Mark Twain’s scathing indictment of war, and particularly of blind patriotic and religious fervor as motivations for war, was written in 1905 yet remained unpublished until 1923, 13 years after his death. Twain’s explanation: “I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead.” Unfortunately, Twain’s warnings are as relevant today as there were more than 100 years ago. They form a fitting context for the unveiling of our new Peace Pole and reminder of our need for peace within and all around.
This Sunday’s community plate is going to Kids4Peace and their local interfaith peace camp, which will be held at Plymouth State University. Kids4Peace is an international, interfaith youth organization with 15 years of experience in Jerusalem and the US. It strives to promote interfaith dialogue and learning about multiple religious traditions, along with leadership development, conflict-resolution skills and community building. Many programs include learning about Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other religious traditions as a strategy to increase understanding of diversity, challenge stereotypes, and identify shared values and social concerns. Kids4Peace NH/VT operates a week-long interfaith summer peace camp for sixth and seventh graders to bring together kids of different religions and cultures.