Amid dizzying quest for truth, nurture relationships
by Ann Helmke, San Antonio Express-News, September 10, 2006
"What is the truth? Who do we believe? Who do we trust? What are the roots of our personal and global anxiety-ridden situations? Who is friend and who is foe? Do we just hook our trunks to the tails in front of us and go blindly through the circus? I think not. We are called into a deeper wisdom."
Not in our Name
by Nancy Meyer, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Satyagraha: A Moment of Truth, September 11, 2006
"I'm here today to tell you about my personal experiences as a September 11th family member, and as an outraged and inspired citizen of the United States."
A Time To Move On
by Arun Gandhi, President, M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
"It is a pity that much of humanity never did learn the art of Forgiving because they were brought up on the misguided notion that one must "forgive and forget." No wonder the reaction of victims of violence such as the Families of 9/11 is one of anger, frustration and the desire for vegeance. The true meaning of forgiveness is to build a society where such violence would never occur again."
Peace and Nonviolence: A Turkish Experience
by Zeki Saritoprak, from "The Muslim World,"
"This paper aims to discuss the Islamic approach to peace and nonviolence through an examination of the Turkish experience. The first part explores the Qur'an and the hadith perspective on peace and nonviolence. The second part deals with Turkish Islamic figures who promoted peace and nonviolence through their teachings and activities, such as Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan (1888-1959), Mehmet Zahit Kotku (1897-1980) and especially Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1876-1960), and Fethullah Gülen (1941- )."
The Advent of Satyagraha
Gandhi's own account of September 11, 1906, from "Satyagraha in South Africa," 1928
"I wish to explain to this meeting that there is a vast difference between this resolution and every other resolution we have passed up to date and that there is a wide divergence also in the manner of making it. It is a very grave resolution we are making, as our existence in South Africa depends upon our fully observing it."
History of Satyagraha
Constance DeJong and Philip Glass, from
Satyagraha: M.K. Gandhi in South Africa, 1893-1914
"That thin older man in a homespun dhoti and shawl leading India toward independence from Britain-surely, that is the most well-remembered Gandhi. His image comes readily to mind, the era claims a significant place in twentieth-century world history. Yet, a less well-known Gandhi appears in Satyagraha as its seven scenes trace an early chapter in his life, his participation in South Africa's history from 1893 to 1914."
Prospects for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
by Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan, The Lutheran Bishop of Jerusalem, February 11, 2004
"I am here carrying in my body the pains and suffering of my Palestinian people. But I am here with an olive branch in my hand, saying, "Enough for hatred, enough for occupation, enough for spiral violence, enough for revenge and counter-revenge; enough for stigmatization, demonization and dehumanization of the other. I say, enough for war! It is time for truth, justice and peace for all the people of our land.""
Towards the Abolition of Nuculear Weaponry: A Theological Approach
by Johan Galtung, August 3, 2003
"The Buddhist bomb sounds like an oxymoron, but state Buddhism might produce such a thing. Meanwhile India offended Buddhists by the outrageous codeword for its 1998 detonation of a nuclear bomb, this time not only a 'nuclear device': 'The Buddha has smiled'."
Love and Dissent
by Susan Ives, April 5, 2003
"So no, I cannot support our soldiers if supporting our soldiers means supporting these policies. But I can love them as my brothers and sisters, as the people I have learned to love the best."
by Henry David Thoreau, May, 1849
"There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. "
An Open Letter to Barbara Bush
by Nicole Betters March 8, 2003
"Just like you are the backbone of your family, Arab women are the backbones of our families. But Barbara, between your husband and your son, your family is making life extremely difficult for our families. "
Would that you knew the things that make for peace
by The Rev. Steve Harms March 2, 2003
"A lot is at stake today: war, terrorism, global disaster. . . . I have a responsibility to speak to you about issues we face and where there is hope. This sermon is not a sound bite.
