We want to work for a just and peaceful world for our children and for all children everywhere.

Unfortunately, our government is devoted to war, not peace.

Our government is number one. The United States spends more on war than any other nation. We cause more destruction than any other nation. We have more military bases in more countries than any other nation. According to the Quakers, we spend 48 percent of our wealth on war, past present and future. This is money that is not available for a good health care system with everybody in, nobody out. This is money that is not available for education, to feed the hungry, and to house the homeless (a disproportionate number of whom are veterans).

This is money that is not available to create a clean energy future, which would create good jobs and get us off our addiction to oil, a finite resource. This would improve our environment and reduce global warming.

Fortunately, those of us who want a just and peaceful world are not alone. We have allies not only among Christians, but also among Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists — among all people who believe that love is better than hate and life-affirming peace is better than deadly war.

Each of us can do something to create a just and peaceful world. Every act of kindness helps. Every effort to conserve our precious resources such as water and energy helps. It helps every time that our own Father John Dear gets arrested for nonviolent actions for peace or nonviolent actions against nuclear weapons.

Local farmers are a big part of the effort to create a just and peaceful world. Shopping at locally owned stores is a step in the right direction. Creating beautiful music and beautiful art here in Las Vegas is important. Exchanging labor through work parties organized by Barter Hours is helpful. Another positive step is growing food in our own backyards.

Many individual and group actions will contribute to the goal of a just and peaceful world.

But it won’t be easy. We will have to recreate a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

It is a worthy task. It is an essential task. Our own well-being and the well-being of the earth depend on it.

And each of us can do something to help create a just and peaceful world.

Betty Quick
Las Vegas