Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Phyllis Bennis on Bush and the UN

I had something else posted here, but just read this essay from Phyllis Bennis and had to make reference to it here. A good portion can be found below. The entire essay can be found at:

Important reading, I think. -Dan

When John Bolton, Bush's hotly contested but newly appointed ambassador to the United Nations announced the U.S. proposed response, it was easy to assume this was just John Bolton running amok. After all, Bolton, a longtime U.N.-basher, has said: "There is no United Nations." He has written in The Wall Street Journal that the United States has no legal obligation to abide by international treaties, even when they are signed and ratified. So it was no surprise when Bolton showed up three weeks before the summit, demanding a package of 450 changes in the document that had been painstakingly negotiated for almost a year.

But, in fact, this isn't about Bolton. This Bush administration’s position was vetted and approved in what the U.S. Mission to the U.N. bragged was a "thorough interagency process"—meaning the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon and many more agencies all signed off. This is a clear statement of official U.S. policy—not the wish- ist of some marginalized extremist faction of neocon ideologues who will soon be reined in by the realists in charge. This time the extremist faction is in charge.

The U.S. proposal package is designed to force the world to accept as its own the U.S. strategy of abandoning impoverished nations and peoples, rejecting international law, privileging ruthless market forces over any attempted regulation, sidelining the role of international institutions except for the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO, and weakening, perhaps fatally, the United Nations itself.

It begins by systematically deleting every one of the 35 specific references to the Millennium Development Goals. Every reference to concrete obligations for implementation of commitments is deleted. Setting a target figure of just 0.7 percent of GNP for wealthy countries to spend on aid? Deleted. Increasing aid for agriculture and trade opportunities in poor countries? Deleted. Helping the poorest countries, especially those in Africa, to deal with the impact of climate change? Deleted.

The proposal puts at great risk treaties to which the United States is already a party, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The U.N. Summit draft referred to the NPT's "three pillars: disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy." That means that states without nukes would agree never to build or obtain them, but in return they would be guaranteed the right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful use. In return recognized nuclear weapons states—the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia—would commit, in Article VI of the NPT, to move toward "nuclear disarmament with the objective of eliminating all such weapons." The proposed U.S. changes deleted all references to the three pillars and to Article VI.

The U.S. deleted the statement that: "The use of force should be considered as an instrument of last resort." That’s also not surprising given the Bush administration's “invade first, choose your justifications later” mode of crisis resolution...

The Bush administration has given the United Nations what it believes to be a stark choice: adopt the U.S. changes and acquiesce to becoming an adjunct of Washington and a tool of empire, or reject the changes and be consigned to insignificance...

I wonder if our anti-UN friends will see fit to comment on the topic. I welcome all thoughts, but you should know that I find this unilateralism by the Bush White House disturbing to say the least.

Autumn in the air?

Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

No, not yet. But soon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


A letter submitted to the editor in the local paper:

I was reading the paper yesterday and I was outraged at what I read. And I'm not talking just about Kentucky governor's pre-emptive strikes against justice ("Fletcher Pardons Nine"). [For those not familiar with the story, Governor Fletcher has several cabinet members and croneys under investigation and indictment for breaking hiring laws.]

I was also outraged to read the story of an accused murderer who "kills because he is the leader of a gang and he feels it is his right," and who has told "lie after lie and fiction after fiction."

However, in the midst of all my anger, it did occur to me that the lawyer for this accused murderer and liar might have a great lead on how to defend his defendant. He should check and see if the accused is a republican (his "above the law" attitude suggests he might be).

If so, then he can simply get the governor to pardon him. Sure, it would be a travesty of justice and morality, but Fletcher has proven he's up to the task.

Republican Morality

Curves Ahead
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

This slight towards Republicans is prompted by Kentucky Governor's pardoning and pre-emptive pardoning of his administration members who've broken laws. I'd direct it towards Republican leadership in DC, as well, though.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Half a spoilsport...

I'll play along in so far as I'll answer the questions, but I'll pass on passing:

1. Number of books you have owned:

Too many, I'm sure. I do try to go to library when I can and hold off the purchasing for only the indispensible books (ie, Wendell Berry, Gene Logsdon, Harlan Hubbard, Aldo Leopold, Muir, Thoreau, etc. And now Rowling, of course).

