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Home arrow Blog arrow August 2008 arrow August 6, 2008

August 6, 2008
WAWA Blog: August 6, 2008: A Revolution of Love + Reflection on the 63rd Anniversary of USA Terrorism "In all of earth’s sixty-five-million-year history, we are living in the most dangerous of times. The fact that a bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and two hundred thousand lives were vaporized within twenty minutes has not prevented man from dreaming up more ways to fill space with weapons of mass destruction. We were not created for militarism, but to turn our swords into plowshares. We have arrived here today by no accident. We have been summoned by the universe to claim the highest common ground. As the Dali Lama said, the radicalism of our age is to be compassionate human beings. We have been called to bring love and compassion back into the equation and assist others to connect with the deepest parts of themselves. Now is the time to realize, as never before, that when any of us suffer, we all suffer. All life is interconnected, interdependent, and greatly loved by the creator, the sustainer of the universe. We are called by love, for love, and to love.”[1]



Those words were the best and among the first I heard barely a month after returning home from my first of six trip to Israel and occupied Palestine.


It happened on July 20, 2005, while in Berkeley, California at TIKKUN’s first annual conference on spiritual activism. The Invocation came from Father Louis Vitale, a Franciscan enrobed in well worn burlap and a radiant smile.



On Armistice Day, 1948 General Omar Nelson Bradley warned, "We live in a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants, in a world that has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. We have solved the mystery of the atom and forgotten the lessons of the Sermon on The Mount. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about dying than we know about living."


August 6th and 9th 2008, marks the 63rd anniversary of the most brutal act of terrorism upon innocent people;

America's atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.



A little history:


At 2:45 AM, on August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber flew north from Tinian Island toward Japan. Three and a half hours later, the Enola Gay dropped "Little Boy" an 8,900-pound atomic weapon upon civilians in Hiroshima and leveled almost 90% of the city. On August 9, "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki, and one third of that city was destroyed.


"Little Boy" was fuelled by highly enriched uranium-235 and generated a destructive force of about 15 kilotons—the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT. "Fat Man" consisted of a plutonium core surrounded by high explosives wired to explode simultaneously and yielded a 22 kiloton explosion.


As a child, I could not comprehend how my country could cold bloodedly target and murder Japanese citizens in order to 'save' American lives, which was the response I always received from every adult I questioned.


As an adult, I am outraged over the rhetoric to bomb Iran and aggrieved that no government official has yet ever expressed sorrow for the lives that were vaporized and all those that were traumatized from living through the devastation in 1945.




If THAT DAY, we call 9/11 taught us anything, it should be that America's nuclear arsenal cannot defeat 'terrorism' or provide security from the actions of a few violent mad men who target and murder innocent ones.


America has a nuclear arsenal of over 10,000 weapons and nearly 2,000 remain on hair-trigger alert ever since the end of the Cold War.

An estimated 150 – 240 tactical nuclear weapons remain based in 5 NATO countries and the United States is the only country with nuclear weapons deployed on foreign soil.

American taxpayers provide $54 billion annually to maintain WMD's, which is but a drop in the bucket of the overall U.S. military spending. The U.S. is also a co-conspirator in international nuclear apartheid and collaborator in Israel's policy of nuclear ambiguity.


American money is imprinted with "IN GOD WE TRUST" but reality is we have become a nation of hypocrites, for by our foreign policy we expose that we live by the sword...




Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Mairead Maguire, spoke in Hiroshima on May 2008, "We live in an insecure, uncertain world; it is also a time of opportunity. It is a time to put aside many of the old ways and with creativity and imagination, develop new thinking, ideas, institutions, etc. Young people and women will help this process; they know that Nuclear weapons belong to the cold war thinking, and can never be used. To do so, would be immoral, illogical and destroy the Environment.

They know our real problems, are:

Poverty, Environment, unethical globalization, abuse of Human Rights and International Laws, gender inequality, ethnical/political conflict, State and paramilitary acts of terror.

