Where is Our Hope: The Reign of Empire or the Reign of God?

Wes Howard-Brookby Wes Howard-Brook

Wes Howard Brook  teaches with his wife Sue Ferguson Johnson through their ministry (www.abideinme.net) and also at Seattle University. Between them, they are blessed with five children. Wes’ most recent book is Come Out My People: God’s Call Out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on my experience of the Disarm Now Plowshares approach to the courtroom. I write this with great respect for those who have risked their freedom in witnessing against the weapons of mass destruction held by the United States, but with a seemingly great difference in understanding of the spiritual nature of the courtroom. I hope my words might generate some much needed conversation on where our hope truly lies. Continue reading

Time to Push Back against Trident Replacement

Friends,

It’s time to write letters to the editor in response to the U.S. Navy’s plan to build a new generation of ballistic missile submarines!

The Kitsap Sun published an article yesterday about the Navy’s work on a replacement for the current fleet of OHIO class submarines. The Seattle Times picked right up on it and published it essentially verbatim.

A new ballistic missile submarine program (even with fewer missile tubes) will continue to foster our nation’s reliance on the false security inherent in the concept of nuclear “deterrence”, and will likely destabilize efforts at disarmament and nonproliferation. Now is the time to make use of the newspapers’ coverage by writing letters to the editors of your local paper, whether you live near the Bangor Base, South Sound, Seattle, or even New York City. Continue reading

No New Nuclear Subs! Time to Speak Out!

Ahoy Mateys,

Avast and shiver me timbers!  Our nation’s nuclear “deterrent” is at risk; our submarines are “aging” and we must develop a new generation of Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs), aka “Boomers” (eek!).  The admirals, defense hawks and corporations that stand to make huge profits from the development and production – and don’t forget all the great stuff they add on later, along with more MISSILES to fill those launch tubes – of the new Trident replacement are like children beneath the tree at Christmas.  New subs are coming!!!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a public dialogue about such programs?  Allow the people to speak about such issues at town hall meetings?  Consider how better to spend our nation’s treasure than on weapons designed to kill millions of civilians? Continue reading

Disarm Now Plowshares keep Dr. King’s Dream Alive

On Monday, January 17, 2011 the University of Washington Tacoma honored the Disarm Now Plowshares with its Legacy Award.

Each year in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr., the University of Washington Tacoma Office of Equity and Diversity and the Black Student Union sponsor the MLK Unity Breakfast. At this year’s event they recognized “UW Tacoma citizens and organizations that consistently address diversity, social justice and civil rights.” They also honored “external persons who have made significant contributions to the UW Tacoma community” in these same areas. Continue reading

NUCLEAR ABOLITIONISTS TO FACE TRIAL AT THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE BOMB

Fellow Abolitionists,

Please read this news release and the following special message from the LANL Six regarding their upcoming trial at the birthplace of the bomb. Click here to learn more and get trial updates.

In Peace,

Leonard

***************

On February 8, a jury in Los Alamos, New Mexico, will hear the case against six people charged with trespass during a demonstration against expansion of the nuclear weapons production complex at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The August 6, 2010 demonstration involved over 120 people, led by Think Outside the Bomb youth at the conclusion of their ten-day Disarmament Summer encampment in nearby Chimayo. They observed the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, with a spirited march through the town and up to the gate of the plutonium processing facility.

Eight people joined a sit-in at the gatehouse for half an hour until they were taken into custody by Los Alamos police. They were cited and released the same day. Two later pled no contest, and were sentenced to fines and probation. Continue reading

Sailing into the New Year with The Golden Rule

Friends,

At the recent trial of the Disarm Now Plowshares activists a retired U.S. Navy Captain who had commanded nuclear submarines during the Cold War testified on behalf of the Plowshares activists. Tom Rogers long journey had brought him to an understanding of the need to abolish these horrible weapons of mass destruction, that the government was not paying attention to people’s “legal” means of free speech, and that the Plowshares activists’ methods were justified.

In 1958 another retired U.S. Navy Captain, Albert Bigelow, embarked on his own journey of conscience and civil resistance when he and his peacemaking crew sailed the 30-foot ketch the Golden Rule toward the U.S. government’s atmospheric test site in the Marshall Islands in an attempt to stop nuclear weapons testing despite government prohibitions and a court injunction. Continue reading

Interviews with Susan – 2009 and 1999

Why She Pours Her Blood on Nuclear Weapons – Susan Crane on Radio Curious, Sept. 7, 2009

Blood on a Nuclear Submarine – Susan Crane on Radio Curious, March 9, 1999

From War Culture to Peace Culture: Steven Leeper Interview

Friends,

Steven Leeper, Chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, spent the week with us during the Disarm Now Plowshares trial – observing, supporting and testifying, and sharing his experience and knowledge with others.  Mike McCormick interviewed Steve on Saturday, December 11th, on KEXP Radio, Seattle.  Steve gave a rich explanation of the purposes and functions of Mayors for Peace and the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, provided perspective on the trial, and spoke directly about the world “nuclear weapons crisis.”

Following a nonviolent Jesus while living in a warmaking state

Susan Crane, Tacoma WA  January 4, 2011

During the trial of the  Disarm Now Plowshares, Arlen Storm, the US attorney, said something to the effect that all of us in this courtroom want a world without nuclear weapons.  There is general agreement on that, and the question is, “How do we get there?” The US attorney was objecting to our tactics. And he’s not the only one objecting. Stephen Kent (Catholic News Services) wrote: “Granted, the tactics of the Disarm Now Plowshares were wrong, but not so the philosophy and theology at the root of their action.”

What is the value of a philosophy or theology, if it isn’t practiced?
Or, what does it mean to follow a nonviolent Jesus while living in a warmaking state?

From the Gospels we read that Jesus was a teacher of nonviolence and often broke the laws in order to obey God. This tradition of embracing God’s will can be found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.

Shiphrah and Puah, Hebrew midwives

At the beginning of Exodus, we read that Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwifes, were ordered by the Pharaoh to kill the boys that were born to the Hebrew women. In between the lines, we can imagine that the midwives prayed, talked with each other and with their families, and made a decision based on their faith. The decided to disobey the Pharaoh, and not kill the boys. This is perhaps the first story in the scriptures where people deliberately, in a knowing and careful way, make a decision to obey God instead of Empire (the king or human laws). (Exodus 1:8-17) Continue reading

War is not healthy for children and other living things…

Our dear Fr. Bix brought people together on December 28th, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, to remember not only the innocent children murdered long ago by Herod, but also the innocent children murdered today in war. People gathered together, vigiled and sang in front of the Tacoma Federal Courthouse, which is representative of our government that bears responsibility for the senseless slaughter of innocents and of the desecration of the very land intended to sustain life. The prophetic message that follows is from the leaflet handed out to those who gathered on the 28th:

Major threats to children and the next seven generations:

1. Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
2. Perpetual and unending war driven by an imperial claim to control Mother Earth’s resources.
3. Dehumanizing poverty, a consequence of a greed-driven global economy that is collapsing and causing untold suffering and death
4. Global climate crisis and ecological destruction: consequence of our addiction to consumer life-styles. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: