369: VISIONS OF CHANGE #2: JESUIT PACIFIST JOHN DEAR

“A warm welcome to the anti-establishment pages of Zingcreed, the iconoclastic blog which takes a close look at churchmen and politicians alike. It attacks what it doesn’t like and supports what it does. John Dear, S.J. may be considered naive by some, but I liked him when I heard him speak at the Catholic Workers in London last year. He’s one committed man on a crusade against war. He makes you take him seriously, and there’s no doubt where his heart is. This is a quote from his excellent book ‘Put down your Sword’ (2008). Some of his examples of military conflict could be updated but his point stands. I have re-arranged his original text into a series of bullet points. Pax vobiscum! (Peace be with you)”
Peter Turner M.A., M.Sc.

The Vision of  Change of John Dear, the Jesuit Pacifist

If we are to become true prophets of non-violence like Thomas Merton, we have to speak out against every form of systemic violence. We need to say the unpopular things:

  • An immediate end to the Iraq war
  • An immediate return of all US troops
  • Reparations for our Iraqi sisters and brothers
  • A U.N. programme for non-violent conflict resolution that can begin the healing
  • End the oppression of the Palestinians
  • Support non-violent Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers, the Jewish vision of Shalom and human rights for Palestinians
  • End all U.S. military aid to and war-making in Colombia
  • Stop all surveillance  of peace and justice activists
  • Close Guantanamo and all U.S. terrorist training camps, beginning with Fort Benning’s notorious “School of assassins”
  • Close the C.I.A., the N.S.A., the F.B.I., and the Pentagon
  • Leave the World Trade Organisation
  • Erase the entire third world debt
  • Distribute free medicine to everyone with HIV/AIDS
  • Abolish the death penalty
  • Welcome every immigrant and undocumented person
  • House the homeless
  • Grant universal health care
  • Fund non-violence education in every school on the planet
  • Stop rigging elections
  • Develop treaties for nuclear disarmament
  • Join the World Court
  • Obey international law
  • Sign the Kyoto Accord
  • Fund alternatives to fossil fuels
  • Stop global warming
  • Disarm Los Alamos
  • Cut the entire military budget
  • Abolish every one of our nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction
  • …and then redirect those hundreds of billions of dollars toward the hard work for a lasting peace by feeding every child and refugee on the planet with a global Marshall Plan.

Source:
Dear, John “The Wisdom of Thomas Merton”  in “Put down your sword. Answering the gospel call to creative nonviolence” Eerdmans (2008) p.181

Related Zingcreed Posts:
Alphabetical index for other ‘Visions of change’ Posts
Jesus and non-violence
Principles of compassionate resistance (Keith Hebden)
Spiral of violence
Structural sin
Red Christian documents #38: Beatitudes of peace (John Dear)

[368, i&l, t&c]

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