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Learning from history
May 24th, 2016
By Rosemary K. Ring

Do we ever learn from history? Looking back on our own, we are reminded by the story of Father Daniel Berrigan, who stood up for peace and risked prison to go with his own conscience, that serious objections to the Vietnam War were a Christian obligation he took personally. The choice he made was to abhor violence as a solution to political conflict which did not suit everyone at the time.

Now the world is again being challenged to find solutions to war and to the refugee crisis caused by war. As the leader of the free world our president will be on the spot to demonstrate that compassion, unselfishness and love will be the antidotes best suited to resolving a dangerous standoff in Europe and the Middle East. The two horrendous world wars of the 20th century did have lessons, and one was that hatred, retribution and greed only produce more of the same.

The Marshall Plan and the United Nations after World War II produced better results than the Treaty of Versailles. I think that the free world will get a bad deal if our citizens abrogate their responsibility to vote, and would not encourage anyone who is able to vote to stay clear of the polls.

Those who choose that route can then only blame themselves for electing a dictator who is unloved but ruling only by intimidation and fear.

Rosemary K. Ring

From May 26, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.


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