I’m home from a meeting in San Antonio and watching the news from Ferguson. So sad. At times like this we must reject the way of violence. Do not return evil for evil. These events reveal our addiction to violence as the Way. Excessive use of violence by police, by rioters, excessive violence in our foreign policy, in our homes, on our streets, in our entertainment, in our schools.

Entering Advent, let us repent of our prejudice, hatred and our violence — violence against women, against sexual minorities, against immigrants, against Latinos, against African Americans. We need to name it and own it as part of our history in the U.S. Then work to lift every valley, make what is crooked straight, rough places plain. We must tell every Latino girl, every young black man, and children of every race, you are beautiful and beloved of God.

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.