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Peace & Life Connections Index

#436 Religions, Elections, Mass Shootings - November 9, 2018

Parliament of the World's Religions

Harmony rather than deadly conflicts between different religions is a major part of the peace movement. CLN vice-president Rachel MacNair attended the Parliament November 1-7 with thousands of people in Toronto. Themes of preventing war and similar killings were constant, as were preventing racism and poverty. Rachel found that the death penalty and euthanasia came up only in her own private conversations. Abortion had a major role in the Gendercide Awareness Project’s art piece, 117 Million “Missing” Women, with baby booties for every 10,000 missing women.

There was also a small session (a dozen attendees), with three papers in which one was on abortion. Presented as “research,” this paper was actually a conventional perspective from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Rachel’s presence brought the consistent life ethic into the conversation.

U.S. Election Referendum Results

We found no state referendums on executions, euthanasia, or war. There were three against abortion:

  • Alabama: Passed with 59% Yes!

Amendment 2: to keep judges from using the Alabama constitution for abortion access if Roe v. Wade is overturned; declares the state’s policy is to support the right to life of the unborn; nothing in the Alabama constitution protects a “right” to abortion or its taxpayer funding.

  • Oregon: Defeated with 64% No.

Measure 106, to stop taxpayer funding of abortion.

  • West Virginia: Passed with 52% Yes!

Constitutional Amendment 1: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.” There were 5 referendums related to poverty. Minimum wage increases won easily in Arkansas and Missouri. Medicaid expansion won easily in Nebraska, Idaho, and Utah. No referendums focused on helping the poor lost.

Find our statement on election results on our Facebook page.


Mass Shootings Heartbreakingly, mass shootings have become so common in the U.S. that we no longer comment each time on those that make the news. The massacre in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on October 27 was especially horrific as being motivated by a hatred of Jews. It’s the largest single-incident massacre of Jews in U.S. history. Fortunately, this was a lone gunman, and widespread memorials supported the victims. The November 7 shooting leaving 13 dead in a California bar is also noteworthy for this feature: according to the Los Angeles Times, the gunman was a “former U.S. Marine machine gunner who may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.” This PTSD may be perpetration-induced. We don’t know in this case, but in general, PTSD symptoms can lead to violent acts, so mass shootings can be a side-effect of large-scale war-fighting.

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Quotation of the Week

Hamid Slimi, Ph.D. Modern Day Terrorism: An Examination of Islam’s Values & Texts, 2018, p. 116 Islam stresses continuously that human life – and life in general – is sacred. The laws of Islam seek to incorporate reverence for this sacredness in every aspect of life and in all its teachings and injunctions. This sacredness is not based on accepting Islam as a way of life or a religion, but it is based on the cardinal principle that every human life is sacred and of inestimable value for it comes from God, the Giver of Life. Thus, only God has the right to take it back. Islam forbids crime, suicide, self-destruction, infanticide, and abortion out of fear for poverty. (footnote: no suicide, Qur’an 4:29; no self-destruction, Qur’an 2:195; no infanticide or abortion, Qur’an 17:31)

Responses/News Tips/Questions to share are all welcome.

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