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Peace & Life Connections Index

#319 Police, Students, Wild Goose

Unacknowledged Trauma The mass shooting in Dallas targeting white police officers was done sniper-style, a clue the shooter had military training. He did, and was an army reservist in Afghanistan. Take note: outbursts of rage is a symptom of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). So is a sense of foreshortened future. The videos that sparked protests, of Black men shot by police, also show possible markers of PTSD in the officers. Civilian eyes see a lack of provocation, but hypervigilance is a trauma symptom. So is the emotion of detachment from others. The shooting cases that get videoed are only the tip of the iceberg, and we don’t know how many such cases involve previously traumatized officers. Police work can itself be traumatizing. But combat veterans often become police because of their skill set. This leads us to wonder: how many abortion doctors are military veterans? The theme does come up – for example, Leroy Carhart explicitly relates his military experience to his abortion practice. The military has at least made a start at acknowledging and treating PTSD, though this widespread aftereffect of war still doesn’t receive the attention it needs. For possible PTSD symptoms in women who’ve had abortions, academia is still in a state of denial. As a positive response and vision, Heben Nigatu has Twitter entries at #carefreeblackkids2k16.

Students for Life – Action in Texas Students for Life at the University of Texas at Austin will be promoting the consistent life ethic (CLE) for the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. They will kick off with a one-day CLE conference on Saturday, October 22nd. Aimee Murphy, Executive Director of Life Matters Journal, will give the keynote. Our board member Thad Crouch will speak on CLE and U.S. foreign policy.

Ashley Rappaport, President of UT Austin Students for Life (pictured), told Thad the CLE theme was chosen because: 1) Cecilia Brown moved them when she said, "If abortion were made illegal, the reasons women choose it would still exist." 2) They are tired of "preaching to the choir" with the same students showing up to events. 3) They liked that panelists at their Fall 2015 event all spoke about CLE and put abortion in that context.

Wild Goose Festival Every year we have an exhibit booth at the Wild Goose Festival, one of our friendliest crowds. This year about 3,400 attended. CL Endorser Shane Claiborne (pictured) was a main speaker. CL President Bill Samuel reports: “He spoke on the death penalty as part of the system of violence. He said the death penalty was a pro-life issue, and Christians should be against violence from the womb to the tomb. We got a stack of our Shane Claiborne cards on the table where he is selling his latest book, and they placed them right next to the book.”

Latest CL Blog: For the Republican Convention Next Week In the second entry of Convention Commentary, Rachel MacNair explains how the consistent life ethic approach is better than the single-issue approach to electoral politics: “Pro-lifers’ Top-Down Strategy is Now in Peril (And Always Was)."

Quotation of the Week Richard Rohr “How We Live in Our Hearts is Our Real Truth,” Sojourners, June 1, 2016 Political movements or leaders today that promote fear, hate, and bigotry are only able to rise because all of these things were first in the hearts of people. If we mobilize to fight these sorts of political movements and fail to address the underlying matters of the heart, then we will only ever cut off one head of the Hydra to watch it grow many more.

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