Preaching is done with a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other. "
If War Comes
by Paul Loeb and Geov Parrish March 2003
"If war comes, it will be particularly important to not berate ourselves or our activist compatriots for having failed to stop it. We did this during the first Gulf War. That was part of what burned people out. We need the faith that if we keep on long enough and keep raising critical questions, our actions will have an impact, in ways we can rarely foresee. We need to remember this even when our efforts appear utterly futile, when we seem to be rolling the proverbial rock up a hill only to watch it roll back again and again."
Battling for peace and healing war wounded
by Charlie Jackson February 2003
"As I left Baghdad I wondered to myself, “why in a world of so much beauty do some people continue to work towards war?” I had been given the pleasure of learning about Iraq, of the misconceptions that we have about the situation over there, and couldn’t (still can’t) bring myself to believe that we would rain bombs down on these defenseless people."
Peace Be With You - Statement on War With Iraq
by Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI, February 20, 2003
"With other Christian leaders, I believe that the resort to war, under present circumstances and in light of current public information, would not meet the strict Christian conditions for overriding the strong presumption against military force. "
Speech at Anti-War Rally
by Susan Ives, February 15, 2003
"ONE DAY of a war with Iraq will cost 1.1 BILLION dollars. Veterans Administration officials estimate that their agency is some 1.9 billion dollars short of the money it needs to care for the nearly 5 million veterans already enrolled in the system. We can apparently find the money to fight an unnecessary and protracted war but not to care for the veterans who will be disabled in that war."
You Do Not Know Our Names
A Letter To Women's Organizations Worldwide from the Justice for Women Working Group of the National Council of Churches in Christ, USA , February 14, 2003
"Women seeking peace by peaceful means are accepting scorn and strife as a price for their dissent. "Not in my name will the United States launch a pre-emptive strike" is their message. You do not know their names, but they are not silent."
We Stand Passively Mute
by Senator Robert Byrd, D-WVA, February 12, 2003
"I truly must question the judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral traditions of our country."
by Geov Parrish, December 25, 2002
"I want to know every single weapon or potential weapon possessed by the United States. Not just the Pentagon. Every single agency, down to the Mint and the Library of Congress. If the Library of Congress' assistant medical archivist carries mace in her purse when she goes to the parking garage, I want to know. "
Let's Put a Human Face on It
by John Paul Lederach, December, 2002
"The decision to start a war with Iraq, gut wrenching as it is for our leaders, will remain in large part the choice of sending mostly young people to fight on foreign soils and the launching of stealth bombers and cruise missiles from ships to rain on the towns of people thousands of miles away whom we have never met. "
Pacem in Terris: A Permanent Commitment
by Pope John Paul II, December 8, 2002
"In the end, peace is not essentially about structures but about people. Certain structures and mechanisms of peace -- juridical, political, economic -- are of course necessary and do exist, but they have been derived from nothing other than the accumulated wisdom and experience of innumerable gestures of peace made by men and women throughout history who have kept hope and have not given in to discouragement. Gestures of peace spring from the lives of people who foster peace first of all in their own hearts. They are the work of the heart and of reason in those who are peacemakers."
Empire, Republic and War
Speech by Tom Keene, December 4, 2002 at UTSA
"At the end of our lives we will be responsible, not so much to have succeeded, but to have been faithful to our heritage of a democratic republic, faithful to our consciences and ourselves."
What's the Alternative to Military Action Against Iraq?
Commentary by Glen Gersmehl, Lutheran Peace Fellowship, December, 2002
"What has been lacking in most discussions of a possible war with Iraq is any portrayal of the depth and coherence of this perspective on power and conflict that might help us imagine and craft responses that offer the possibility of working, and working better than violence."
A Thanksgiving Perspective
Commentary by Jonathan Hook, PhD, American Indian Resource Center, November 22, 2002
"Fully intending to take the land away from its native inhabitants and establish a “Kingdom of God,” Puritans saw themselves as God’s “Elect” and were willing to use any means necessary to achieve their goals, including treachery, war, torture and genocide."
Hijacked into war
National Catholic Reporter Commentary by Rosalyn Collier, October 4, 2002
"We can begin by courageously speaking for peace, by exploring the ultimate consequences of war, by seriously exploring other options through the United Nations and by recovering our sense of solidarity with other honorable people in our global village."