2. Last book I bought:

Seems as if I have purchased one since the last Harry Potter book, but I can't recall what it was.

3. Last book I completed:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (I finished the new one and then went back and finished the fourth and fifth books, which I had never completed).

4a. Five books that mean a lot to me:
1. The Bible (or, if you'd like me be more specific, James or Matthew)
2. Living in Christian Community, by Art Gish (the book where I first realized that there were people out there - anabaptists - who believed as I do)
3. Payne Hollow Journal, by Harlan Hubbard (even moreso than Thoreau's Walden, the stories of the Hubbards showed me a softer/harder way to live and to live joyously)
4. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley (what a wonderful morality play warning of the arrogance of humanity and where it leads)
5. Fidelity, by Wendell Berry (probably my favorite book of all time, followed quickly by all of Wendell Berry's other fiction, then followed by his essays and a smattering of his poetry)
6. (sorry) Calvin and Hobbes (take your pick, just because I wanted to include some humor) oooh! No! Even better, how about some of Mark Twain's short stories? Yeah!

4b. What are you currently reading?
Re-reading Wendell Berry's Come Watch With Me (probably my second favorite Berry book) and some goofy horror book whose title I can't remember. I've been doing more skinny-dipping in the literary pond this last year.

5. Which 5 bloggers are you passing this onto?

This is where I'll break the chain and hoped I'm not cursed with a library closing.

Y'all come back now, y'hear (but first commit to reading a Wendell Berry book if you have not yet).

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Captain Weirdo

Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

From the makers of Left Behind...

The American Film Renaissance organization is sponsoring a Screenwriting Contest (and I don't know that they have anything at all to do with the Left Behind series).

Here they are in their own words :

We believe Hollywood has lost touch with mainstream America...

The AFR is sponsoring a screenwriting contest to discover scripts that won't appeal only to cynical cultural elites. We're looking for stories that promote such timeless American themes as freedom, family, faith, and love of country.

So if like us you're tired of movies that wallow in victimhood and self-pity, or that portray America, business and religion as the roots of all evil -- then this contest is for you.


The AFR says they want movies that depict:

• Freedom vs. Tyranny
• The Individual vs. the Collective
• Free Speech vs. Political Correctness
• The Spread of Democracy
• Free Enterprise
• Freedom of Religion
• Good vs. Evil
• The War on Terror
• Faith and Family
• The American Spirit

Some of the AFR's faves include, The Passion of Christ, Patton, Braveheart, The Quiet Man (John Wayne dragging Maureen O'Hara for a mile or two by her wrist to show her why she should love him!) and Napoleon Dynamite (!?).

Here's my thought: If they like The Passion of Christ so well, why doesn't someone write a screenplay depicting Jesus' life and ministry? Give 'em what they want, or at least what they think they want.

You know what Jesus said in his first sermon, right?

God has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. God has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Not exactly standard conservative doctrine, that.

They made a fuss about Gibson using only the Aramaic language in the film for realism sake, how would they like if we used only Jesus' words in this film?

Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Love your good to those who hate you.”

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth.”

You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

But woe unto you that are rich! for you have received your comfort. Woe unto you that are full! for you shall hunger.”

Woe unto you, religious hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation.”

And maybe throw in a quote or two from his mother, Mary:

The Lord has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. God has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”

Or his brother, James:

But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you?...Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?... Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you...Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.”

Of course, this story of Jesus would never be made in to a movie by these people. Still, perhaps it would make 'em squirm a bit to have to turn it down.

A house o' straw

strawbale nunnery: lakeside
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Strawbale homes are environmentally sound, super energy-efficient and can be built by regular folk. Worth checking in to.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Great Sermon (read at your own risk)

What follows is a condensed version of the head-smacking-good sermon from my pastor this past Sunday. For the full version, check out the Life at Jeff Street blog.

The king is in his castle. The queen is on her throne. The president is in his office. The congress is in session. The corporate chair is in the boardroom.

And so begins the royal story, as Walter Brueggemann calls it, the story that shapes and dominates our culture…The story that shapes and dominates and often defines our reality.

