Thanks for your prayers, letters, books and encouragement. Your support means so much to me. And thanks for your work that brings us all closer to the Beloved Community.
I was walking back to the housing unit from dinner the other day, talking to a friend. She was reflecting on how contagious yawns are. Yes, I said, and violence is just as contagious as yawns! Here, in prison, it’s a matter of honor and respect; if someone hits you, you hit them back. And in our national dealings, the same is true. The exchange of violence is expected, accepted, and considered virtuous and reasonable. At least I can introduce the idea that there are people who think there are better solutions to problems than the use of violence and revenge.
I’ve fallen behind answering your letters…letters that bring news of peacemaking around the world, greetings and encouragement, and glimpses of daily life. The number of stamps I can buy each week is limited. And, I am using these same stamps to mail out some pottery. Moreover, we aren’t able to send more than one letter per envelope, not to mention that the label making process is tedious, and at times very slow. The number of labels we can make is limited. So my hope is that you will consider this letter a personal one.
It’s Easter Sunday, a day to celebrate life, a day of hope and resistance to war making and death dealing. We woke up this morning to find ourselves on full lockdown. Are the authorities afraid the angels will roll away the fence? Ha Ha. Poor humor, I suppose; but I find it amusing.
I’m becoming more and more allergic to fundamentalist Christians, including fundamentalist Catholics. I’m finding it harder and harder to go to religious services here. The intolerance of others is overwhelming and in some perverse way brings out my increasing intolerance of Empire-based Christianity. “We have no king but Caesar,” the people and the religious authorities cry.
Dennis and Tensie, Rozella and Tommy, from the Guadalupe Catholic Worker house in Santa Maria, CA, were visiting yesterday. Dennis is back from his trip to Jeju Island, where Korean people are resisting the building of a naval base on their island. Dennis said that over 3000 Catholic priests came to say Mass on the building site and say NO to the military base. I was thinking what it would be like to have 3000 Catholic priests go over and through the fence to say Mass on the Naval Base at Bangor where the nuclear armed Trident submarines are home ported, and where there is a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons.
This first part of my sentence is almost over. Thank you for accompanying me on this part of my journey. It’s possible that I’ll be released from the prison on Wednesday April 25th. It will come as no surprise to Judge Settle when I eventually come before him for not cooperating with the next part of my sentence–a year of supervised release.
I am praying along with you for Bradley Manning, Leonard Peltier, Yang Yoon-Mo, Theresa Cusimano, Norman Lowry, Rafil Dhafir, and all our brothers and sisters in prison. More importantly, we pray for peace, especially our own ability to be peaceful and follow the nonviolence of Jesus.
Peace and Easter Blessings,
Editor’s Note: If you live or will be in the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, April 26th, please join the party at 6:30 at the Berkeley Fellowship of the Unitarian Universalists (at Cedar and Bonita Streets) to welcome Susan back out. More details at the Disarm Now Plowshares “Events” page.