…They know that spending trillions on weapons that can never be used, while each day over 30,000 children die of preventable disease, is immoral and unacceptable.

"We are all aware that we are living in an increasing Culture of violence, and if we are to survive we need to build a Culture of Non-violence. Choosing not to kill another human being is the greatest contribution each of us can make to peace. This is not a hard choice when through prayer, meditation, morality, or logic, we come to realize that our lives are sacred as is the life of all our brothers and sisters, and there are always alternatives to violence which work. Human beings are evolving and there is a new consciousness that we must choose non-violence and build strong relationships and community." [2]




John Dear, a Jesuit, has been arrested at least 100 times for NONVIOLENT Acts of Civil Disobedience.

He spoke the following words three years ago at a lecture about Thomas Merton and the Wisdom of Non-violence:


Before I entered the Jesuits, I decided I better go see where Jesus lived, so I decided to make a walking pilgrimage through Israel, to see the physical lay of the land, only the day I left for Israel in June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and I found myself walking through a war zone. By the end of my two month pilgrimage, I was camping around the Sea of Galilee, and visited the Church of the Beatitudes, where I read on the walls:

"Blessed are the poor, the mournful, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for justice, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those persecuted for the sake of justice, and love your enemies."

I was stunned. I walked out to the balcony, looking out over the Sea of Galilee, and asked out loud, "Are you trying to tell me something? Okay, I promise here and now to dedicate my life to the Sermon on the Mount, to promoting peace and justice, on one condition: if you give me a sign."

Just then, several Israeli jets fell from the sky breaking the sound barrier, setting off a series of sonic booms, coming right toward me. After they flew over me, I look backed up at heaven, and pledged to live out the Sermon on the Mount." [3]





2,000 years ago, "the cross…was neither a religious icon nor metaphor for personal anguish or humility. It had only one meaning: that terrible form of capitol punishment reserved by imperial Rome for political dissenters. The cross was a common sight in the revolutionary Palestine of Mark's time; in this recruiting call, the disciple is invited to reckon with the consequences facing those who dare to challenge the hegemony of imperial Rome."[4]




In America, we have a lot of religion about Jesus, but not much of the religion Jesus actually taught, which is summed up in The Beatitudes; The Sermon on the Mount.


About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven."

In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and sins honestly and trust God loves them just as they are, who already live in the Kingdom of God.

How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven't got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.

God's name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, "My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8

Christ proclaimed more: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled."

In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what "God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord."-Micah 6:8


"Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy."

In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your enemy, for the only way to break the cycle of evil and violence is with good.

"For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you," Christ warns his disciples as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God."

In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, woman and child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.

Jesus delivered the bottom line on exactly WHO are the children of God, in Matthew 5:9:

"Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God."





Many Americans live under the delusion that the USA is a Christian nation.

If that were true, we would lead the way in nuclear disarmament and abolish war.



The bombs that landed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were but baby steps to 21st Century nuclear weapons that if set off, by human design, or accident will reap the end of civilization as we now know it; for the nuclear fallout in the air and water will return as bad karma in nuclear poison unto the ones who sought to destroy 'the other'.



John Dear wrote:

Contrary to what the Pentagon tells us, that our God is not a god of war, but the God of peace; not a god of injustice, but the God of justice; not a god of vengeance and retaliation, but the God of compassion and mercy; not a god of violence, but the God of non-violence; not a god of death, but the living God of life.


[And then] we discover a new image of God. As we begin to imagine the peace and non-violence of God; we learn to worship the God of peace and non-violence; and in the process, become people of peace and non-violence…

The one thing we can say for sure about Jesus is that he practiced active, public, creative non-violence. He called us to love our neighbors; to show compassion toward everyone; to seek justice for the poor; to forgive everyone; to put down the sword; to take up the cross in the struggle for justice and peace; to lay down our lives, to risk our lives if necessary, in love for all humanity, and most of all, to love our enemies. His last words to the community, to the church, to us, as the soldiers dragged him away, could not be clearer or more to the point: "Put down the sword."

