All Saints Day –Year B
By Dan Epp-Tiessen
Then I saw a renewed heaven and a renewed earth, for the old order of things had passed away. And the sea was no more—the sea that brought colonizers’ ships, soldiers, guns and diseases, and their slaves, and their dreams of wealth, plunder and domination. The sea which was used to strip Turtle Island of its riches—its furs, lumber, fish, agricultural goods, silver and gold—will no longer be available as a highway of exploitation.
By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
For the last two weeks, Isaac has asked me to read the same story every night- The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter. It is the story of Alia Muhammad Baker who saved all the books from her library just before the library was burned to the ground during the US bombing of the Iraq War. It ends with her dreaming of peace from her home filled with books from floor to ceiling. Each night, Isaac asks what happened to Alia? What happened to the books? We finally looked it up and they re-built the library and she is the librarian again with all the books and stories she held safe from our mass destruction. Continue reading
By Chava Redonnet
From her weekly bulletain at Oscar Romero Inclusive Catholic Church
At about 4 pm on Saturday, October 13, Ruth Orantes, Gustavo and I pulled into a gas station across from the statue of El Salvador del Mundo in San Salvador, about 2 miles from the cathedral. Sometimes the journey from Santa Ana feels a bit endless, but all of a sudden, we were there. Ruth parked the car and we joined the gathering throng. There was music and dancing, vendors selling t-shirts and keychains, posters and even an umbrella, all with the joyful message that our beloved Monseñor Romero was at last to be officially declared a saint. A giant poster erected by the comunidades eclesial de base [the base communities of the churches] declared, “Tu pueblo te hizo santo” (Your people have made you a saint), with a picture of Monseñor Romero’s face made up of thousands of photos of Salvadorans, also martyred during the civil war of 1980-92. The atmosphere was peaceful, joyful, full of good energy. We might have been mostly strangers to each other but we were bonded in our love and joy in the moment. Smiles came easily. Continue reading
By Bill Wylie-Kellermann. A review of Jim Forest’s At Play in the Lion’s Den: A Biography and Spiritual Memoir of Daniel Berrigan (Orbis books 2017). A shorter version of this was published in the November 2018 issue of Sojourners Magazine.
When Fa. Daniel Berrigan and his brother Philip, along with AJ Muste, John Howard Yoder, and a handful of budding Catholic radicals gathered in 1964 with Thomas Merton at Gethsemani Abbey for a retreat concerning the Spiritual Roots of Protest, the intercessions of that meeting, I am convinced, not only seeded a movement, but fell upon me, summoning my vocation.
Four years later when the Berrigan brothers with seven others entered the draft board in Catonsville, MD, removed the 1A files (of those eligible for sending to the Vietnam War) and burned them with homemade napalm, those ashes too would eventually anoint my life and pastoral calling. Daniel turned that action toward liturgy, toward poetry. He edited the transcript of their conviction in Federal Court into a play of international repute, refused induction into the prison system, and went notoriously underground for four months writing and speaking from the “most wanted list,” before being captured by the FBI at the Block Island home of his friend William Stringfellow. When he was released after two years in the Federal system, Berrigan came to New York City and taught a course on the Apocalypse of St. John when I was a student at Union Seminary. Full disclosure: Dan Berrigan became to me not merely teacher, but mentor and friend. Continue reading
An excerpt from the first chapter of Howard Zinn’s classic A People’s History of the United States of America (1980):
Columbus would never have made it to Asia, which was thousands of miles farther away than he had calculated, imagining a smaller world. He would have been doomed by that great expanse of sea. But he was lucky. One-fourth of the way there he came upon an unknown, uncharted land that lay between Europe and Asia–the Americas. It was early October 1492, and thirty-three days since he and his crew had left the Canary Islands, off the Atlantic coast of Africa. Now they saw branches and sticks floating in the water. They saw flocks of birds. Continue reading
By Will O’Brien, executive director of Project H.O.M.E. in Philly and the curator of the Alternative Seminary
*This Saturday, September 29, the Alternative Seminary and a group of Mennonite pastors are hosting a gathering in Philadelphia to deepen understanding and discern a call to respond to the Doctrine of Discovery
Of the many crimes perpetrated through history in the name of an imperialized Christ, one of the most pernicious is also one of least known.
The “Doctrine of Discovery” is a philosophical and legal framework dating to the 15th century that gave “Christian” governments in Europe the moral and legal rights to invade and seize indigenous lands and dominate indigenous peoples. For more than five centuries, this doctrine and the laws based upon it have legalized the theft of land, labor, and resources from across the world – crimes that continue to this day. Continue reading
Thanks to Detroit-based law student Cait De Mott Grady for passing along this profound interview Derrick Jensen did with former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark way back in 2000. His reflections are more relevant than ever. This is an excerpt, but the entire interview deserves a read.
Jensen: So how do we maintain our national self-image as God’s gift to the world, the great bastion of democracy?
Clark: But we’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy. Wealth has its way. The concentration of wealth and the division between rich and poor in the U.S. are unequaled anywhere. And think of whom we admire most: the Rockefellers and Morgans, the Bill Gateses and Donald Trumps. Would any moral person accumulate a billion dollars when there are 10 million infants dying of starvation every year? Is that the best thing you can find to do with your time? Continue reading