By David K. Shipler
Don’t blame the mainstream press, whose job is to focus on conflicts and problems, for the grim picture of a grim world. You can’t cure an issue until you turn it out into the sunlight. But in this season of holidays and reflections and resolutions, a little light on the brighter spots in our better nature might be part of that remedy, not so much to comfort us as to provide models of what could be. So I offer a few here.
*The Dallas Dinner Table, which organizes dinner conversations at homes and churches about race, has had so many requests by local residents to participate on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 18, that it quickly reached its maximum of 500 and had to close registration early.
*The fear and bigotry toward Muslims inflamed by Donald Trump, and effectively endorsed by the silence of most other Republican candidates, has provoked rebuttals and statements of support for Muslims from some (though not all) Christian pulpits across the country.
*The bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, wrote of “our love for you, our Muslim neighbors,” and pledged “our commitment to find even more effective ways to protect and defend you from words and actions that assault your safety and well-being. We believe God calls us to resist what is divisive, discriminatory, xenophobic, racist, or violent, and we want you to look to us as allies and friends.”