That's it. We are not allowed to kill. That's why they run away; they realize he is serious about non-violence…Jesus dies on the cross saying, "The violence stops here in my body, which is given for you. You are forgiven, but from now on, you are not allowed to kill:

Violence doesn't work.

War doesn't work.

Violence in response to violence always leads to further violence.

Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. Those who live by the bomb, the gun, the nuclear weapon, will die by bombs, guns and nuclear weapons.

You reap what you sow. The means are the ends. What goes around comes around.

War can not stop terrorism because war is terrorism. War only sows the seeds for future wars.


Underneath this culture of war and injustice is a sophisticated spirituality of violence, a spirituality of war, a spirituality of empire, a spirituality of injustice that has nothing to do with the living God or the Gospel of Jesus. [Ibid]





Jesus is also known as The Prince of Peace and when he told Nicodemus, that you must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven, he was not talking about an emotional high, but a TRANSFORMATION of heart and mind to wake up and see The Divine in ALL people and all of creation.

In the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican churches, the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus: The Prince of Peace is observed on August 6th.

The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported in the synoptic gospels in which Jesus became radiant having undergone a metamorphosis, a transformation.



COMPLEX TRANSFORMATION

"The question is not how much more sophisticated our plants and weapons can become, but how serious we are as a nation to lead the world with an alternative vision which interprets power differently and promotes peaceful coexistence globally."—Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, Theological Advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on Environmental Issues, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, spoke about Complex Transformation at the National Press Club:

"Complex Transformation is the Bush administration proposed plan to restructure the nation's nuclear weapons infrastructure.

"The administration's goal is to consolidate existing nuclear facilities while increasing the capacity to produce material for new nuclear weapons. According to a report jointly released by the Energy Department (DOE) on January 10, 2008, the administration seeks an annual production capacity of 80 plutonium pits (read: triggers for new nuclear bombs) as a result of the transformation.

"The main justification for the program is the perceived need for a more adaptable and responsive nuclear infrastructure to react to unnamed future threats. The administration is currently considering several alternatives for achieving its goals."[5]


The wisdom of non-violence teaches that:
War is not the will of God.
War is never justified.
War is never blessed by God.
War is not endorsed by any religion.
War is the very definition of mortal sin.
War is demonic, evil, anti-human, anti-life, anti-God, and anti-Christ.
For Christians, war is not the way to follow Jesus. [6]

"The God of peace is never glorified by human violence… The radical truth of reality is that we are all one." –Merton



Gandhi's non-violence was a political tactic that evolved from the inner realization of spiritual unity within himself.

Gandhi studied all the world's religions and after attending many churches, he remarked that Christianity was a great religion and all Christians should "TRY IT!"


The problem is not with Christianity, but that too few have actually done The Beatitudes; and the bottom line of the Sermon on The Mount is that God is Love and God Loves All.


The Good News for the 21st century lies behind every solitary hearts door in the revelation of a revolution of love.

The Revolution of Love begins within every solitary heart that owns up to the violence within;

And then allows sorrow to wash out for what ever one has done unto oneself and any other led by the spirit of violence.

An open heart is freed to receive grace; and grace is a free gift from The Mystery of the Universe [God for lack of a better term] that will lead one to do something to change course: A Revolution of Love.





      1.    KEEP HOPE ALIVE, page 156
      2.    http://peacepeople.com
      3.    http://www.fatherjohndear.org/speeches/thomas_merton_wisdom.htm

      4.    Ched Myers, Sojourners Magazine, August 2007, page 28. 

      5.     http://www.faithfulsecurity.org/html/complex_transformation.html
      6.     http://www.fatherjohndear.org/speeches/thomas_merton_wisdom.htm


 
   
 
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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

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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
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"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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