Monday, 28 August 2017 20:47

Scapegoats and Nonviolence

Joe Hastings  – Returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner

Creating scapegoats is something societies do over and over again to keep from addressing real fears and injustices. It never really solves any problem, but just continues the cycle of violence, covering it up with a thin disguise, a lie of legitimacy.

Jesus calls us to expose the lie by witnessing to the truth. What truth, you might ask. Pilate asked the same question, even though Jesus has just given him the answer:

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Saturday, 31 December 2016 17:58

David vs. Goliath: Competing at Standing Rock

The Chandler–Isacksens run the Be the Change Project in Reno, Nevada. They live in voluntary poverty, grow lots of food, serve in their community, are war-tax resistors, and attempt to live their lives in alignment with their values. They attend the Reno Friends Meeting and have frequent contact with the Reno Affiliates. (See two previous articles in the NSFA: July/Aug 2015, p. 5, and Sept/Oct 2014, p. 6.)

We reached the Dakota Access Pipe Line construction site at about noon on September 27th. This was an hour after prayers and reminders from native leaders at the frontline camp and after driving 30 dusty miles over empty North Dakota back roads. The front line camp is just a mile up from the large Oceti Sakowin camp, home to a couple thousand people while we were there. “We have many warriors with us today who will protect the elders, the women, the children. Remember, this is a nonviolent action.” 

One hundred packed vehicles made it to the action that day: overflowing pickup trucks with masked youth from the Red Warrior camp (those willing to get arrested and in it for the long-haul) sitting alongside gray-haired elders holding signs that say “Protect the Water,” horse trailers with horses, license plates from across the country, our family in a rental car getting dustier by the mile. 

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Saturday, 31 December 2016 15:17

Nonviolence 2017

Nonviolence is the theme of Pope Francis’s Peace Message.

Pope Francis recognized the 50th annual World Peace Day, January 1, by sending us the first Catholic document on nonviolence, entitled: Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace.  

Francis’s concise and readable seven-page message has sections on:

  • A broken world: Violence is not the cure for our broken world.
  • More powerful than violence: Nonviolence is sometimes taken to mean surrender, lack of involvement and passivity, but this is not the case.
  • The domestic roots of a politics of nonviolence: ...it is fundamental that nonviolence be practised before all else within families.
  • My invitation: Peacebuilding through active nonviolence is the natural and necessary complement to the Church’s continuing efforts to limit the use of force…

Find Pope Francis’s document on nonviolence at Vatican.va or with additional resources at usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/world-day-of-peace.cfm .

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