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Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom

Gun madness

A print of The Peaceable Kingdom hangs in many clergy offices. Painter Edward Hicks, a Quaker who lived from 1780 to 1849, loved the beautiful vision in Isaiah 11 of the wolf dwelling with the lamb, the leopard lying down with the kid, the calf and lion and fatling together with a little child leading them. The painting pricks my conscience every time I see it because of the enormous gap between its lovely vision of a peaceable kingdom and the reality of our world. In the world as we know it, as Woody Allen once quipped, when the lion and the lamb lie down together, only the lion is going to get back up.


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