March, 2018

On the Road to Peace

 

Dear friends,

 

Peace be with you! I’m now on the road, crisscrossing the country, talking about nonviolence, climate change, and my new book, They Will Inherit the Earth. I’ll be traveling until June 1stand hope to meet you along the way.

 

It’s a terrible time for humanity and creation, which is why I’m hitting the road to encourage people to deepen our nonviolence, rise to the occasion, join the global grassroots movements for justice, disarmament, and creation, and redouble our efforts. Everyone is needed now more than ever.

 

I’ve been so moved by the students in Parkland, Florida who took to the streets after the horrific massacre last month. They have spoken out loudly and clearly against rampant gun violence and demanded new gun control legislation. In doing so, they show us all a way forward.

 

We all need to take to the streets and demand positive social change. We don’t know how such organized nonviolent action can catch fire, grow organically, and become contagious, but that’s the goal, and it will only occur when we good people organize themselves, stand up publicly, and demand justice, disarmament and protection of creation.

Nonviolent public action has to become the new normal for us all, an ordinary part of our daily lives, until our vision of a new culture of nonviolence becomes contagious, a transformation of power occurs, and justice and disarmament start to occur.

 

Jim Lawson, the Civil Rights leader, teaches that active nonviolence is a methodology for protest and social transformation. We claim our power, wield it in the streets, and force the issue into the news so that the leaders, in the end, follow us ordinary people to meet our demands for justice and disarmament and a shift in power occurs. That’s the hope of the New Poor People’s Campaign and its culminating events in Washington, D.C. this June.

 

In September, from the 15th to the 23rd, Campaign Nonviolence will organize our fifth national week of nonviolence, with over 2000 marches and demonstrations across the USA in every step connecting the dots against war, racism, nuclear weapons, poverty and environmental destruction, and for a new culture of nonviolence and justice.

 

We’re also calling for a national march on Saturday morning, September 22nd, from the Dr. King statue in Washington, D.C., in a spirit of silent prayer and Kingian nonviolence to the White House for a rally, demonstration and nonviolent direct action. See: www.campaignnonviolence.org

 

I’ll be talking about these events on my book tour, and hope you can be part of them.

As we mark the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. King’s killing and the Poor People’s Campaign, I hope we will consciously deepen our active nonviolence, and take new public steps to demand justice and peace.

 

In these days of Lent, I suggest, that’s the best way we can follow the nonviolent Jesus. He walked from Galilee to Jerusalem on a public campaign of active nonviolence, marched into the Temple and engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience, and called for justice and a new culture of nonviolence. He was killed for his nonviolent action, but rose from the dead, and invited us to carry on his campaign of nonviolence. This is the person we claim to follow.

 

This Lent, I hope we will all take another step forward to carry on Jesus’ public campaign of active nonviolence.

I wish you every blessing of strength and courage as together we pursue justice, disarmament and peace for one and all. God bless you!

 

–Fr. John