Global warming? Nuclear war? Healthcare? Endangered animals? Re-instatement of the draft? The cost of gasoline? The cost of milk? The answer to these questions, indeed often the questions themselves are shaped by the royal consciousness, revealed through the royal story.

We are children of the royal consciousness,” says Brueggemann. “All of us, in one way or another, have deep commitments to it” (The Prophetic Imagination).

we live in a world phony down deep

in which we participate at a slant.

Ours is a seduced world,

where we call evil good and good evil,

where we put darkness for light and light for darkness,

where we call bitter sweet and sweet bitter

where we call war peace and peace war,

so that we rarely see the truth of the matter.

(Brueggemann, Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth)

Which is why so many Americans were initially supportive when our nation invaded Iraq. The powers deceived us well, showed us authoritative pictures, Colin Powell dressed in all of his military finery with all of his military doodads. And we, as Americans, swallowed what they wanted us to swallow. The royal version of the story. Weapons of mass destruction…

Jesse came home from a day at the fair with his classmates, and told me that he saw military vehicles there, was able to get in one, push the buttons, even, my, don’t they start young…that he saw military vehicles there that cost three million dollars. “Can you believe that?” he asked. “Well, yes,” I said. “That’s where our tax money goes. That’s why there are so many people in our nation who do not have healthcare, that’s why there are so many people in our nation who do not have affordable housing, that’s why there are so many people in our nation who do not…”

Kings and queens and pharaohs and parliaments and presidents pass down fear-based, greed-based decrees, and we the people shape our lives to the realities that they create...

The royal story, according to last night’s news, is that we’re going to keep our soldiers in Iraq for the next four years. But there’s a sub-version unfolding: a mourning mother sets up her folding chair on the side of the highway. And even now, the reality that George Bush and other leaders of our nation have created is being re-shaped. God is relentless in God’s purposes, and God's desire is peace.

Some of you have been involved in some sub-versions this week.

Susan, Dan, Sue and Mike have been exchanging e-mails this week, talking about how they can get more kids at their kids’ school to “opt out,” meaning to sign a sheet saying that the school does not have permission to give their name to military recruiters. We need to put up posters, they’ve said. We need to develop posters, they’ve said. We need to have a workshop, they’ve said. These e-mails may not amount to much. But maybe they will.

Yes, some of you have been involved in some sub-versions this week. In fact, you’re involved in a sub-version right now. Because simply being a part of this community is a sub-version, being a part of any true community is a sub-version in this world that so values individualism. Tithing is a sub-version in this world that so values the accumulation of wealth. Meeting for worship is a sub-version in this world that puts a premium on time. Telling the truth about who we are and where we hurt during joys and concerns is a sub-version in this world that teaches us to mold ourselves to look and act and own like everyone else.

Yes, a sub-version is unfolding, and you and I are smack dab in the middle of it. God is pursuing love over hate, peace over war, justice over oppression, community over alienation, authenticity over falsehood. God is writing a whole new story, and we just might be some of its lead characters. Imagine that!

Subverts walking for hunger relief

Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

On a lighter note...

Having spent over two weeks now discussing peace with our friends in this corner of the blogosphere, I thought I'd run a little story that I wrote a while back on the dangers of pride. Or maybe that's not what it's about. Who am I to say? Nonetheless, enjoy.

Riding jetskis, if you are unfamiliar with them, looks like riding a motorscooter on the water, blasting over waves and Riding the Sea, Victorious. It couldn't be much harder than riding a bike, we figured.

We were wrong.

My friend, Eddie, and I were vacationing at the ocean and wanted to try jetskiing. To save money, we decided to rent one and take turns. Eddie went first.

As Eddie zoomed away from the shore, he beamed with eager joy. However, I quickly noticed that he spent an awful lot of time trying to stand up on the jetski, as they are supposed to be ridden, only to fall over. Once you fall off, jetskis have been designed to ride in circles around you.

Presumably, this is to ensure that you do not get stranded in the ocean as your jetski putters off into the sunset. Watching from the shore, it looked more as if the jetski were taunting him.

