A recent press comment from Mennonite World Conference acts as a helpful reminder of an important declaration inviting belief communities - faith-based and otherwise - to commit to peace in the midst of a world still riven with conflict and religiously- or ideologically-sanctioned violence.
For many people these days, much 'religion' has become synonymous with division, bigotry and violence. Sadly, there is plenty of good evidence that this is so. But it is not the whole picture. There are very strong faith traditions that point in exactly the opposite direction.
Goshen College, a prominent Mennonite liberal arts institution, has reversed its decision to play the militaristic and nationalistic US national anthem at sports events. Andy Alexis-Baker welcomes the move, after a long process of lobbying which he and others led. Never before have so many Christians - and not just Mennonites or other Anabaptists - stated so clearly that these anthems and rituals have no place in Christian formation, he observes.
Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is a huge and valuable theologically-rooted ethical resource, says Simon Barrow, reporting on a new CST website. Despite areas of significant debate / disagreement in the bio-ethical sphere, and necessarily tough questions about the Church's performance and stance in a number of areas, CST is a huge contribution to human social understanding and moral discourse, both within and well beyond Catholic institutions.