McLaren's Letter to Obama
Read Brian McLaren's open letter to Barack Obama. It's nice to see a critical letter written in a positive and hopeful spirit. It's such a refreshing thing after all the other criticisms I've heard which are usually fearful, paranoid, and bigoted as well as extremely negative. McLaren suggests that it would be better to use the money we'd normally be spending on bombs and bullets in Afghanistan and redirect those funds towards building schools and hospitals, doing real good as a way of saying "which way is better, the way of Al Queda or the way of peace?" making the decision much clearer than the current decision, between "two groups of leaders [Al Queda and the United States] who both depend on violence to achieve their aims." This is much closer to the way of Jesus than war--offering a true alternative rather than taking "an eye for an eye." Here's my favorite paragraph from McLaren's letter:
With this kind of approach, the people of Afghanistan (and Pakistan) would have two clear choices. Al Queda and other extremists offer violence and unrest. But the international community would be offering support for order, rebuilding, collaboration, justice, and peace. This choice is a much clearer and better one than the choice between two groups of leaders who both depend on violence to achieve their aims.Now the real question is, can we do this? Can we really find an alternative to war even in Afghanistan? Yes, we can!... even if it means some other plan besides what McLaren suggests.