Westchester Youth Alliance Event (Perry's Ponderings)

As we watch the violence in the Middle East unfold, as well as other recent atrocities, it makes us wonder if voices of peace, understanding, and interconnectedness are stronger than the misfired angry noise of intolerance that envelops these embattled places. Although the seemingly unending waves of violence can be so disheartening and overwhelming, it is vital that we continue to speak up with a strong message of solidarity in peace across cultural differences. There is an opportunity to share that message and honor the tragic loss of life in the current conflict by attending the Interfaith Memorial and Prayers for Peace and Healing at Manhattanville College this coming Wed Jul 30 at 7:00pm.

Earlier this summer, three Jewish Israeli youth were kidnapped and killed on their way home from school. Soon afterward, one Muslim youth was abducted and murdered. The uncle of Naftali Frankel, one of the Jewish youth, was integrating his business by bringing in more Palestinians. Naftali’s uncle reflected, "There's no doubt that people who kidnap young kids are destructive and they hurt the Palestinian cause as equally as it's hurting the Israeli cause. It doesn't help anyone. So, am I surprised? No, I'm saddened. But that's reality. Does that mean I feel bad things about the good people I work with, among the Palestinians? No. These are good people.” (Read CNN article HERE) When people see each other’s humanity the conflict is changed for the better.

The whole world is concerned and watching the Middle East conflict. As a Jewish Unitarian, I feel the torment of the struggle, recognize the complexity of the situation, and know the real resolution will come from the power of thoughtful moderate voices. The extremists on both sides do not allow for any lasting solution because their answers do not include recognition of the humanity of the other side as being primary. Ideology over humanity will always set us back. Accepting the value in our differences and focusing on our capacity for love moves the world in a positive direction.

In response to the threatened Quran burning by extremist Christians, UCC minister Rev. Chuck Curry stated, “Religious traditions are, at their core and center, traditions of peace, reconciliation and understanding.” The keynote speakers on Wednesday from all three Abrahamic faiths will no doubt echo Rev. Curry’s sentiment. I look forward to hearing speakers from various congregations spread the word that religion need not be intolerant to unite people in faith and community. In fact, the opposite is true, as we profess every time we speak our Unitarian Universalist values.

Please join me and the Westchester Youth Alliance, who is helping to sponsor the event, so we may listen and be heard.

Wednesday, Jul 30
West Room, Reid Castle
Manhattanville College campus
2900 Purchase Street
Purchase, New York, 10577

See the Westchester Youth Alliance Web Page HERE and their Facebook Page HERE.

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