With each failed attempt to mount the monster, I had to laugh. Clearly, Eddie was just too tall and gawky to ride this thing. I should be able to do better.

After many attempts to ride the jetski, Eddie lay there, hands on the handlebars to keep it from doing its victory laps, but going nowhere. His stomach lay on the jetski footboard and his long legs just dangled like spaghetti in the water.

He was whipped.

"Hey!" I yelled. "Bring it in! It's my turn!"

He returned to shore and collapsed like a long, skinny beached whale.

"Ed, you know that you're supposed to stand up on the thing, right?"

"Go ahead. Laugh," he said. "You'll see. It's not easy."

He tried to warn me, to help me learn from his mistakes, but now was my turn to Ride the Sea, Victorious!

What I learned later Eddie was trying to tell me: Beware the Jets.

Ideally, when you ride a jetski, you give it some gas to get some speed going and then quickly jump up, stand tall, and ride the waves. The key thing is to get up QUICKLY.

The problem in not promptly standing has to do with the placement of the jets that propel the jetski. Picture this: the jets are right at the back of the jetski. When you are getting started, your hands are on the handlebar, your belly is on the footboard and the jets are blasting out what feels like a million gallons of water right below your belly.

Each time you gun the gas, it's like getting a crotch shot in volleyball. And, if the pain from this punch in the South Forty weren't enough, you also have to worry about you going one way and your swimming trunks, the other.

Soon the jetski was doing victory laps around me. It was all I could do to pull my trunks back up.

When I returned to shore, Eddie was smiling, but not taunting. He knew my pain. I didn't even care that I no longer had my pride.

I was just glad to have my swimming trunks.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Third Way, Part I

Because the question has arisen about Jesus and non-violent direct action, I thought I'd post Walter Wink's excellent thoughts on the subject. He does a better job of explaining than I can.

One of the most misunderstood passages in all of the Bible is Jesus' teaching about turning the other cheek. The passage runs this way: "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, do not resist one who is evil. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also. And if anyone takes you to court and sues you for your outer garment, give your undergarment as well. If one of the occupation troops forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two."

This passage has generally been understood by people as teaching non-resistance. Do not resist one who is evil has been taken to mean simply let them run all over you. Give up all concern for your own justice. If they hit you on one cheek, turn the other and let them batter you there too, which has been bad advice for battered women. As far as the soldier forcing you to take his pack an extra mile, well are you doing that voluntarily? It has become a platitude meaning extend yourself.

Jesus could not have meant those kinds of things. He resisted evil with every fiber of His being. There is not a single instance in which Jesus does not resist evil when He encounters it. The problem begins right there with the word resist. The Greek term is antistenai. Anti is familiar to us in English still, "against," "Anti"-Defamation League. Stenai means to stand. So, "stand against." Resist is not a mistranslation so much as an undertranslation. What has been overlooked is the degree to which antistenai is used in the Old Testament in the vast majority of cases as a technical term for warfare. To "stand against" refers to the marching of the two armies up against each other until they actually collide with one another and the battle ensues. That is called "taking a stand."

Ephesians 6:13 says, "Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand (antistenai) in that evil day and having done all to stand (stenai)."

The image there is not of a punch drunk boxer somehow managing to stay on his feet even though he is being pummeled by his adversary. It is to keep on fighting. Don't retreat. Don't give up. Don't turn your back and flee but stay in there and fight to the bitter end.

When Jesus says, "Do not resist one who is evil," there is something stronger than simply resist. It's do not resist violently. Jesus is indicating do not resist evil on its own terms. Don't let your opponent dictate the terms of your opposition. If I have a hoe and my opponent has a rifle, I am obviously going to have to get a rifle in order to fight on equal terms, but then my opponent gets a machine gun, so I have to get a machine gun. You have a spiral of violence that is unending.

