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RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses for March 18, 2007 

           IRAQ WAR - Christian Groups To Stage Protest  - "Among march participants who have volunteered to be arrested is Taylor Branch, a Presbyterian elder and a Baltimore historian of the civil rights era. "This is not new for me," said Branch, who protested during the Vietnam War. "I've gone to other marches. It just seems to me we've been kind of complacent" about the war in Iraq." - from the Washington Post, March 16, 2007

         This week-end marches were held across the globe protesting the Iraq War as in goes into its 5th year.  And in the U.S. there were counter-demonstrations against the peace marches.  From reading the articles from the news services it is apparent that there was a great diversity in the people who participated in the marches.  And in many of these marches the protests were not only against the war but also against the president of the United States, George Bush.  Some of the protests were peaceful, with prayer and silence ... while many others were filled with anger and in many places in the world, violence broke out.  Some of the peace march speakers were just as political as politicians.

       As a world we have not learned much from our wars ... and sadly, peace marchers, by and large, have not learned much about peace.  Anger and blame directed against the governments, national leaders, and politicians ... will not bring us closer to peace ... it only creates more of what we do not want ... war.  Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., after him, gave us the right approach to gaining peace and justice ... and that is by marching with peace in our hearts and a desire for peace for everyone.  And, I believe, that if we are ever to experience a world at peace, the majority of its inhabitants must desire peace for all people ... not just for themselves.

     Taylor Branch, the Presbyterian elder and Baltimore historian, is correct, we have been far too complacent about the war in Iraq.  We are still believing that our leaders and politicians will "bring peace amidst turmoil" ... and this is not the way it works at all.  Peace begins in the hearts and minds of the people ... and in so doing, leaders and politicians will be elected that seek peace ... not power.  This is no Pollyanna theory ... this is the way in which collective consciousness manifests in our world.  A good example of this is the Peace Corps:  The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to world peace and friendship. (above statements from Peace Corps website)  Can you imagine what a change the world would be in today had we invested as much money in the Peace Corps as the world has invested in just one year of this 4-year war in Iraq?  And what could happen if other countries participated in this program worldwide as a coalition of the willing ... supporting peace across the globe?  The possibilities are infinite!

      As individuals we carry the banner of peace in our hearts ... by "being" at peace with all people and all things.  Peace protests filled with angry people may end a war ... or two ... but more will follow.  Peace marches filled with prayer and silence ... can turn the minds of the masses toward peace.  It is not as dramatic ... but it will work.  Can you imagine a counter-protest to a peace march filled with prayer and silence?  Few would be foolish enough to counter this.  If something gets us angry ... its got us ... and that is the truth in Mind.  When our mind and hearts are filled with peace, and determined to remain in peace ... then we become powerful.

All the mystics; Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Gandhi and others have taught us the way to peace.  We must be bold enough to "be still and know that I am God" ... and this is what we are called to do if our desire is for a peaceful world.  There is no "war to win the peace" ... this is an oxymoron ... peace-filled people, collectively ... will win the peace!


Keep the faith!
Rev. Hank Bates
                                    Visit:  www.IraqMemorial.org

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