Passion for the Possible: A Sunday Meditation…

Friends,

This morning I read an excellent, well-balanced article in the Kansas City Star (Yes Virginia, fair and balanced journalism is not dead yet) about nuclear weapons (U.S. trims its nuclear arsenal while upgrading production, Saturday, February 26, 2011) using the new Kansas City bomb plant as the central character in this endless story of nuclear madness.

And by the way; the article confirmed that “the biggest concentration of the operational nukes is at the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific at Bangor, Wash., which sends out Ohio-class submarines operating in the Pacific and Indian oceans.Continue reading

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Sending the Wrong People to Jail…

Friends,

In a little over a month from now (on March 28th) the five Disarm Now Plowshares co-defendants will walk into Judge Benjamin Settle’s courtroom for sentencing.

Sentencing can be defined as the punishment given to persons convicted of a crime.  One legal dictionary refers to the primary goals of sentencing as “punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation.”  It is somewhat ironic that one of the goals of sentencing is “deterrence,” the same longstanding stated (and completely misguided) goal of U.S. nuclear weapons policy.  And I must admit that the last one, “rehabilitation” made me laugh as I thought of the idea of rehabilitating any of these fine people.  Perhaps it would be more appropriate to  prescribe rehabilitation for those people engaged in preparations for nuclear war, the ones Thomas Merton once described as:

“…the sane ones, the well-adapted ones, who can without qualms and without nausea aim the missiles and press the buttons that will initiate the great festival of destruction that they, the sane ones, have prepared.” Continue reading

What We Believe, or The Dream of God

Friends,

Now and then when the violence in the world seems to rage out of control I find myself drawing inward to that contemplative space where I can re-collect my thoughts and center on the task at hand.  Today was one of those times, and I found a suitable meditation thanks to Pax Christi.

The beloved Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara, former Archbishop of Recife and Olinda, Brazil, who died in 1999, is well known for defending the poor and working for social justice.  In response to claims that he was a danger to Brazil’s national security he said, “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why are they poor, they call me a Communist.” Continue reading

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