I was glad to remember Faithful Witness this difficult week -- what great
queries. How do I seek support? Just look up Faithful Witness! And I am going
to a Pendle Hill Midwest workshop on peacemaking.
Of what I read two things leaped out for me, a freelance journalist writing
on religion: how can I make a positive difference as a minority voice in this
business? I must follow my rules of being fair and impartial -- as you put it
elsewhere, be above reproach in what I say. It is very challenging to not
"take sides." I cannot lose my credibility or I forfeit my ability to make a
difference, which is why I got in the business to begin with! I have also had
difficult private conversations in the course of citizen activism this week.
This has helped open my heart to the intentions of people who want peace but
believe war is the means to that end. I see them as mothers and fathers and
siblings of soldiers. We have found common ground in agreeing to pray for
peace. I frankly wish more Quakers would pray for peace! Prayer is working to
bring peace to my heart so that I can do my work of pointing to voices that
may not be popular but which have been steadfastly there, as for example
This week the staff I am a member of at ReligionLink (www.religionwriters.com)
quickly put together a special "war edition" of story ideas that reflect
the role of religion in this conflict. It is a trove of story ideas for
media people. It reflects taking a lot of different viewpoints responsibly
in an attempt to advance informed discussion, as is the job of the media.
I was pleased to have taken part and would suggest it as a resource.
I would like to hear thoughts from fellow Friends in mainstream media -- I
know we're out there! -- about the degree to which we should disclose to
colleagues about being Quakers. I do not want to be marginalized. I also
don't want to underestimate my colleagues' tolerance. I need more clearness
on this. And also on the line between reporting the news and making the news
(in peace activities).
Marcia Z. Nelson works for Religionwriters.com
and lives in Aurora, Illinois.
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