Friday, December 21, 2012

Find partners for peace

December might be titled Peace Month because it is the month in which Christians celebrate the birth of the one they call the Prince of Peace. But realistically, peace was in that ancient time, as it is in ours, a scarce commodity.

Talk about peace is cheap, as it always has been. There is, after all, no peace for those who are marginalized, no peace for those whose opinions and concerns are given no place in public discourse.

On United Nations Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, the UN sought to make the case that there is no peace for those whose legitimate interests are ignored.

The Nobel Peace Prize, the most prestigious of all peace awards, is awarded in December. This year, it was given to the European Union, which “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”

As usual, there are those who are excited by the award and its recipients and those who are offended by it.

Critics of the Peace Prize are quick to point out that recipients have sometimes been involved in conflicts in their country rather than simply avoiding all conflict in the name of peace. For example, Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu were regarded by some in their native South Africa as communist traitors. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee made specific mention of the bishop’s part in the transition to democracy in South Africa.

Despite his Peace Prize, Rev. Martin Luther King was also derided and called a communist in America by those who wished to maintain segregation. The Nobel Committee, called European socialists by its critics, awarded the prize to U.S. President Barack Obama for his work to end the war in Iraq.

The lesson of these prizes is that we do not give peace a chance when we dismiss as unworthy of our attention those who are different, those who are treated as unworthy of the public’s time, those whose opinions make us uncomfortable or those who take an active part in the politics of their time.

Mandela, now 94 and quite likely near the end of his time on earth, calls us to be part of a struggle for peace. Mandela teaches, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

December and the holiday season should be a time for finding partners so that peace might become more abundant.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2024 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.