I am inspired in the areas of peace, justice, and love in this 21st century.
I follow The Prince of Peace, and some of his followers are making him look bad.
I read about peacemaker’s lives, have attended Quaker meetings, learned the history of the Anabaptist (Amish, Mennonites).
I have followed my U. Methodist Peace and Justice Committees and Social Justice events. I have attended some get togethers concerning peace and justice.
Why is it only the retired U. Methodist Bishops who feel they can stand up for peace?
Could it be that this issue is so tied up in economics, economics of salary, of parishioners who work for war?
I have tried to see how this might have meaning in my life. I am a child of a WWII War Veteran. At the end of his life, Father believed that we could do better at avoiding war. That it took courage to stand up to dictators and we knew enough about the signs of dictatorships in history to avoid their takeover into our future. But this will take active, ongoing diplomacy, economic development in impoverished places, and investing more in education instead of weapons. We can do better at standing up to economic bullies too such a predatory lending, those who can afford to pay their employees a living wage but do not do so thus making families in their communities suffer poverty.
I do not want my grandchildren to grow up in such a violent, destructive world as today gives us.
I want to prevent war before it happens. We know more now about this than in 1930s and 1940s when my Dad’s generation were seeing the devastation of the aftermaths of WWI.
We humans do not have to repeat sad, destructive, inhumane history.
I have walked on Mother’s Day in honor of Julia Howe with a group called Julia’s Voice
Julia Howe was a woman who declared Mother’s Day a day of Peace.
In 2008 held signs and walked along a busy Ward Parkway in Overland Park, Kansas
Our signs said: “We Stand for Peace Moms Against the War,” (Julia’s Voice)
After Julia seeing the horrors of the American Civil War, Julia who was a poet and wrote Battle Hymn of the Republic,
She helped to make Mother’s Day, a day honoring peace. Few Americans know that Mother’s Day was initially in honor of peace.
Instead I have witnessed in my lifetime more war (I was hoping it would end during Vietnam era)
I thought major wars would be over by now, since we are “smart,” and capable of doing better than unending war.
But, I believe the economics of war has been so woven into our society that it will take strong will and effort to rid of us this machine.
I remember having a conversation with a fellow church member who just accepts that war is inevitable,
That peace is impractical, non-doable.
I think war is impractical, and should be non-doable, and we have the ability to stop it.
But then I think of Gandhi. I think of Christian Peacemaker Teams around the world, Peace Corps.
I think of eventual peace in South Africa and in northern Ireland.
Is it that we have never been taught how to be a peaceful humanity? What do sacred scriptures of religions say?
See The Complex: How The Military Invades Our Everyday Lives by Nick Turse. This is what we learn in American society–that we are a militaristic society dependent upon war to make money. That our taxpayer money goes in large quantities to military. I have been reading this book over Christmas time. This is to be Peace on earth, Goodwill to men time. Why haven’t we learned much since Jesus’ time?
There should be an antidote to this military propaganda.
Why don’t we learn how to make peace?
Is war created by economic inequities over land, resources, control and does it rely on economic inequities?
The information in it deeply concerns me: war, strife, division, destruction of earth and peoples around our world based on my tax payer dollars and so much of what I buy from paper towels, food, oil and gas, to computer technology to media, to mustard for my sandwich.
I didn’t want to write some superficial words or thoughts on peace, justice, love to be written, but written after I had and continue to have experiences in the field of peace, justice, love.
This lead me to justice issues, because I kept finding that without justice there can be no peace. If you are desperate because you have been abused, been treated disrespectfully without fair treatment in shelter, job, health, religion, ethnicity, gender, social economic level then there needs to be peaceful listening and respecting each other, truth and reconciliation in order to have justice. Unjust systems create war. Those who can remain peaceful and nonviolent in spite of mistreatment are saints, and there are few of those among humanity. So in 2007 I got involved with a community organization that has economic dignity as one of it’s goals for our urban and suburban communities here in the middle of the USA. It’s amazing how many of our own neighbors are truly caring, but sad how many are truly destructive with such businesses as predatory lending.
I have been blessed with love and being loved on a personal level, in a family, in a community. I have experienced some violence growing up (seeing the death of my cousin from Vietnam War, to having my paper dress torn off when I was 13 years old, with the Campfire Girls outing and some inner city urban girls didn’t like my politics and tore my dress off in the parking lot). Today, I understand their anger better, since I was representing a political party under the Campfire Girl parents’ supervision who were for Nixon, when they were Humphrey girls, and this makes perfect sense today what their anger was all about. The me of today would be mad at the me of yesterday (who by the way was just following like a sheep the parents organizing us to attend a political rally for some bead on our vest). Nixon did not seem to care two hoots about the inner city black population compared to Humphrey.
But thankfully I was never wounded beyond emotions of fear and sadness, which are legitimate concerns considering our psychological needs are as important as our physical needs.
My first cousin died in the Vietnam War when I was thirteen–came home in a body bag, closed casket, bomb in his medic’s tent (he was a medic).
I hope that the love I have given out into the world has been accepted and made a difference in friends, family, community’s lives, and that includes a passion to awaken people to the concept that more peace is possible in this world than currently occurs.
However, I kept finding that I was angry with military people, with corporations that on the government dole for billions in military spending. Anger needs to be used constructively to produce positive change for betterment of all humanity.
I still ponder: “How can unending war be occurring, when we even had President Dwight Eisenhower warn us in the 1950s: “Beware of the military, industrial complex.”
I hope our New Year 2014 brings peace and the courage to stand for peace and peace that comes from fair economic practices.
Notes on Julia’s Voice:
Julia’s Voice is a group of “mothers and others” working to Take Back Mothers … To reclaim our holiday, we sponsor Mothers Day Stand for Peace events and …