Well, what do you know, a Catholic priest calling for nonviolence! Father John claims Jesus was radically nonviolent and so do numerous others. Yet, like so many unreported peace movements, the Gandhian-like Catholics have, somehow, escaped mainstream media attention, though they protest, practice civil disobedience, and may serve time, sometimes repeatedly, in prison, for the sake of peace.
Quantum Sunday is embarking on an exploration into the phenomenon of nonviolent Christians who, in keeping with the teachings of their Christ, risk all for the sake of peace, and the phenomenon of their sacrifice escaping mainstream media attention, after all a Catholic priest going to prison for practicing civil disobedience in opposition to war is just as much a news story as any other about Catholic priests.
Perhaps this media indifference has something to do with the fact that if the world’s billions of Catholics, and those who are otherwise Christian, caught on to the actual nonviolent teachings of Jesus, we would really be in trouble! You can’t really control those who practice civil disobedience and there’s little profit in peacemaking! In fact, if Christians caught on to the whole peacemaking thing, the military industrial complex would fall apart! No, it seems rather important to keep Christians focused on violence if corporate multinationals are to prosper, so keeping pesky priests, nuns, and other nonviolent Christians, who practice Gandhian civil disobedience out of the news is sensible if one is to profit from war, and the mainstream corporate media does profit from war!
I had the privilege to meet Fr. John Dear several years ago when he came to Phoenix, Az to speak on nonviolence, he gave me some very sage counsel on the subject of sustaining activism through the long years and achieving inner peace while facing the horrors of this world so regularly. He said one must spend at least 30 minutes, an hour is better, but at least 30 minutes morning and evening in meditation. That’s advice anyone, regardless of religion can follow.
We also spoke of Gandhi whom he holds in very high esteem.
Actually, I’ve met a few of these nonviolent, activist Christians and this is what I’ve found, that true peacemakers, regardless of religion, consistently transcend religion, in as much as they, from the basis of their own religion, recognize the sacredness of other peacemakers who make peace from the basis of their own religion. Peace unifies, it doesn’t divide, it is those who find peace repulsive, who rebel against it’s nature and it’s ways, who therefore enact division; thus Jesus’ enigmatic prophesy about brother being pitted against brother in his name, the sword of division in families, for when one takes up the cross of peace, others take up the sword of opposition to it, that’s why, for instance, becoming a conscientious objector is so difficult.
This transcendence of religion by various peacemakers practicing various religions, is another phenomenon that by it’s very nature threatens the military industrial complex, for again, if people practicing their various religions began to recognize each other as brothers and sisters, genuinely, rather than metaphorically, which is indeed what quantum science tells us is our true unified nature, our oneness, then we couldn’t be so easily duped into hating one another so much that we want to kill each other nor would we be so easily seduced into our collective indifference about state sanctioned killing, about war and it’s related oppressions.
Fr. John has been arrested over 75 times and has served time in prison, in the name of peace. Standing for peace can invite opposition, even violent opposition, in our society it certainly can result in incarceration, and I for one hold in high esteem those who have walked the long and narrow path for the sake of it.
May God always bless you Fr. John!