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Letter: A call for peace

In response to the Oct. 1 collection of responses  to Meredith Walker’s Sept. 26 letter.

I have read your responses and reactions to the editorial letter written in late September about Islam.  Many of them were peaceful, educational and a call for understanding. Others were mean-spirited. I call you to practice non-violence.  Non-violence is more than resisting physical action.  Non-violence includes our choice of words, our mannerisms and our attitude towards others.  Non-violence does not try to coerce, or to be right, but rather to listen to another, seek to understand and to come to appreciate the other's differences.

I appreciate all religions, agnostics and atheists for we are all trying to understand and define the diversity that this world offers us.  There is great beauty in diversity and it is not something we should be fearful of.  In fact, when we truly practice non-violence we find that there is much we have in common and that in fact by listening to one another we can appreciate and cherish even those things that make us different.

But non-violence is not easy.  It is so much simpler to react with passion and emotion, than to wait and figure out what would be in the best interest of peace.  Martin Luther King led a non-violent movement for civil rights. There was every reason to react violently to the mistreatment, oppression and violence that was happening in America.  Instead, this man's words of non-violence woke up a nation who could no longer tolerate injustice, division and hatred, which longed for peace and reconciliation, and could not stand idly by as their brothers, sisters and children endured violence.

We are a community at ASU that appreciates diversity, that seeks understanding, that longs to use our words and our educations to build one another up and to create a world that is not only sustainable but peaceful.  We can, and must stand up for justice and tolerance, peace and reconciliation, but we cannot do so with violence. It starts at home with our words.  We only need look to the examples of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Benazir Bhutto, Aung San Suu Kyi , who have peacefully stood up for a better world, to see that there is a better way.  We can’t wait for someone else to take the lead; it is up to us to be the next solution for peace through non-violent words and actions.


Rev. Jeri Wilkerson

Valley Wesley at ASU

United Methodist Campus Ministry

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