Jesus is trying to break that spiral of violence. Don't resist one who is evil probably means something like, don't turn into the very thing you hate. Don't become what you oppose. The earliest translation of this is probably in a version of Romans 12 where Paul says, "Do not return evil for evil."
Written by Walter Wink

Field Of Gold

Field Of Gold
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

The Third Way, Part II

Jesus gives three examples of what He means by not returning evil for evil. The first of these is, "If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also." Imagine if I were your assailant and I were to strike a blow with my right fist at your face, which cheek would it land on? It would be the left. It is the wrong cheek in terms of the text we are looking at. Jesus says, "If anyone strikes you on the right cheek..." I could hit you on the right cheek if I used a left hook, but that would be impossible in Semitic society because the left hand was used only for unclean tasks. You couldn't even gesture with your left hand in public. The only way I could hit you on the right cheek would be with the back of the hand.

Now the back of the hand is not a blow intended to injure. It is a symbolic blow. It is intended to put you back where you belong. It is always from a position of power or superiority. The back of the hand was given by a master to a slave or by a husband to a wife or by a parent to a child or a Roman to a Jew in that period. What Jesus is saying is in effect, "When someone tries to humiliate you and put you down, back into your social location which is inferior to that person, and turn your other cheek."

Now in the process of turning in that direction, if you turned your head to the right, I could no longer backhand you. Your nose is now in the way. Furthermore, you can't backhand someone twice. It's like telling a joke a second time. If it doesn't work the first time, it has failed. By turning the other cheek, you are defiantly saying to the master, "I refuse to be humiliated by you any longer. I am a human being just like you. I am a child of God. You can't put me down even if you have me killed." This is clearly no way to avoid trouble. The master might have you flogged within an inch of your life, but he will never be able to assert that you have no dignity.

The second instance Jesus gives is, "If anyone takes you to court and sues you for your outer garment, give your undergarment as well." The situation here is dealing with collateral for a loan. If a person was trying to get a loan, normally they would use animals or land as collateral for the loan but the very poorest of the poor, according to Deuteronomy 24:10-13, could hock their outer garment. It was the long robe that they used to sleep in at night and used as an overcoat by day. The creditor had to return this garment every night but could come get it every morning and thus harass the debtor and hopefully get him to repay.

Jesus' audience is made up of debtors -- "If anyone takes you to court..." He is talking to the very people who know they are going to be dragged into court for indebtedness and they know also that the law is on the side of the wealthy. They are never going to win a case. So Jesus says to them, "Okay, you are not going to win the case. So take the law and with jujitsu-like finesse, throw it into a point of absurdity. When your creditor sues you for your outer garment, give your undergarment as well."

They didn't have underwear in those days. That meant taking off the only stitch of clothing you had left on you and standing nude, naked, in court. As the story of Jonah reminds us, nakedness was not only taboo in Israel. The shame of nakedness fell not on the person who was naked, but on the person who observed their nakedness. The creditor is being put in the position of being shamed by the nakedness of the debtor. Imagine the debtor leaving the courtroom, walking out in the street and all of his friends coming and seeing him in his all-togethers and saying, "What happened to you?"

He says, "That creditor has got all my clothes," and starts walking down to his house. People are coming out of bazaars and alleys, "What happened? What happened?" Everyone is talking about it and chattering and falling in behind him, fifty-hundred people marching down in this little demonstration toward his house. You can imagine it is going to be some time in that village before any creditor takes anybody else to court.

What Jesus is showing us in these two examples so far is that you don't have to wait for a utopian revolution to come along before you can start living humanly. You can begin living humanly now under the conditions of the old order. The kingdom of God is breaking into the myths of these people now, the moment they begin living the life of the future, the kingdom of God.
Written by Walter Wink. For full text of essay, go to:

Blowin' in the wind

Blowin' in the wind
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

I'm still waiting...

I posted this poem in a response below, but thought I'd include it here, as well, as it touches on much of the debate that we've enjoyed (or not) the last few days at this blog.


Prayer of a troubled soldier...

Oh Lord,

In a perfect world, I would be a pacifist, too,
with smiles and hugs, kisses and kind words.
But this world is so far from thy blessed heaven.

In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to kill the poor bastards trying to kill us,
blast their cars to jagged, blackened shards
blow up buildings
and whoever the hell is inside them.

In a perfect world, children wouldn't have
their parents incinerated in front of their eyes or
their stillnew arms torn off
by their bullets and bombs
or my bullets and bombs...
it's really hard to say which,

'cause this is not a perfect world, Lord.