From ground zero, a new people arise
Express-News Commentary by Ann Helmke, July 28, 2002
"Could it be that out of the destruction and pain of Sept. 11 something new might emerge? Not just new buildings and a memorial but a new people courageous enough to ask and struggle with difficult questions?"
The Nature of Violence
by Nathan M., 2002
" The teachings and practices of Gandhi, King and others have provided examples that nonviolence can accomplish the transformation of society.
Violence is everywhere in America. Our society has forgotten that there are other options to deal with conflicts and frustrations. "
Ripples of sadness touch many lives
by Barbie Gorelick, April 6, 2002
" May God/Allah soften the hearts of the wicked and open up the eyes of the blind so that they can find the way out of this spiral of violence."
Assisi Decalogue for Peace
Decálogo de Asís por la paz
by Pope John Paul II, February 24, 2002
"I hope that the spirit and commitment of Assisi will lead all men of good will to the search for truth, justice, liberty, love so that every human person will be able to enjoy his/her inalienable rights, and every nation, peace."
Seeking Peace and Pursuing It
by Barbie Gorelick, February 22, 2002
"It becomes really very clear then what an enemy is... An enemy is our peace partner! Without an enemy, we cannot perform one of the highest of all Mitzvot, making peace. An enemy can provide another way of looking in the mirror and seeing the B'tzelem Elohim, the Image of God, reflected back in a new perspective. One's enemy can provide the opportunity to evolve more fully."
An Open Letter and Emphatic Plea to President Bush and Secretary of State Powell
by the Citizens of San Antonio, February, 2002
"In our shared humanity we mourn the loss of life and escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. We deplore all violence against innocent civilians. It is time for an end to bloodshed and a return to peace negotiations."
Protest the Nobel Peace Prize nomination of George W. Bush and Tony Blair
by Rad Geek Action Alert, February, 2002
"According to the provisions of Nobel, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 'shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.'"
Why Oppose PGA Village?
by The SmartGrowth Coalition, February, 2002
"PGA Village would be located over some of the most vulnerable portions of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone to be found in Bexar County. Our water will be subject to contamination from golf course pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and effluent from a proposed sewage treatment facility."
Statement Regarding the Creation of a Texas Indian Commission Senate Affairs Subcommittee on Native American Affairs
by Jonathan Hook, American indian Resource Center, January, 2002
"First, there are those mascots that are blatantly racist, like "redskins" and "squaws." The term "redskin" may be even more perverse than a derogatory reference to a person's racial heritage; "redskin" is believed to have originated with the practice of placing a bounty on Indian body parts such as heads, scalps, and skins. So, bringing in a "redskin" literally meant the death of an Indian."
The War Prayer
by Mark Twain, 1905
"It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way."
Imagineer Award Recipient Remarks|
by Barbie Gorelick, December 6, 2001
"Through The Tri-Faith Dialogue of San Antonio we had been very blessed with remarkable spiritual leadership and they were on hand.... both clergy and lay people... courageous Muslims, Christians and Jews who had dared to risk the scorn of their own communities by reaching out to each other."
