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Pearls of Peace - Manuscript

World Peace

Home | Front Materials | Introduction | Table of Contents | Inner Peace | Family Peace | World Peace | Bibliography | Appendix | Index | Artwork | Susan, Assoc. Ed.

World Peace

Peace activists [ REWRITE]

Forget the tie-dyed '60s; today's activists are coming from the mainstream

One woman crossed the country alone in a motor home. Others united for a silent march. Yet another thinks laughter is the answer.

The peace movement has many faces these days. Sometimes there are disagreements about the meaning of peace and how it can be achieved. But whether it's by observing a silent vigil or sponsoring a federal bill to create a Cabinet-level department, more people seem to be speaking about peace today than at any other time since the 1960s.

Galvanized for the most part by opposition to the Iraq war, today's peace advocates are not merely a throwback to the 1960s. Tie-dyed shirts and long hair still are well represented, but so are politicians, members of the clergy, lawyers and business owners.

In October 2002, five months before the actual start of the Iraq war, 70 peace and justice organizations met in Washington, D.C., and formed United for Peace and Justice. Today there are 1,300 local and national chapters, including North County Coalition for Peace and Justice in Oceanside.

More recently, a countywide coalition of clergy called San Diego Faith Leaders for Peace formed to protest the war in Iraq and promote a vision of peace that its members said would extend beyond the end of the war.

"Peace is not the absence of war," said the Rev. Beth Johnson of Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vista, a member of the coalition. "I am interested in peacemaking activities."

By the time the group held its first public event last month, it had 25 clergy members representing 20 congregations countywide.

"All faith traditions talk about the need to be peacemakers," Johnson said. "My benediction is, 'Go in peace. Be makers of peace.' And that activity is in our lives, in our individual, personal dreams, but that also impacts what we do and how we respond to the system that influences war."

Johnson said that means people paying attention to and being responsible about political systems, the economy, and gender and race issues.

"It's a tapestry," she said. "In understanding peacemaking, it's weaving new threads into the tapestry. So it isn't just this thing or that. It's recognizing how all of these different systems impact that."

Translating the concept into something practical and effective, however, can be a challenge. So far the only activity of Faith Leaders for Peace has been a public march and vigil held March 19 in Balboa Park. Johnson said she plans to hold walks down Melrose Drive in Vista on the third Sunday of each month.

"To me, the importance is bearing public witness," she said about the walks. Johnson said she also plans to hold monthly forums on the subject.

"I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there." ---- Mother Teresa

Church-organized marches for civil rights or demonstrations against the Vietnam War were effective in the 1960s, but both had specific goals. Working for peace can be more vague, and sometimes the message is diluted as other groups ride the coattails of larger organizations.

Nationally, peace demonstrations have included protests about anti-globalization, the World Bank, immigration reform and other issues. Multiple goals are implied in the very name of one of the largest anti-war groups: Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, or ANSWER.

Locally, Chuck Lowery of Oceanside has organized demonstrations and tried to keep them focused on peace. As director of North County Coalition for Peace and Justice, Lowery helped organize a March 18 anti-war rally in Balboa Park, where the crowd also included protesters about Palestine, the environment, Sept. 11 conspiracies and other issues.

Still, that rally was more focused than in 2005, he said.

"We had some experiences last year from people who wanted to take over the march with their messages," he said. "We controlled that."

The Rev. Glen Larsen is a minister at the Community Church of Poway and a member of the steering committee for San Diego Faith Leaders for Peace. He said the coalition made early efforts to ensure their message didn't become mixed.

"The voices that would come in with an agenda, shall we say, were the voices that were factored out because they didn't share the common spiritual core agenda," Larsen said.

North County Coalition for Peace and Justice was founded three years ago, and Lowery said more people have become active as the war continues and the president's approval ratings drop. About 12 to 20 people attend meetings, held twice monthly at a Carlsbad church (see accompanying box).

Lowery said one of the group's achievements was a demonstration outside disgraced Congressman Randy Cunningham's Rancho Santa Fe mansion, which he said helped draw media attention to the scandal. He also is proud that a petition drive that collected 30,000 signatures convinced Sen. Barbara Boxer to call for an investigation into suspected voting irregularities in the 2004 presidential election. Although there was not enough support for an investigation, Lowery felt his group had accomplished something.

"The thing that was most important to me was I felt like I had a voice," Lowery said.

"I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it." ---- Dwight D. Eisenhower

The most focused element of the modern peace movement may be the drive to establish a federal Department of Peace.

