First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers "On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
“What I wanted was for kids to see a movie where they don’t need to aspire to be in an army to aspire for an adventure. And I used very deliberate language that is a reference to westerns. I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal, rangers . . . it has the language of an adventure movie. I want kids to come out of the movie and say, I want to be a Jaeger pilot! I really think that would be my dream come true.” - Guillermo del Toro on being a monster loving pacifist. Designer Wayne Barlowe talks about Pacific Rim's creatures. But has maneuvering at Legendary doomed the film before it has even opened?
An elderly nun and two middle-aged men broke into Y-12 National Security Complex last year and splashed a dead friend's blood on the wall. Oak Ridge, Tennessee- previously -a company town for an all-American venture: nuclear war. On a summer day nine months ago Megan Gillespie Rice, an 82 year-old nun, along with Vietnam Vet Michael Walli- her self-styled bodyguard-, and their friend Gregory Boertje-Obed left the town and hiked over the hill to the plant that spawned the town. They made it all the way into the facility by cutting through fences; they poured blood on the wall of a building, and were arrested. They are now on trial for sabotage and may spend the rest of their lives in prison. Their trial is one of many faced by religious pacifists who have attempted to symbolically beat swords into plowshares. They follow in a long tradition, inspired in part by Dorothy Day (previously), the Catholic Worker movement, Philip Berrigan (previously).
At a Pentagon commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Defense Department general council Jeh C. Johnson argued King, a strident opponent of the Vietnam War and of militarism generally, would acknowledge a justification for US military actions around the world. Justin Elliot of Salon responds.
He was fired from his university for challenging the most prominent evangelist in the country. He was put on trial for criticizing American war policy. He became an inspiration for the back-to-the-land movement. At the age of 100, he chose to stop eating.
Three US veterans testify. (If the interrogator is too Christian for you, skip to the Vietnam vet.) Also, Shministim. Utah Phillips on pacifism. A First World War Christian Conscientious Objector Remembered. [more inside]
"Shortly before Father’s Day, TAP spoke with Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg, about his congressional campaign and the recent death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi." [Via Disinformation.]
The body of Tom Fox (a Quaker peace activist and Christian Peacemaker Team member who was abducted [previous MeFi discussion] by insurgents last November) has been found in Baghdad.
Tom Fox, a Quaker peaceworker, abducted in Iraq with three others. He understood the risks, accepted them, and now must "stand firm against the kidnapper as... against the soldier". His friends and supporters are calling for the hostages to be released, making it clear that they "[do] not advocate the use of violent force" to save lives.
Marine Refuses to Use Guns ... Marine Cpl. Joel D. Klimkewicz converted to the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day saints while in the Marines, and now believes that killing is against Jesus' teachings. As such, he refused to train with a gun though he says he would be willing to clear mines and work the front lines. The result is that the military has jailed him for his religious beliefs, convicting him of disobeying a direct order. Anyone think that Bill O'Reilly is going to say the military is trying to destroy Christianity?
Dear Leo, Dear Mohandas "The longer I live -- especially now when I clearly feel the approach of death -- the more I feel moved to express what I feel more strongly than anything else... the doctrine of the law of love unperverted by sophistries. Love... the highest and indeed the only law of life". The Kingdom of God Is Within You (full text available) is Leo Tolstoy's tractatus of "Christianity Not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life", a primer of (among other things) the doctrine of non-violence. Among the many fans of the 1894 book was an imprisoned Hindu barrister, a "half-naked fakir" if you want, a certain Mohandas K. Gandhi who was fascinated by "the independent thinking, profound morality, and the truthfulness" of the book. So he ended up writing fan letters to the great Russian man: who warmly wrote back to his young Indian "friend and brother". The old wise Christian anarchist literary giant and the shy, insecure young man who sparked a revolution: to paraphrase another wise, badly-dressed , pacifist old man, "Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such men ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."
"War is a Racket" Hardly news ? Yeah, but the source isn't your usual tree-hugger-rainbow-peace-hippy-noglobal-yourfavouritedissing pal, but no one less then U.S.M.C. Major General Smedley Darlington Butler two times recipient of the Congress Medal of Honor and the only Officer in the Corps to be awarded CMoH two times.Found it while browsing the net , the complete book ISBN number is 0922915865.
Ethical and religious perspectives on war and peace. While most of the discussions have focused political perspectives of the current conflict, there are quite a few ethical and religious perspectives. A BBC website provides excellent overview of the positions including the various types of pacifism and just war. For more detail there is a nice index site on Anabaptist- Mennonite nonresistance, Leon Trotsky's Marxist critique of pacifism, a secular argument for pacifism, a Christian Primer on Just War, an atheist ethical perspective, and a buddhist perspective.
Advice for Conscientious Objectors in the Armed Forces (html version). "A comprehensive, step-by-step guide to applying for conscientious objector status. This edition....builds upon a tradition which began in 1970 with the First Edition. Advice has since reached over 40,000 military men and women who had decided that they could no longer in good conscience remain in the military. The 1970 Advice spoke to a generation troubled by the war in Vietnam. This generation of conscientious objectors, too, has seen war--most recently in the Persian Gulf, and before that in Panama. It has experienced the end of the Cold War and the flowering of hopes for peace; and it has watched as those hopes turned to disappointment in the chaotic, dangerous post-Cold War world." The G.I. Rights Hotline has recently reported they "fielded a record number of calls, mostly from military personnel and families seeking advice on conscientious-objector and other discharges."
Show your openmindedness! In our extended discussion of the war, the (un)fairness of war, etc., it's been incredible how many MetaFilter regulars have changed their mind or reconsidered their opinions! (wink, wink) Here's something for those former pacifists. Now we need to find something for all those former hawks. [via Instapundit]
On September 30th, there was a peace protest in Washington D.C. I'm surprised no one else linked to this -- about 50 students from my college attended and joined the crowd of a few thousand. I would have gone, but I'm dubious about the efficacy of public protest despite the fact that I'm an affirmed pacifist. What do you folks think? Will a totally non-military action be an appropriate response? (And is there any possiblity of the US acting in such a way?) Is the loss of a single additional human life in this new war justifiable?