Happy Late Solstice: Armed Conflict Report 2010

Ploughshares, a Canadian religious group devoted to promoting world peace, has produced their annual armed conflict report. A summary of the results of their analysis is contained within a down-loadable poster. Subsections include tracking of the number of conflicts over time, the countries in conflict and the possession and the amount of money spent worldwide on arms. The world spent more than 1.5 trillion US dollars on arms in 2009, with nearly 50% of that spent by the United States.

On this Christmas, let Christian peoples everywhere take these words seriously:

“and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)

The Biblical implication is that the Abrahamic god and his Messiah will be the ones to broker peace. This is, in itself, troubling, but let us hope on this Christmas that the message of peace is taken seriously by all. Most often it appears that people in the United States ignore this fundamental aspect of the Christian faith.

With that, I wish all a happy late solstice.

About Pete Larson

Researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Lecturer in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I do epidemiology, public health, GIS, health disparities and environmental justice. I also do music and weird stuff.

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