Are We Feeding the Fearmongers?

U.S. Olympian Ryan Suter told his family not to come to Sochi, Russia, to watch him compete with the U.S. hockey team in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Suter’s father, who was part of the 1980 Olympic hockey team that won in the Miracle on Ice game, has decided not to come watch his son compete due to the fear of terrorist activity.

Read the full article here.

Are articles like this really helpful? I understand that there are real concerns about terrorists in Sochi. I certainly would hope that the Russian government is doing its due diligence to keep the Olympians, fans, residents of Sochi, and all others involved with the 2014 Winter Olympics safe from harm. And knowing about the possibility of attacks is important for them. But does the whole world need to be reading about it? Is writing and sharing stories like this one helping us fight the war on terror? Or is it actually feeding the fearmongers?

When Jesus was drawing near to the time when he would be betrayed and crucified, Jesus met with his disciples. He explained to them as best he could what was soon to happen. The reality of what Jesus was about to face and what that meant for the disciples as well would have been scary. Jesus’ arrest and sentencing would have made him a criminal in the eyes of the government. And therefore, any who associated with him would have been in danger as well. Jesus knew this was coming and tried to warn his disciples.

But Jesus’ warning was not about fear. Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” Jesus did not give as the world gives. The world is a fearful place and the news media simply reflects and magnifies that fear. The endless stories of concerns over safety and the possibility of terrorist activity do not promote peace, but instead offer greater fear. The fearmongers are winning…and we just continue to feed them.

Where is the peace? Where is the Church in promoting peace? Jesus left us his peace. What have we done with it?


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