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Pax Christi Long Island

News

IDOLATRY AND THE MILITARY

By David Masciotra

Salon

Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible. Read more...

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CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGES

By Kathy Kelly

Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Having lived through the 1991 Desert Storm bombing and the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq,I tread carefully when speaking about any danger greater than war that children in our world might face. I won't forget children in Baghdadi hospitals whose bodies I have seen, wounded and maimed, after bombing campaigns ordered by U.S. leaders. I think also of children in Lebanon and Gaza and Afghanistan, children I've sat with in cities under heavy bombardments while their frightened parents tried to distract and calm them. Read more...  

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PAX CHRISTI MARKS 70 YEARS

OF PURSUING WORLD PEACE

By Tom Roberts

National Catholic Reporter

Pax Christi International was born 70 years ago of two people, one a bishop, the other a laywoman, who advanced ideas that were jarringly dissonant in the context of that time.

The bishop, Pierre-Marie Théas, of Montauban in the south of France, was a rare member of the hierarchy to both publicly protest the deportation of Jews from France and urge prayers for the enemy, Germany. Marthe Dortel-Claudot, who lived in the south of France with her husband and children, found herself thinking about praying for the enemy. Pondering the suffering of the German people, she wrote in her journal, "Jesus died for everyone. Nobody should be excluded from one's prayer." Read more....

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PARSING POPE FRANCIS

ON THE USE OF FORCE

By Rev. Thomas Reese, S.J.

When it comes to the use of military force, Americans tend to be in two camps: those who want to use overwhelming force to defeat our enemies and those who oppose the use of force for one reason or another. Read more...

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GUN SENSE:

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Richard Martinez lost his young son, Christopher, in one of the endless mass shootings that have plagued the nation for so long. This one, in May, took place in Santa Barbara, California. Now Martinez is a strong and outspoken advocate for gun sense in America. Recently, he sent out a message from Everytown for Gun Safety, with a questionnaire meant for federal candidates for public office. We recommend that you check out both the Everytown website and the questionnaire. Who knows, maybe you will have a chance to meet with a congressional candidate this year, and you can ask those questions of the candidate, face-to-face. Make sure you get the right answers.

If the candidate hesitates, you might want to remind him or her what Martinez said about members of Congress who had been expressing their condolences to him about the loss of his son. "I don't care about your sympathy. I don't give a s--- that you feel sorry for me," he tearfully told the Washington Post. "Get to work and do something."

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WANTED: PEACEMAKERS.

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY

All you really need is a strong belief in the peacemaking role that Jesus has assigned all of us. Peacemaking isn't optional, but you do have options in choosing the peace and justice issues that you care about most deeply, and for which your talents suit you best. Nuclear weapons, drones, gun violence, immigration reform, racism, global warming, solitary confinement , excessive military spending. There’s no shortage of important issues that Pax Christi tries to address, but usually each of us has one that grabs 99 percent of our attention, seems the most critical, the most deserving of our support. Is yours listed here? Do you have any ideas or time you could devote to the one issue that means a lot to you? If you want to get connected to Pax Christi Long Island and get started working on that issue, please send an email to JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING .

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Events

UN DECLARATION

OF HUMAN RIGHTS

The International Declaration of Human Rights was born out of a vow by the members of the newly formed United Nations to never allow the horrors of World War II to happen again. For this whole month of December, as we observe the 66th anniversary of its adoption, let us pause and ask: In a country with 2.2 million men and women incarcerated and held in often degrading and inhumane conditions, are we in violation of Article 5: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

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NATIONAL VIGIL FOR

GUN VIOLENCE VICTIMS

Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence and the Washington National Cathedral are organizing a National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims and Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend for December 11 to 14. Find out how to participate and how to get your congregation involved. Visit decembersabbath.org.

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INTERFAITH CONFERENCE

ON DRONE WARFARE

As the United States continues to wage drone warfare in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq and Syria, a broad coalition of religious leaders is preparing for an Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare, to be held at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, from Friday, January 23, to Sunday, January 25.

Those who attend will be focusing on three tasks:

  • Clarifying the nature of lethal drones and what makes them different from other weapons systems.
  • Applying our various faith traditions to our understanding of drone warfare to grasp this issue more fully.
  • Developing recommendations. We will develop proposals for the U.S. government on the moral use of lethal drones and for the religious community on how we can address this issue.

The conference will offer an impressive array of speakers from different faith traditions and professions, with expertise in fields ranging from law to theology. It should have tremendous appeal to members of Pax Christi Long Island, who have been grappling with the question of how to confront this issue.
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To read more about the issue, read this article by the project director of the conference, the Rev. Richard L. Killmer. To find out more about the conference, and to register, read here.
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Scholarship help is available from the conference itself. Please contact Alesha Vega at the Peace Action Education Fund in Princeton, to learn about available financial help. Her number is 609-924-5022. Her email is JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING .

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