Like many people, I have been horrified by the bomb attack at the Boston Marathon earlier this week, and feel so sad about this renewed evidence of violence and hatred in the world.
I have been reading Forrest Church's The Cathedral of the World: A Universalist Theology this week. One passage in it really hit home. He writes:
"Members in the Commonwealth of God are not bound together by the specifics of their religion, for the nature of our interdependence does not require this. Rather we are bound by the shared recognition that when one person suffers, all suffer; when we violate one life, all lives are violated; when we pollute the earth, all living things are stained; when one nation threatens the security of another, it, too, becomes less secure; when we place the planet in mortal danger, we hazard the future of our own children as well as the children of our enemies.
Competitive virtues elevate winners by diminishing losers. This is especially hazardous in competition between countries. In the age of the global village and the global economy, while the balance may be tipped temporarily in one side's favor, if sustained such imbalances set up the possibility of a tidal wave of terrifying proportion, which may start all the way on the other side of the world, and end up crashing down on our own shores.
Given human nature and history, to propose a relational, cooperative, and fraternal, or kinship-based, ethic fashioned to strengthen the interdependent web of being may seem idealistic and naïve. In fact, it is desperately realistic. Interrelatedness is not simply a theological concept; it is a new truth."