This article is a call to recognize and appreciate and acknowledge that the Tigers have become Lambs. This is a revolution that has transformed an armed group into an exemplar of civil society participation and with a commitment to nonviolence.
In the face of international media indifference, the Palestinian people decided to start telling their own stories of living under occupation. One of those stories, 5 Broken Cameras, is an astonishing film by a Palestinian farmer from Bilin, a village in the West Bank.
We spent some time defining nonviolence, then I spoke about its three dimensions: being nonviolent toward ourselves; being nonviolent toward everyone we meet and know; and being part of the global grassroots movement of nonviolence.
The Beloved Community is not a place. It is people marching without guns. The memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., should serve to enlist us in that nonviolent army to which God has been calling us since the beginning of the world.
Sometimes Western pundits have asked: Where are the Palestinian Gandhis? But when Palestinians have engaged in nonviolent protest and have been suppressed by Israeli occupation forces, Western pundits have been largely silent.
As the debate on government spending continues, our military expenditures are a cancer that eats away at our society, economically and morally. Where are the voices of faith who question the militarization of our society and the state of endless war we now take for granted?
How would the NRA, who suggested after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut that we provide armed guards in every school across America, at a cost of nearly $8 billion per year, respond to New Jersey's shooting?
We can start with gun control legislation. President Obama is in his second term and now is in a position to take action. Public opinion is on his side. Let's put pressure on our legislators to make sure this happens.
If we are being honest with ourselves, we must admit that our national histories, our ethnic histories, our religious histories, our family histories, our personal histories, all take precedence over the Bible.
In the name of "national security,' our government spends billions every week on military weapons and action in other nations. But we must face the painful reality that violence in our schools and communities is also a very legitimate concern with respect to national security.
The voice of the Christian pacifist is a quiet one, a patient one. Rather than make grand pronouncements, it sets itself to the work at hand. It speaks love, mercy and hope, and, when all else fails, it makes the ultimate sacrifice.
I believe a highly significant part of my being an American is my freedom to protest actively and nonviolently when I completely honestlly disagree with the momentary course of events. In this spirit, I watched President Obama accept the mantle of leadership for another four years.