Letter From New York 02 06 15 Strange Patterns…

It is that time of day when the golden light of the setting sun flashes across the mounds of snow lining my drive. It looks inviting but the temperature is very low, with a wind chill pushing it down even further. It was a day to be huddled inside. Even with the heat up and a sweater and a fleece jacket on, there is a chilly feeling to the cottage. When I finish writing, I am going to build a fire and begin prepping dinner.

As I usually do before sitting down to write, I scan the trending stories on Google News, trying to catch up with all that is happening out there in the world, far from the tranquil spot where I sit.

By now, Chancellor Merkel of Germany and President Hollande of France must be on their way home from Moscow, where they were to meet with Putin today. Meanwhile, while they were in Moscow, a truce was called and buses were sent to evacuate more people from the contested zone. As of now, 1.2 million have fled the fighting in Ukraine, helping to add to the global refugee crisis. It has been reported that there are more refugees now than at any time since the end of World War II.

NBC has launched an internal investigation of Brian Williams, the face of NBC News, now accused of inflating events in Iraq in 2003. It is also now being claimed he may have also “misremembered” things that happened to him during Hurricane Katrina. His scandal is growing and there are even a few of his peers who are suggesting he had best resign.

ISIS has issued a report that the Jordanian bombing of Raqqa killed an American hostage, a young woman by the name of Kayla Mueller. She was working with Syrian refugees when she was kidnapped. Other than the statement, there has been no verification. It maybe that the Jordanian attack gave ISIS cover to announce the death of Ms. Mueller. The beheading or immolation of a female hostage could have been a nightmare for ISIS. They are doing these terrible things to garner attention but they have a sometimes canny sense of what they can or cannot do.

Though they seem to have gone too far with the immolation of the Jordanian pilot. The backlash they are receiving is louder and more strident than anything before and they have now an entire Islamic nation enraged.

Enraged at Obama is what the Christian right is today after his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. He reminded the audience that Christians, too, have had blood on their hands over the course of history. He mentioned the Crusades, the Inquisition and Jim Crow. And the response from the right was thunderous. But Obama has no more campaigns to run and is saying what he thinks. While he was correct, it is not actually current. Christianity hasn’t been fighting crusades for a long time and the horrific behavior of the Colonial era is sliding into the past as Christians are now emerging as the most persecuted group in the world. They have moved from the persecutors to the persecuted in a few generations.

But the ones who are suffering the most, I suspect, are Muslims. The rift between Sunni and Shia is enormous and is used to justify a lot of suicide bombings.

One of the questions that often asked is why is religion so often the cause for violence and not for healing?

I don’t have an answer. I do know that historically religion has been at the center of most of human conflict. My God doesn’t like your God so I am going to kill you. It’s a strange pattern. Jesus wouldn’t have agreed but over the centuries lots and lots and lots of human beings have lost their lives to other human beings with a different interpretation of Jesus.

A similar thing seems to be going on within Islam.

Ah, the sun has almost set. There is a pink glow to the west. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Let us hope that the pink glow presages a good day tomorrow.

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