An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Beauty and Truth
"Beauty is not opposed to truth. It is simply truth in its most attractive form."
Before we present the courageous actions of the Blackwater protesters, it is worth considering the moral foundation on which war resistance is based. "Forty years ago, a handful of smart Americans had an idea how to end a war. They published a call for moral, political and financial support for those refusing to serve." It was called the RESIST foundation and it can serve as a model for how we must act and believe today. After detailing the moral, religious, and philosophical grounds for opposing the Vietnam war, they summarized: "Therefore, we believe on all these grounds that every free man has a legal right and a moral duty to exert every effort to end this war, to avoid collusion with it, and to encourage others to do the same...Each must choose the course of resistance dictated by his conscience and circumstances. Among those already in the armed forces some are refusing to obey specific illegal and immoral orders, some are attempting to educate their fellow servicemen on the murderous and barbarous nature of the war, some are absenting themselves without official leave. Among those not in the armed forces some are applying for status as conscientious objectors to American aggression in Vietnam, some are refusing to be inducted. Among both groups some are resisting openly and paying a heavy penalty, some are organizing more resistance within the United States and some have sought sanctuary in other countries."
Those among us who have not been made barbarians by a debased culture and mindless acceptance of endless war have the obligation to use every morally acceptable means of resistance to the unjust occupation of Iraq and the broader Middle East.
Before the next wave of repression begins, let us call out with our brothers from the sixties: "We believe that each of these forms of resistance against illegitimate authority is courageous and justified. Many of us believe that open resistance to the war and the draft is the course of action most likely to strengthen the moral resolve with which all of us can oppose the war and most likely to bring an end to the war."
Resistance to the war is our school of soul-building, the gymnastics of moral resolve which God uses to make new creatures for his kingdom.
"We call upon all men of good will to join us in this confrontation with immoral authority. Especially we call upon the universities to fulfill their mission of enlightenment and religious organizations to honor their heritage of brotherhood. Now is the time to resist."
Blackwater Protest Action Statement
As people of faith who wish to shed light and enkindle hope, we come
today to the headquarters of Blackwater Worldwide in an act of
nonviolent protest, appealing to Blackwater personnel to disassociate
themselves from a corporation which:
• Operates in connivance with the U.S. Military to prosecute the
illegal, unjust, aggressive war against Iraq in order to secure
American imperial objectives in the Middle East;
• Reaps huge revenues amounting to billions of dollars, in effect
robbing the American public of valuable resources needed for the
basic necessities of life: food, shelter, health care, etc;
• Murders innocent Iraqi noncombatants, including children, women and
• Performs these evil deeds without any accountability and operates
with complete immunity;
• Works side by side and colludes with the world’s number one
terrorist, the United States Government.
Please consider supporting those who put their bodies on the line to expose the crimes of Blackwater. Go to Atlantic Life Community to learn more. And please take a look at the YouTube video: Peace activists invade Blackwater. Here you can hear the names of those Blackwater murdered - each an beloved image of God.
Much as we admire these protesters, we strongly believe that "...a fight that doesn’t aim toward the elimination of the causes is simply not serious." And that cause is not to be sought simply in the disordered affections of our hearts, but in a social system that thrives on that disorder.