Pax Christi International was born 70 years ago of two people who advanced ideas that were jarringly dissonant in the context of that time.
Peace & Justice
On Saturday, a group of protesters interrupted a St. Louis Symphony concert, in which the symphony played Brahms "Requiem," just prior to its second act by singing, "Which side are you on, friend, which side are you on? Justice for Mike Brown is justice for us all." They unfurled signs from the balcony that read, "Requiem for Mike Brown 1996-2014," "Racism lives here" and "Rise Up and Join the Movement." The protestors sang for about 90 seconds then exited, chanting, "Black lives matter."
Community groups are calling for supporters from around the country to join them in a Weekend of Resistance in Ferguson, Mo., Oct. 10-13. Planned events include meetings, trainings and discussions on a variety of topics, along with a Día de los Muertos event, art installations, film screenings, and a Clergy/Faith Day of Action. The biggest events are projected to be a mass march through downtown St. Louis and demonstrations at several locations around the area.
Georgia Walker, of PeaceWorks Kansas City, was found guilty Sept. 26 of trespassing on private property at the Bannister Federal Complex in an act of civil disobedience to bring attention to the harmful nature of nuclear weapon production and usage May 31.
A new documentary is on the shelves, and those who helped create it hope that its message will stay in public consciousness. Released on DVD Sept. 23, the award-winning film “Hit & Stay,” documents an era of civil disobedience during the Vietnam War.
I was at our Loretto Motherhouse for a meeting of the Committee for Peace and one of the sisters asked a couple of us what the U.S. should do about the Islamic State militant group. She hadn't signed any of the petitions to choose a nonviolent response because she wants the Islamic State stopped. But she knows when we drop bombs, innocents die. She wasn't sure she wanted the Islamic State killed.
The United Nations' framework provides the "only viable way" of dealing with the global nature of modern terrorism "which knows no borders," the Vatican's secretary of state told the U.N. General Assembly on Monday.
"This reality requires a renewed United Nations that undertakes to foster and preserve peace," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, emphasizing that recent terrorist activity is "criminal behavior that is not envisaged by the juridical configuration of the United Nations charter."
Religious leaders agree the Islamic State must be stopped. Their struggle is how best to do it.
"As mainstream religious leaders of different faiths get together, it strengthens the voice of moderation," said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group.
A group of mainstream Muslim scholars sought to strip the Iraqi and Syrian militants of any legitimacy under the cover of Islam in an open letter in Arabic issued Wednesday.
The violence continues to pile up, with one searing headline rapidly succeeding the next: Gaza; Ferguson, Mo.; Ukraine; the horrifying rampage of the Islamic State militant group; and now, a long-term U.S. war to destroy our new enemy. This dizzying, violent surge, one bloody wave after the next, gives us no time to think. Violence is the answer, we're told, so get with the program.
Despite some sentencing changes, prison populations are creeping up. California released a number of inmates under court order to cease overcrowding. Federal and state law has reduced the sentencing guidelines for possession of crack cocaine to a number closer to powder cocaine possession (from 75 to 1 down to 17 to 1, though the two kinds of cocaine are about the same). Marijuana possession isn't being prosecuted in a lot of places.