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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The American way in the presence of fear

What should we do to create security?

The tumbling of the World Trade towers, the war on terrorism and the prospect of war with Iraq all press home the same question: What ways of life would render the world more secure?
Every answer includes the recognition that we've all become more vulnerable in a world too small to put anyone out of reach.


Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. described this condition with the image of a new "world house." In a book aptly titled Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? and written in 1968, the year he was assassinated, he pictures the world house this way:

Some years ago a famous novelist died. Among his papers was found a list of suggested plots for future stories, the most prominently underscored being this one: "A widely separated family inherits a house in which they have to live together." This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a large house, a great "world house" in which we have to live together — black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Muslim and Hindu — a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.


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April issue

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