Not often is the power of ONE able to make a damn bit of a difference in our Orwellian World, but a few mothers who did, were Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, who organized a day to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community. Fifteen years later, Julia Ward Howe, a Boston poet, pacifist, suffragist, and author of the lyrics to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” organized a day encouraging mothers to rally for peace.
As mothers bear the loss of human life more acutely than anyone else, in 1870, Julia Ward Howe wrote the first Mother’s Day Proclamation, from which I excerpt:
Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe our dishonor; nor violence indicate possession. At the summons of war let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace;
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar;
But of God.
Today, The Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) www.irmep.org a Washington-based nonprofit organization that studies US-Middle East policy formulation also provides citizens access to initiatives regarding the most harmful forces driving policy formulation in the US political process.
Spokesman for IRmep is author, Grant S. Smith who offers us this Mother’s Day opportunity to speak Truth to Power regarding a Master of War.
With only 250 signatories the following petition will “become publicly visible on the White House website. That alone would be something of an accomplishment,” Smith explained in an email and his Petition Reads:
We petition the Obama administration to:
Do not award a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Israeli President Shimon Peres, a nuclear proliferator.
President Obama has announced he will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom of Israeli President Shimon Peres.
According to the book “Israel and the Bomb” by Avner Cohen, Peres played a key role in the Israeli nuclear weapons program.
According to declassified documents published by scholar Sasha Polakow-Suransky in 2010, Peres even offered to sell nuclear-tipped Jericho missiles to Apartheid South Africa.
According to the book “Divert” part of the clandestine Israel nuclear program even involved stealing US government-owned nuclear material from the NUMEC plant in Pennsylvania. This occurred while Peres was in charge.
Giving a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Peres is tantamount to rewarding the only nuclear proliferator in the Middle East.
SIGN ON @ wh.gov/mMX
Within days of the announcement for 2009’s Nobel Peace Prize, Israeli Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu declined the honor in a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Oslo:
“I am asking the committee to remove my name from the nominations…I cannot be part of a list of laureates that includes Simon Peres…Peres established and developed the atomic weapon program in Dimona in Israel…Peres was the man who ordered [my] kidnapping…he continues to oppose my freedom and release…WHAT I WANT IS FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM….FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM I NEED NOW.”
Vanunu is still waiting for his right to leave Israel and his next appeal seeking to revoke his citizenship is scheduled for July:
In the 21st century, patriarchal ‘civilization’ persists in the insanity of violence for violence and this mother contends that Caesar today is the Government Industrial Military Security/Surveillance Complex, which would collapse if enough of we the people rose up and demanded our ‘leaders’ change course from state sponsored violence to dialoguing with the ‘enemy’ and uphold our obligations as a Member State of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which includes holding all other Member States to it-and that also includes Israel:
We the people of America who pay taxes are culpable for most all of the world’s manufacturing, use of, and exporting of weapons of all degrees of destruction-which terrorize every innocent caught in the crossfire.
In 1999, the UN dedicated the first decade of the 21st century to “Create a Culture of Nonviolence for All Children of The World” but I did not learn of it until December 2005, when I attended Holy Land Trust’s Celebrating Nonviolent Solidarity Conference in the Little Town of Bethlehem: which is Occupied Territory!
I also learned that America abstained from voting on this UN initiative and is on the record in the UN as stating: “We cannot support this initiative as it will make it harder for us to wage war.”
The hearts and minds that require the most transformation are the ones that hold the most political power; but power never gives any away without a fierce battle!
Also during that 2005 conference in the little town of Bethlehem, Jeff Halper, American Israeli, Coordinator and Co-founder of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, about how we need to look at life as if it were a play and then claim a part; for when enough ‘actors’ [activists] pursue justice and remain nonviolent, ‘Caesar’ will be forced to acquiesce in order to maintain power.
Anglican Reverend Naim Ateek, a Palestinian refugee and founder of SABEEL Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, spoke about how the use of state sponsored violence corrupts the true message of Christ.
Ateek explained how Christ’s teachings and life reflected the revolutionary concept of nonviolent action and how thousands of years of not reflecting upon the fact that evil can be opposed without being mirrored, and the cycle of a ‘tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye’, never has, never will, never can bring true peace or security.
Christ taught that one must forgive and love ones enemies and one must pray for those who persecute and hate them. In a nutshell, that is what being a Christian is truly about.
