I saw this incredible image on a friend’s Facebook wall:
The context: “A Greek Orthodox Priest tries to stop a rioter from throwing a Molotov cocktail at Greek Police.”
The background: Greece is in social and political crisis right now — crippling national debt and rising taxes are crushing the middle class, eliminating jobs and tearing at the nation’s social fabric, as this poignant article in the UK Telegraph makes clear.
Civic unrest and rioting as we are seeing in Greece, in Britain and other European countries as well are not going to diminish any time soon — here in America a large group of anarchists have been “occupying” Wall Street for the past week or so. And we all remember the union-led occupation of the capital in Wisconsin. These types of public displays of protest are going to get worse as massive government spending and overregulation kills off economic growth and diminishes prosperity, which means more people being forced to get along with less. But blessed are the peacemakers – violence is not the answer. Active and full involvement in peaceful politics is.
In this new context of economic contraction, churches and selfless, generous people of faith will play a critical role in reducing the human cost of bad government.
Look at the image again — we’re all called to be peacemakers. Let’s pray that this calling will be chiefly lived out in the United States by being actively involved faithful citizens in the democratic process and brave voices for truth in the public square, rather than actually being called to put our life and safety in jeopardy, as this brave priest did.