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Home arrow Blog arrow May 2008 arrow May 31, 2008

May 31, 2008
WAWA Blog May 31, 2008: WWDDS? What Would Dorothy Day Say?



"Writing...is hard because you are giving yourself away, but if you love; you want to give yourself. You write as you are impelled to write, about man and his problems, his relation to God and his fellows…The sustained effort of writing, of putting [words down while] there are human beings [with] sickness, hunger, sorrow…I feel that I have done nothing well, but I did something."-Dorothy Day


Dorothy Day lived a diverse 83 years that culminated in 1980. She spent her youth amongst anarchists and bohemians, in bars and through unhappy love affairs. She ended life with a mile high FBI file and a paper trail that testifies that what she wrote, she believed, she did and lived.

As an unwed mother she shocked her progressive friends when she entered the Roman Catholic Church, and from the inside, she began to critique it. She called herself a journalist, but she was also like St. Francis of Assisi, a lone prophetic voice of wisdom that challenged the corruption of the gospel/good news that Jesus said was non-negotiable for his follower's; you must forgive to be forgiven and you must love-even those who do not love back.


In a 1994 issue of The Progressive, Erwin Knoll reported "the day after the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor [was] a day when even the most committed pacifist might have been forgiven for maintaining a discreet silence…There was nothing discreet about Dorothy Day."[1]

On the Sunday after Pearl Harbor, Day spoke out, "There is now all this patriotic indignation about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Japanese expansionism in Asia. Yet not a word about American and European colonialism in this same area. We, the British, the French, and others set up spheres of influence…control national states-against the expressed will of these states-and represent imperialism…We dictate to [all] …to where they can expand economically and politically, and we declare what policy they must observe. From our nationalistic and imperialistic point of view, we have every right to concentrate American military forces [Everywhere we chose]…But I waste rhetoric on international politics-the breeding grounds of war over the centuries. The balance of power and other empty slogans inspired by a false and flamboyant nationalism have bred conflict throughout 'civilized' history.


"And it has become too late in human history to tolerate wars which none can win. Nor dare we quibble about just wars…All wars are, by their very nature, evil and destructive. It has become too late for civilized people to accept this evil. We must take a stand. We must renounce war as an instrument of policy…Evil enough when the finest of our youth perish in conflict and even the causes of these conflicts were soon lost to memory. Even more horrible today when cities go up in flames and brilliant scientific minds are searching out ultimate weapons.

"War must cease. There are no victories. The world can bear the burden no longer. Yes, we must make a stand. Even as I speak to you, I may be guilty of what some men call treason. But we must reject war: Yes, we must now make a stand. War is murder, rape, ruin, death; war can end our civilization. I tell you that within a decade we will have weapons capable of ending this world as we have known it." [IBID]




Day's prophetic voice is also a friend of wisdom and "Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, and certain. Not baneful, but loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficent, kind, firm, secure, all-seeing and pervading all spirits. Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion and SHE penetrates and pervades all things by reason. SHE is the aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of The Almighty. SHE is the refulgence of eternal Light, a spotless mirror of the power of God. And SHE who is one, can do all things and renews everything. And passing into holy souls from age to age, SHE produces friends of God and prophets." - WISDOM 7:22-8:1

Day took Jesus seriously and understood that for a Christian the higher law is God's not man's and for a Christian, God is love and "love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not the bombardment of cities. Love is not killing...Our Manifesto is the Sermon on The Mount, which means we will try to be peacemakers."


Day challenged church, state and corporate media via her publication The Catholic Worker, which gave voice to the voiceless and persists today. Everyday when I sit in front of my keyboard to write; to give myself away impelled by love in response to a sense of mission or is it duty? This need to write about man and his problems, his relation to God and his sisters and brothers, provokes me to daily wonder:


WWDDS?

What would Dorothy Day Say about America today, our media, government and churches? What would she publish about Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, and the fact that 2008 is the 60th Anniversary of Israel, Nakba, and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights upon which Israel's statehood was contingent upon upholding.


Might she have said:

For every misunderstanding, every condemning thought, every negative vibration, every tear torn from a heart, every time one grabbed and wouldn’t let go, and they only did it because they did not know:

The Divine is within all creation and within all women and men.

And every tiny kindness you have ever done, every gentle word spoken, every time you held your tongue, every positive thought, every smile freely given, every helping hand that opens, helps bring in the kingdom. And the kingdom comes from above, and it comes from within.


Imagine a kingdom of sisterhood of all creatures and all men.



1. 
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1295/is_n4_v58/ai_14951440/pg_1

   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

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UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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