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Ways of the World

Carol Stone, business economist & active Episcopalian, brings you "Ways of the World". Exploring business & consumers & stewardship, we'll discuss everyday issues: kids & finances, gas prices, & some larger issues: what if foreigners start dumping our debt? And so on. We can provide answers & seek out sources for others. We'll talk about current events & perhaps get different perspectives from what the media says. Write to Carol. Let her know what's important to you:

Monday, January 08, 2007

Bethlehem Revisited

A thoughtful reader writes to pose some pointed questions about our description of the present difficult economic conditions in Bethlehem, which we wrote about December 18: Haven't those people contributed to their own hardship? Don't the Israelis have a right to protect themselves against suicide bombers? And so on.

We will not respond specifically to these questions here. They weren't the point of our article. But we won't ignore them either.

We wrote about Bethlehem because we are genuinely distraught by the paradox the Middle East situation presents. Everyone shares in the violence. And it was ever thus, back at least to the time of Moses and Joshua and despite the birth and life there of the Prince of Peace. After reading more about it in these recent weeks, I found it hard on Christmas Eve to sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem". I would switch the emphasis: "Oh! Little Town of Bethlehem, how sorrowfully we see thee lie . . . ."

So we located some people and institutions that are endeavoring to do good: schools to bring the right kind of education about peace and justice, a library to spread wholesome knowledge, a health service to treat illness. These are ways to help the future there be better and more hope-filled. They deserve our support, regardless of what political views we hold.

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Next on our "List" is energy and environmentalism. A quick preview is encapsulated in the title of one of our main sources: "A Thousand Barrels a Second". Stay tuned.


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