"The God of peace is never glorified by human violence," wrote the famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton.
Whether it's on an individual, city, national, or international level, violence always dishonors God, and makes bad situations worse. The recent Baltimore City riots were no exception: people were injured, neighborhood stores were burned, and violence was further engrained into a city and world already steeped in violence.
But, and this is a big but: What are the reasons that led to violence? What motivated some African-Americans in Baltimore to riot? To ask and to try to answer these questions – in dialogue with the rioters – is certainly not meant to justify the violence; rather it is a necessary step on the road to ending it. more >>
As the Obama administration mercifully begins to wind toward the end of its second term, both the President and the First Lady will continue to distract from their horrible record. Their favorite distraction is to claim racial discrimination exists in this nation and is needs to be corrected through government action.
Even though we are not living in Mississippi in 1964, the President and Mrs. Obama continue to emphasize that America has not progressed enough from the Jim Crow era. They minimize the tremendous progress that African Americans have made in this country and focus on the challenges that remain.
Instead of dealing with the problems they have created, the First Couple engage in a continual discussion about race while employing racially divisive rhetoric. Although it may be skillful and political expedient, it has done tremendous damage to race relations in the nation. more >>
Speaking to graduates of Dillard University in New Orleans on Saturday, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington advised those at the ceremony to "put God first" during his 10-minute commencement speech to the graduating class.
"Number one: put God first," said Washington, getting a loud ovation from those gathered. "Put God first in everything you do."
"Everything that you think you see in me and think that I have accomplished, everything that you think I have … everything that I have is by the grace of God. Understand that. It's a gift." more >>
This column was co-authored by Rob Schwarzwalder.
The rioting in Baltimore is disturbing to all Americans, as the unresolved cause of Freddie Gray's death while in police custody should be, as well.
It is right that political and religious leaders, community groups, business organizations, and law enforcement officials are commenting about all the causes and effects of the riots. But one thing seems missing from the discussion, a factor whose omission is unacceptable. It's called fatherhood. more >>
On May 1, Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby charged six police officers, including two black male officers and one female black officer, with 28 various charges, including murder and manslaughter over the death of Freddie Gray. Officer Caesar Goodsoon, the black driver of the van Gray rode in, was charged by the 35-year-old state's attorney for Baltimore City with the most serious offense, "second-degree depraved heart murder," which means indifference to human life. Baltimore is 64 percent black, and almost half of the Baltimore Police department is black.
The officers are accused of arresting and roughing up Gray, who is black, for no good reason, then neglecting his request for medical care as they took him to the police station. The officers arrested him because they believed he had a switchblade, which is illegal under Maryland law. Mosby declared that he did not have a switchblade, claiming there was no probable cause to arrest him. Mosby said while he was being transported in the back of the police van without a seatbelt on, he suffered a neck and back injury. He died a week later of the injuries. One of the officers charged, Garrett Miller, has said that Gray was arrested "without force or incident."
Mosby announced the charges a mere 12 days after Gray's death, only one day after receiving the results of the police internal investigation and almost immediately after receiving the medical examiner's report. In contrast, a grand jury returned a decision of no indictment against Officer Darren Wilson more than three months later after his death. more >>
On a recent visit to India, my first stop in New Delhi was a visit with my precious grandmother over evening tea. As we caught up on family news and future plans, I was once again touched by her personal interest in every detail and inspired by her graceful authority even though I sometimes had to strain to hear her fragile voice. When I got up to leave, she pulled me aside and whispered something in my ear. "You need to do two things this year," she told me in a tone of concern that was firm but kind. "Get married and join a gym." I laughed and told her I'd try to do at least one of the two. She then sent me off with a hug and a kiss and a Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate candy bar, one of my favorite treats from childhood.
That brief interaction offers a glimpse into the affectionate woman my grandmother is and the sweet relationship I treasure with her to this day.
In a couple weeks, on May 27, my family will celebrate my paternal grandmother's 90th Birthday. Satya Malhotra is truly our family matriarch, and we thank the Lord for His favor and faithfulness in her life over these nine decades. Despite so many growing limitations, the scope and impact of her life is without boundaries. more >>