A Pastoral Letter to the Whole Church
by Bishops of The United Methodist Church
"Violence creates fear, desperation, hopelessness and instability. We call upon the church to be a community of peace with justice and to support individuals and agencies all over the world who are working for the common good for all of God's children. "
Blinded by the Darkness
by Glen Gersmehl, Lutheran Peace Fellowship
". . . excessive force backfires. Work to discover the roots of conflict and to craft ways to interrupt, not feed, the "cycle of violence." Don't create enemies; in particular, don't make it
any easier for terrorists to recruit or grow. Seek broad international support . . . Utilize and strengthen international institutions, to give legitimacy to our response and to erode the sources of support for terrorists. Put more attention and resources into preventive than corrective measures. End criminal activity, not declare war. "
by Susan Ives, speech at Palo Alto College, Oct 19, 2001
"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In the president's toolbox he has plenty of hammers, and everything looks like war . . . Let's add more nonviolent tools to the nation's toolbox, such as a Department of Peace. Let's prepare ourselves as seriously and methodically for nonviolent conflict engagement as we prepare ourselves for war. "
Three minutes at noon can change the world
by Rosalyn Collier, published in the Sep 27, 2001 Express-News
"In the midst of our doing, we must commit to stopping for three minutes each day at high noon, wherever we are, for as long as it takes, to join with other human beings around the globe to bring peace and healing into our consciousness. "
by Susan Ives, Speech at Trinity University rally, Oct 10, 2001
"Tuesday's paper had two headlines on page six. The first one said 'Americans overwhelmingly back anti-terror war' Right below it, 'Austin Peace March Small.' How small? Twenty People. Twenty people! I looked it up. There are 656,562 people who live in the city of Austin. 48,000 students at UT. I worked it out. That's .003 percent of the population. How seriously will peace be taken if it can only round up . 003 percent of the population? Not very. So be peace in public. Your body is a witness for peace. "
Comments by Walter Wink on the crisis in America
by Walter Wink, September, 2001
"To the question, Where is God in all this, we can answer, Where God always is: nearer than breathing and closer than hands or feet. But just as the clouds of dust and smoke and falling debris blotted out the sun on September 11, so horror of this dimension blots out the light of God. In such a time, we cannot perhaps feel God's presence, but it is there, and we have to cling to it even as we scream at the silence of God. "
A Holy Response
by Laura Holck, September, 2001
"If we wish to 'rid the world of evildoers', we must start by remembering that the evildoers are us -- driven to seek retribution, programmed to blame. If we wish to "rid the world of evildoers", we must begin by listening -- and by seeking a holy, loving, and creative response. "
Terrorism and Nonviolence
by Arun Gandhi, September, 2001
". . . a murderer is not born a murderer; a terrorist is not born a terrorist. People become murderers, robbers and terrorists because of circumstances and experiences in life. Killing or confining murders, robbers, terrorists, or the like is not going to rid this world of them. For every one we kill or confine we create another hundred to take their place. What we need to do is to analyze dispassionately what are those circumstances that create such monsters and how can we help eliminate those circumstances, not the monsters. Justice should mean reformation and not revenge." "
Global Peacemaking in a Violent Society
Speech by Bishop emeritus Leroy Mattiesen, Amarillo, to the Texas Conference of Churches, Feb. 19, 2001
"When and where will the violence end? In the words of Pax Christi, the international peace organization, words that should be printed indelibly on our hearts: 'Violence ends where love begins.' "
Stand Up Against Violence|
Express-News Commentary by Ann Helmke, October 21, 2000
"We can refuse to hate. We can choose to love. We can take a stand and watch the world change as our little effort connects with others who take seriously the call to nonviolence."
Globalization and the Faith Community's Response
by Tom Keene, Pax Christi, 23 Oct 2000
"Economic globalization is a system made up of building blocks called corporations. The glue holding the blocks together is profit. The system's ability to ignore the common good of the community in order to promote the profitability of private corporations and the well being of their stockholders may be seen better if we examine the differences between institutions and communities."
Death-penalty defense as chilling as crime
by Roger Barnes, San Antonio Express-News, Aug 20, 2000
"As for me, I side with J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote: "Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that die deserve death. But some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in judgment, for even the very wise cannot see all ends."
The Dalai Lama's 5 most important questions
by The Dalai Lama
"Spend 5 minutes -- breathing in -- cherishing yourself; and, breathing out cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing extend your cherishing to them anyway."
by Susan Ives, Express-News commentary, March 19, 2000
"We've got this gizmo at the peaceCENTER that we call the flame-thrower. It was designed to ignite charcoal but we use it for candles. It's tricky. You have to roll your thumb across a plastic wheel and hold it
there while pulling the trigger. It's childproof. . . We don't have a gun at the peaceCENTER. But if we did, we could plop it on a table and a six-year-old could pick it up and shoot you. Guns aren't childproof. Maybe they should be."