Before the reign of Emperor Constantine, all the early Church Fathers taught that Christians should not serve in the army but instead willingly suffer rather than inflict harm on any other human being. St. Paul taught that the only way to resist evil is with good. Clement, Tertillian, Polycarp and every other early Church Father taught that violence contradicts Christianity.
In 313 Constantine sought to unite his empire and by legitimizing Christianity-although he waited until on his deathbed to be baptized- many have said that was when the soul left the church.
Within 100 years after Constantine, the Empire required that all soldiers in the army must be baptized as Christians and thus, the decline of Christianity began.
Augustine was the first Church Father to speak about the concept of a Just War. The Church relaxed the standards Jesus set as they negated the true teaching of Christ to justify war and thus; wrong became right, for a true Christian will always be nonviolent.
“The God of war, violence, oppression and terror must be rejected. Authentic Christianity is nonviolent and is all about peace, justice and liberation.” -Rev. Naim Ateek.
Candidate George W. Bush once claimed his favorite philosopher was Jesus, but President Bush defied the philosophy, ethics, morals and teaching of Jesus who was most explicit that one must forgive to be forgiven, to pray and love one’s enemies; not bomb, torture or occupy them!
The problem is not with Christianity, but that too few, who claim to be Christian, have actually done what Christ taught.
Christians claim to comprehend that God is Love, but “Love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not the bombardment of open cities. Love is not killing. Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers.” -Dorothy Day
Also during Holy Land Trusts Celebrating Nonviolence Conference, Dr. Mohamed Abu-Nimer from the Salam Institute of Peace and Justice stated:
“All the Abrahamic traditions are based in nonviolence, it is our lenses that determine whether we see it. Like Christianity the concept of a Just War took root and developed after lots of discussions dealing with how to deal with believers and nonbelievers.
“The first twelve years Mohamed spent in Mecca he practiced nonviolent resistance. He was persecuted but always prayed: ‘God forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.’
“Mohamed taught against the killing of innocents, the desecration of the environment and for the humane treatment and respect towards one’s enemies. Suicide bombings are not justified and those who try to justify it negate the early principals and teachings regarding nonviolence, the pursuit of justice, doing good, universality and human dignity, equality, that all life is sacred, to be forgiving and be a peace maker.”
As with Christianity; the ideals have yet to transform the hearts and minds of many who claim to be adherents of the faith.
In explaining this gap Dr. Abu-Nimer continued, “We are quick to blame the external factors such as colonialism, war, humiliation, Zionism and economic dependency. But what we lack is looking internally for we Muslims love authority, bureaucracy, loyalty and our core government system is based on nepotism not ability. There is corruption, co-optation of religious leaders, the patriarchal structure and hierarchy, the authoritarian control system, and the tribal mentality.
“We are not raised in our culture to question authority and if you engage in nonviolence you must resist authority. Our first step is to challenge our own presumptions…We have 5,000 sayings attributed to Mohamed and 700 authentically traced. The politicalization of his teachings began the corruption of his teachings.
“Every Muslim child is exposed to positive values as well as interpretations that are narrow and exclusive. An example is: ‘We are the best nation that God sent to people.’ If we truly follow the ideals of Islam, we are, but reality is that the ideals have been corrupted by wrong actions.
“Many interpret the saying: ‘Support your brother if he is just, right or wrong’ to mean you must be loyal regardless of his actions and don’t ask questions. The true way to support one’s brother [or tribe] is to point out the error of his [their] ways; to explain to him why he is wrong, to correct but not fight.”
St. Paul expressed the same sentiment when he warned: “Do not judge the nonbeliever, but provoke one another to good works.”
Dr. Abu-Nimer concluded, “Islam was revolutionary at its time but it went backwards. There is no lack of values; the lack is in interpretation…Islam must reclaim what Mohamed put down. It is a myth to believe that the conflict between Israel Palestine can be fixed by secular methods.”
Gandhi spoke about how personal nonviolence is not much use to society until one weds society to political action.
Please do something political and public this year in honor of the true essence of Mother’s Day-sign Smith’s petition wh.gov/mMX
This mother thanks you and offers further readings on topic:
Presidential Awards, Masters of War and Vanunu’s Final Message to Facebook
Orwell meets Vanunu and The Industrial Military Media Security/Surveillance Complex Read more…
The Beatitudes spun for the 21st Century Read more…