As we re­mem­ber, may we also unite

Kingston Whig-Standard - - RELIGION LISTINGS - NADENE GRIEVE-DESLIPPE Rev. Nadene Grieve-Deslippe is a wife, mother, grand­mother, sis­ter, neigh­bour and friend and is very pleased to be the min­is­ter at Cooke’s-Portsmouth United Church in Kingston.

The Golden Rule is the prin­ci­ple of treat­ing oth­ers as one’s self would wish to be treated. It is a maxim that is found in many re­li­gions and cul­tures. It may be worded with slight mod­i­fi­ca­tions, but the mean­ing is the same across all faiths and philoso­phies: treat oth­ers as you ex­pect to be treated. Such a sim­ple idea, and yet so seem­ingly chal­leng­ing to in­te­grate.

I write this in the wake of the re­cent events south of the bor­der that in­cluded pipe bombs be­ing de­liv­ered to prom­i­nent per­sons with po­lit­i­cal of­fice or his­tory and the shoot­ing at Tree of Life syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh. Per­haps my col­league who shares this space with me ref­er­enced th­ese events last week. But I write be­fore I can read her re­flec­tion and prior to the mid-term elec­tions in Amer­ica. When this is printed, all of the vic­tims of the shoot­ing will have been buried and the re­sults of the elec­tions known. I ap­proach this col­umn with a heavy heart, a bur­dened soul and with an un­der­cur­rent of hope, be­cause re­gard­less of what has tran­spired on the world stage in the days lead­ing up to to­day, this is the eve of Re­mem­brance.

Our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren may have al­ready ac­knowl­edged the sig­nif­i­cance of this day in ob­ser­vances at school. I will have the hon­our and priv­i­lege of shar­ing in a ser­vice of re­mem­brance to­mor­row with the con­gre­ga­tion that I cur­rently serve. Vet­er­ans will wear uni­forms adorned with medals and there will be a cur­rent of solem­nity and re­spect that will be more pal­pa­ble than what is nor­mally ex­pe­ri­enced in a ser­vice. There will be lit­tle or no lev­ity in the an­nounce­ments or in the re­flec­tive time. We will lis­ten to Last Post and Reveille and the Piper’s Lament. We will ob­serve two min­utes of si­lence and there will be lumps in throats and tears on cheeks. But there will be a recom­mit­ment made to peace in the wake of re­mem­brance and the il­lu­sive­ness of the dream that seems in­creas­ingly preva­lent in the cli­mate in which we live.

I count my­self among those who be­lieve that the es­ca­la­tion of vi­o­lence has a di­rect link to the rhetoric es­poused and lack of deco­rum mod­elled by the cur­rent U.S. pres­i­dent. I rank among those fright­ened and con­cerned Cana­di­ans who have no de­sire to travel in the States dur­ing th­ese times of un­cer­tainty. Grand­chil­dren may not visit Dis­ney­world any time soon, and trips to Cana­dian tourist at­trac­tions this past sum­mer came with an el­e­ment of con­cern for safety in the wake of mo­tor ve­hi­cles be­ing used to mow down the in­no­cent as they con­gre­gate and go about their daily du­ties, tasks and in­dul­gences. And yet we crossed the thresh­olds none­the­less be­cause to do oth­er­wise is to be ruled by fear and para­noia.

To re­main clois­tered and afraid flies in the face of those who con­tinue to serve our na­tion as he­roes and hero­ines in their own right, will­ing to sac­ri­fice them­selves for the good of oth­ers. Even as I write I fight the gnaw­ing fear to dis­close my per­sonal opin­ion on who needs to ac­knowl­edge, at the very least, com­plic­ity in the rise of in­tol­er­ance. And yet to re­main silent is in it­self an act of cow­ardice and com­plic­ity. Again such cow­ardice has no place in my life on the eve of Re­mem­brance.

I know not at this point which ma­jor­ity will have been elected to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Wash­ing­ton. I an­tic­i­pate that there will be blame laid for pos­si­ble losses, or con­versely, strut­ting and pride­ful pos­tur­ing and self­ag­gran­dize­ment for gains made. But I write in hope.

I hope that vet­er­ans, sur­vivors and vic­tims of all acts of vi­o­lence will ac­knowl­edge the great cost that en­sues when hu­man­ity does not live by the Golden Rule. And in hu­mil­ity, will like­wise give thanks to what­ever de­ity that the re­sponse of most of hu­man­ity to acts of ter­ror­ism, vi­o­lence and war is em­pa­thy.

In the wake of the as­sault on the Jewish com­mu­nity in Pitts­burgh, per­sons the world over, and in our com­mu­nity here at home, gath­ered to­gether in sol­i­dar­ity, grief and hope. United in our ab­hor­rence of such acts of cow­ardice and vi­o­lence; heart­bro­ken in its wake and seem­ing preva­lence; and hop­ing for the day when per­sons of all faiths, creeds and na­tions can live to­gether in tol­er­ance, re­spect and peace.

On this week­end of re­mem­brance may cit­i­zens of the world unite to­gether in the prayer and in the an­them, “let there be peace on earth and let it be­gin with me.”

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