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The Real Peace Prize

This has been one bizarre day in the news.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded and no one is more surprised than the recipient?

When I heard the news in brief, I assumed Barack Obama was given this honor to commemorate his place in history as out first black president.

I was all set to post an article on the biblical underpinnings of the Civil Rights Movement, especially as scriptural principle was presented in Dr. Martin Luther King’s immortal “I Have a Dream” speech.

My point was going to be how far our nation had come in the realm of race relations, and how far even we as Christians still had to go to live out the color blind conclusion of Galatians 3:26-28:

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

But before I hit “publish” I discovered the official stated reason why Barack Obama was selected as this year’s Nobel Laureate for Peace:

Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee and a former prime minister of Norway, said the president had already contributed enough to world diplomacy and international understanding to earn the award.

“We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future, but for what he has done in the previous year,” Mr. Jagland said. “We would hope this will enhance what he is trying to do.”

So the new standard for a Nobel Peace Prize is not tangible results like negotiating a treaty, or bringing long warring factions to the table, or actually causing the horrors of war to cease – it is good intentions.

Does that mean that every Miss America contestant who hoped her winning the crown would bring world peace is now under consideration for what used to be a significant honor?

But back in the realm of reality, things aren’t looking so rosy.

In response to the word slipping out that the US is fast tracking high tech, high yield bunker busting bombs, Mahmoud and the Mad Mullahs (now wouldn’t that be a name for a rock band?) have issued a predictable soothing response.

‘Iran will blow up the heart of Israel’

Iran will “blow up the heart of Israel” if the United States or the Jewish state attacked it first, a top official with Iran’s most powerful military force, the Revolutionary Guard, warned Friday.

Cleric Mojtaba Zolnour, who is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Guard, said that if a US or Israeli missile lands in Iran, Iranian missiles will hit Israel in retaliation.

“Should a single American or Zionist missile land in our country, before the dust settles, Iranian missiles will blow up the heart of Israel,” Zolnour was quoted as saying by the state IRNA news agency.

In March, Iran’s deputy army chief made similar remarks, warning that his country will eliminate Israel if it attacks the Islamic republic.

“Should Israel take any action against Iran, we will eliminate Israel from the scene of the universe,” Gen. Muhammad Reza Ashtiani said at the time in Teheran.

Ashtiani claimed Israel was “very vulnerable” and dismissed allegations that Iran was worried about Israeli maneuvers.

“Due to its special conditions, Israel is very vulnerable in the region,” he said. “The aggressors will face a crushing response.”

It appears that Iran has been paying close attention to Western media, especially the ABC News report concerning the fast forward request for four state of the art bunker busting bombs.

It is no surprise that Iran would threaten to hit Israel, no matter who initiates the attack on their nuclear development sites.

But has Iran committed an over reach here?

It still seems likely that Israel would defer to a US strike, thereby reducing the risk of a regional war.

The bet seems to be that having Israel fight a proxy war with Hamas and Hezbollah in a two front version of the recent missile attacks  from Lebanon would be the best of a series of increasingly bad situations.

But any scenario would be preferable to the havoc caused when a suicide embracing cult gets not only atomic weapons but also the means to deliver them.

These are days of difficult choices and unforeseen consequences.

No matter what your political persuasion might be, we all need to take seriously this timely instruction:

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,  for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (I Timothy 2:1-4)

If you haven’t before, now would be a good time to pray for wisdom for Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu and perhaps even the salvation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah Khameni.

Real peace in this world may depend on it.

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