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Grieve, But then Teach and Organize Nonviolence


#1

Grieve, But then Teach and Organize Nonviolence

Rev. John Dear

Like millions of others, I'm grieving the death of the nine church folk killed in the unthinkable massacre inside Charleston's Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the dead, and the church members, and I offer all my condolences, prayers, blessings and love.

"We maintain a culture of violence, torture, war and nuclear weapons as if that's a perfect reasonable way to maintain a society. It's as if we're all living in a zombie movie."


#2

I just wish we spent half of what we spend on war and violence on peace and nonviolence.


#3

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#4

The problem with the "Everyone is guilty" assertion is that it renders invisible the many millions, perhaps even billions who do not identify with war, are not aggressive by nature, do not advocate for capital punishment and have no interest in guns or warfare.

It is dangerous and disingenuous to use a singular identifier as defining characteristic of (and for) the entire human race. It also appears to me to be an extension of Original Sin--the premise used to condemn the masses for many centuries. There was a reason why Matthew Fox was excommunicated for speaking instead about Original Blessing.

I deeply admire Father John Dear, but just as I critique others for speaking in the voice of the dominant male and HIS warrior ethos since it crowds out any alternative to itself; I must take issue with Father John Dear using this same frame.

We have been taught this framing, but it argues for the very thing it condemns by granting no witness--holy or otherwise--to the millions of peaceful persons who often are on the receiving end of violence, but hardly its authors! (And that includes Father John Dear.)

WE are not all violent!

WE are not all soldiers or killers.

WE are not all complicit in forms of violence that have become habitual due to the top-down patriarchal formation of society.

What is done by dominant forces within a patriarchal paradigm is hardly the word or intension of all. It is what is imposed... at gunpoint.

Here is one example (the other is full of them):

"Our desire to execute the young Boston Marathon murderer is a sign of a common addiction."

The FED determined this outcome. The majority of Boston's citizens are against the death penalty. Hence: the glaring flaw in making blanket condemnatory statements that press all persons into one (in this case) inaccurate category.


#5

"Once you remember who you are, you realize who everyone else is—your beloved sister or brother—and therefore you could never hurt or kill anyone, much less own a gun, join the military, support war, build nuclear weapons, or have anything to do with the culture of violence."

Millions are "there."


#6

Who is the WE that made this choice? Again, spreading the ca-ca around so that the stink is attached to those who had no agency to alter outcomes decided upon by the MIC and its Deep State operators.


#7

Once you remember who you are, you realize who everyone else is—your beloved sister or brother—and therefore you could never hurt or kill anyone, much less own a gun, join the military, support war, build nuclear weapons, or have anything to do with the culture of violence.

Speak up!
Living in a military town, one goes to a store and is asked at the checkout, "will you be using a military discount?"
Here was my reply:
"Do I look like I'm in the military? If someone put a gun in my hand and told me to go over to someone else's country and kill them for their oil, I would tell them to go fuck themselves!"
Just plant a tiny kernel of doubt in people's minds (where appropriate). Sometimes it will get them thinking. (Perhaps don't be as brash as I am. Just saying.)


#8

Here's a possible theme to rally around - let's make this the "New Summer of Love."
This could be a theme song (either way, I'm making it mine):

Though I am not religious, a lot of people are. It's a song about unity. Lets's get together. As my Cherokee mentor told me: "We are all brothers and sister."


#9

We would be the America mercenary class, the ca-ca is yours. Who are those who had no agency?