How Do You Tell the Kids that Grandma Is in Jail for Resisting Nuclear Weapons?

H14_Ploughshare-activist-arrest-on-US-submarine-base3By Frida Berrigan. Re-posted from truth-out.org.

“Our grandma is in jail,” Madeline tells a woman wrestling a shopping cart at Target.

“She went over a war fence and tried to make peace,” Seamus adds helpfully. “They arrested her, and she is in jail now.”

“Where?” the woman asks, looking from them to me in disbelief and maybe pity.

“We don’t remember,” the kids say, suddenly done with their story and ready to make passionate pleas for the colorful items in the dollar section over the woman’s shoulder. Continue reading

“Let Us Not Forget, So That We Never Repeat” My Lai: A Litany of Remembrance and Repair

White_House_DCWritten by Bill Ramsey and Joyce Hollyday. The litany is being read and prayed in front of the White House today on the anniversary.

We remember those victims whose names we read today, and all the residents of My Lai who were killed while cooking breakfast, huddling beneath their homes, shielding their children, running from danger, or being herded into ditches.

Let us not forget, so that we never repeat. Continue reading

#RevolutionOfValues: A Week of Creative Action

RevolutionThe U.S. Department of Arts and Culture has no connection whatsoever to the government.  It is a people-powered department—a grassroots action network inciting creativity and social imagination to shape a culture of empathy, equity, and belonging.  The USDAC is  calling on artists, creative organizers, concerned citizens, and all community members to join together from April 2-8, 2018, to draw inspiration from and breathe new life into the prophetic words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., strengthening our commitment to speak truth to power and sparking creative action in the year ahead. Below are some ideas that the USDAC has provided to help spark the imagination.

MORE INFO ON #REVOLUTIONOFVALUES:

“Radical” is a much maligned word: it comes from the Latin radix (root), and refers to anything that goes to the root of the matter, rather than tinkering with the leaves and branches. Many people have downplayed Dr. King’s deep spiritual and political radicalism, trying to whitewash his true views. Now it is more important than ever to use our creativity to nourish the roots of love and justice. Continue reading

Let the Children Lead Us

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By Leah Grady Sayvetz, Ithaca, NY. 3/14/18

This morning, March 14, I woke late and as I looked at the numbers 9:24 on the clock I remembered that today is National School Walkout Day. At 10am, the students from the middle/high school across the street from my house would be leaving school, walking out of class as part of a nationally coordinated protest for an end to gun violence. I wanted to be with them. Thirty-five minutes later, as I stepped out of my front door, my breath caught in my chest: hundreds of children clad in coats and boots filed silently past. They filled the snowy sidewalk as far as I could see, many carrying signs drawn with colored markers on pieces of large white paper. My first instinct was to cheer, to encourage the students, to let these youngsters know how proud of them I am. But each small face passed me by in solemnity; a quiet, focused march through the falling snow. Their spirit drew me, then, into reverence. I fell in step with the crowd, following in silence, letting the children lead. The beanie-clad heads before and behind me rose no higher than my chest. I felt a deep sense of humility to be following the lead of such little ones. Today the children are showing us where we need to be.

Continue reading

The Ties that Bind: The Integrity of Penitence, on the 50th Anniversary of the Massacre at My Lai

my-lai-1024x683By Ken Sehested

Concealment makes the soul a swamp. Confession is how you drain it.

—Charles M. Blow

Except in a few traditional religious settings, penitence is a relatively unknown word. While its more common synonyms—confession, apology, contrition, and repentance—are standard parts of many church liturgies, the images they convey have generally fallen out of favor. There are good reasons why this is so. The primary definition of penance is “voluntary self-punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for having done wrong.” A web search for penance reveals more than a few pictures of people whipping themselves. Continue reading