Bread Not Stones
a special section on the National Catholic Campaign to Reduce Military Spending
"Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone?" (Matthew 7:9)
Texas, Race and the Death Penalty
by David Atwood, Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
"Currently, about 40% of the prisoners on death row in Texas are African-American, versus 12% in the general population . . . Just as the United States took a monumental step forward in the 1800s by abolishing slavery, we should take another monumental step forward at the beginning of this century by abolishing the death penalty for all time."
We Traveled to Seattle: A Pilgrimage of Transformation
by Ken Butigan, Pace e Bene, Earthlight Magazine, 2000
"Tens of thousands of people journeyed to Seattle to protest the injustice of the WTO and the perils it poses to indigenous societies, labor standards, human rights, civil liberties and environmental integrity. While these concerns were largely expressed in political and sociological terms, I would interpret them as ultimately deeply cultural and, even more, profoundly spiritual."
Are We Turning Our Kids into Killers?|
by Susan Ives, reprinted from the November, 1999 PC Alamode
"Jarek delivers a strong punch to his opponent's torso. Blood shoots out while Jarek moves his hand around inside the opponent's chest, trying to find the heart. Once he finds it, he pulls it out, and holds it up, still beating and dripping with blood."
A Plea to our Church leaders: Please Speak Out for the Abolition of Capital Punishment
by David Atwood, Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
"To be against capital punishment doesn't mean that we don't have great sympathy for the victims of crime and their families. It doesn't mean that we aren't horrified by the terrible nature of these crimes. It doesn't mean that we don't think criminals should be punished. What it does mean is that, as people of faith, we believe that there is a more enlightened, civilized and humane approach to criminal justice than taking life for life. Such an enlightened approach reveres life by refusing to take life."
by Sarah Roemer
"And yet it is only my guess, but it seems the peace making that goes on in this place and in other small havens around the world takes more than just a sincere commitment to nonviolence, it takes vision and a healthy amount of dreaming."
Profile of Ann Helmke
From the Sept. 4, 1999 Express-News
"People always say, 'Shouldn't someone be doing something about the violence?' Well, each of us is a new generation of peacemakers, and each of us is capable of doing something," she says. "The only way a world of peace is possible is if each one of us is committed to it. "
Quick Political Scholastic Aptitude Test: How much do you know about bombing?
compliments of Vietnam Veterans Against the War
"This test consists of one (1) multiple-choice question (so you better get it right!) Here's a list of the countries that the U.S. has bombed since the end of World War II. In how many of these instances did a democratic government, respectful of human rights, occur as a direct result?"
Pilgrimage Toward Justice
by Josh Packard
"We need the factory workers in Mexico to go hungry in order to save a few dollars on a t-shirt. We demand that the government exploit entire countries because, "man, I can't remember the last time I saw gas prices this low!." Because of the way that we define success it is vital for someone else to suffer. in order that we may succeed. In order for someone else to gain, we must lose."
by Arturo Chavez
"Just like those first disciples, I struggle to make sense of suffering, to believe the impossible, to love even in the face of so much hatred. I reach out to grasp the gift of peace. However, it is an elusive gift that gives no easy answers. It is a peace that is not free of conflict and struggle. It is a gift that at times is more a burden, and yet, it is still a gift."
Knowing Gandhi through Chavez
Remarks of Judge Steve Russell, May 23, 1998, UTSA Teach-In
"It was out of fasting that Chavez offered a new definition of machisimo: 'To be a man is to suffer for others.' As an American Indian, I could not have stated the traditional warrior's role better."
War on Crime - Crime Control?
by Michael J. Gilbert at the May 23, 1998 UTSA Teach-In
"Yet, in the 'war on crime' and drugs we rarely ask who is the enemy? When we consider this question it quickly becomes clear that the enemy is characteristically young, male, minority and poor. He is also an American citizen. In this "war" we demonize our citizens, arrest and confine our fathers and sons, and target the children of our most vulnerable social classes for enforcement."
The Return of Capital Punishment
by Rabbi Sameul Stahl, Temple Beth-El
"Thus, we recognize that killing, even on behalf of the state, arouses violence. It cheapens human life. It heightens our need to vent our wrath upon the criminal. It undermines our respect for human life."
The Global Village
"If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following. . ."