And so I pray:
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done...somewhere.
In a perfect world.


Sunday, August 7, 2005

Some thoughts on Peace Sunday

Having started a conversation in my previous post on peacemaking and warmaking, especially as it relates to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I'd like to continue these thoughts.

One thing that occurred to me is that it may be useful for us to consider that our support for the nuclear bombing of two civilian cities helps us get an insight into the terrorists' mind. After all, the terrorists believe that sometimes there are legitimate reasons to kill innocent men, women and children. Those who support the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki believe the same thing.

I'm not making a judgement call, there, just pointing out a fact: Both parties mentioned believe that there is a time for killing civilians. In fact, there are several similarities.

Both American (especially religious American) war-supporters and modern terrorists believe:

1.That war can be God-ordained, indeed, they believe in the concept of a Holy War
2.It is permissible to kill innocents in the course of war IF the war is just
3.It is permissible to target thousands of innocent civilians IF the cause is just
4.It is okay to lie – even if people are dying as a result of the deception – as long as the cause is just
5.That "the enemy" are godless and/or the Great Satan and must be killed
6.That those who die in the war against terrorists are heroes who might be destined for heaven
7.That torture (in one form or the other) is a legitimate tool to obtain information from captured enemies

The difference then, between those who believe in violence as a solution and those who don't, is that violent solution supporters have some of the same logical starting points and pacifist/non-violent resisters don't. We (pacifists) believe in a different sort of logic.

We believe that wrong-doing must be stood up to, but not using the same tools or methods that the wrong-doers use. Where they say, sometimes it's okay to kill innocent people, we say, NO. Where they say, sometimes violence can result in a positive end, we see that violence leads to violence. Where they say, sometimes bombs can save lives, we know that bombs have one purpose only.

I say this not to belittle those who disagree with me. I know that all the folk whom I've talked to who do support war do so for, in their minds, positive reasons. They want to save lives. Protect the innocent. I acknowledge the similar goals between "us" and "them" and I praise the lofty ideals.

Where we disagree is how to obtain these goals. We'll continue that thought later. For now, I just hope that we can make deliberate decisions about what sort of logic we want as our starting point.

While not a Just War Theory supporter, I'd be glad if we could even reach that level of agreement. It would, at least, be a starting point and a starting point is no small thing.

Never Trust a Smiling Dog?

Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

Friday, August 5, 2005

In honor of Peace Sunday

This Sunday is Peace Sunday, the day many take to remember the horrors of that first grand terrorist attack, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to rededicate ourselves to the work for peace. To that end, our church has posted its Peace Statement over at Life at Jeff Street should you be inclined to check it out.

Also, be sure to check out Inexpugnable, where she currently has a great collection of posts on successful peacemaking examples.

Lord, Make us an instrument of your peace...

(some interesting quotes on the subject)

One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In nonviolence, the masses have a weapon that enables a child, a woman, or even a decrepit old man to resist the mightiest government successfully. If your spirit is strong, mere lack of physical strength ceases to be a handicap.


Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.
Maria Montessori

Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore (individual citizens) have the duty to (refuse to obey) domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.

Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950

The streets of our country are in turmoil! The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting! Communists are seeking to destroy our country! Russia is threatening us with her might! Our republic is in danger, yes, danger from within and without! WE NEED LAW AND ORDER!
Adolph Hitler (sound familiar?)

I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.

General William Tecumseh Sherman

War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity; it destroys religions, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it.

Martin Luther

Was not war in the interest of democracy for the salvation of civilization a contradiction of terms, whoever said it or however often it was repeated?

Jane Addams

A country that has dangled the sword of nuclear holocaust over the world for half a century and claims that someone else invented terrorism is a country out of touch with reality.

John K. Stoner

Oh Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown out the thunder of guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander un-befriended the wastes of their desolated land. We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love. Amen.

Mark Twain

May I become at all times, both now and forever,
a protector for those without protection
a guide for those who have lost their way
a ship for those with oceans to cross
a bridge for those with rivers to cross
a sanctuary for those in danger
a lamp for those who need light
a place of refuge for those needing shelter
and a servant to all those in need.
The Dalai Lama