A bill, co-sponsored by 63 congressional representatives and two senators, would create a department that would advise the president and secretaries of defense and state about the root causes of violence. Two-thirds of its budget would go to domestic programs, while the rest would go to such programs as teaching the military conflict-resolution skills and about other cultures. The department also would train and support civilian peacekeepers to participate in multinational nonviolence peace forces.

The secretaries of defense and state would be required to consult with the secretary of peace before any armed conflict with another nation, and the department would create a U.S. Peace Academy as a sister organization to the U.S. Military Academy.

Earlier this month, San Diego residents John and Jan Atkinson, regional directors for the San Diego County chapter of Americans for a Department of Peace, spoke about the proposed Cabinet-level department at Seaside Church in Encinitas.

"This is the first time it's ever been proposed in the Senate, so that's progress," said Jan Atkinson, an attorney with an office in Encinitas. The bill is in committee, "and it has more co-sponsors than ever this time, so it's gaining ground."

On May 12, two days before Mother's Day, members also will deliver potted plants with seeds to the offices of Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and to local congressional representatives. Atkinson said they plan to read poems by Julia Ward Howe, author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the first person to propose Mother's Day.

"Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all." ---- George Washington.

Encinitas hypnotherapist Sarito Sun runs laughter meditation sessions in Carlsbad and Encinitas and said the secret to world peace may be just a hearty laugh away.

"It makes you feel great," she said about laughter. "It produces endorphins that make you feel high, and produces chemicals that reduce stress immediately. It changes the mood, and when people laugh together, they feel connected."

She also believes that if enough people laugh at the same time, it can have a worldwide effect.

"It's been proven with quantum physics," she said. "This is all energy. Everything that's alive is energy. When you're sending out vibrations of joy and love, it creates certain energy patterns, and those are magnetic. When this is happening all over the world, who's going to bother to pick up a gun and kill each other?"

The first laughter club started in India in 1995, and the idea of laughing for world peace once resulted in 10,000 people in Denmark sharing a laugh.

Earlier this month, Sun led a peace meditation in Encinitas. More events are scheduled today and Wednesday (see accompanying box), and on May 7 she will bring a group to Laguna Beach, where people will gather at noon on Main Beach to join another club for World Laughter Day.

In another approach to spreading peace, Viki Hurst of Carlsbad drove more than 10,000 miles across the country in 2004. Since her return, she has been active in promoting the Department of Peace and is researching a book about the many different people working for peace today.

She is also working on another book called "The New Activist," which she said will be about everyday stories of people involved in the peace movement.

"The new activism is taking personal responsibility for peace," she said, "not necessarily taking part in a group, but being personally involved in peace in the world and carving out something in the world that you can do."

Hurst said the image of peace activists as fist-raising radicals has passed.

"The new activists aren't mad," she said. "It's more positive. Not, 'What do we have to stop doing?' but 'What do we have to start doing?' "

Contact staff writer Gary Warth at or (760) 740-5410. To comment on this story, visit





Better World Links
for Peace, Human Rights, Environment, Social Justice, etc.

One of the Best Link Collections ! (30,000 Links)

Conflict Regions, Culture, Economy, Education, Environment, General Info, Health, Human Rights,
Military, Men, News, One World, Peace, Politics, Religions, Social Justice, Urgent Actions, Women

Together we can change the world !
Contribute & be part of it !


Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence - FMF

Feminist Majority Foundation - Violence

Domestic Violence - Feminist Majority Foundation

Office of Violence Against Women (VAWO)

Violence Against Women - Links

National Domestic Violence Hotline (USA)

National Domestic Violence Statistics - Department of Peace

Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women

Daphne EU program to combat violence against children, young people and women

White Ribbon Campaign - Men working to end men's violence against women (Canada)

Suggestions welcome !

Terrorism: Opposing Viewpoints (2000)

Terrorism: Opposing Viewpoints is a book, in the Opposing Viewpoints series, presenting selections of contrasting viewpoints on four central questions about terrorism: whether it is a serious threat; what motivates it; whether it can be justified; and how the U.S. should respond to it. It was edited by Laura K. Egendorf.

It was published by Greenhaven Press (San Diego) in 2000 as a 203-page hardcover (ISBN 0-7377-0137-4) and paperback (ISBN 0-7377-0136-6).

Chapter Viewpoint Author Notes







War is Terrorism [ REWRITE]

Beyond the futility of armed force, and ultimately more important, is the fact that war in our time inevitably results in the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of people. To put it more bluntly, war is terrorism. That is why a "war on terrorism" is a contradiction in terms. Wars waged by nations, whether by the United States or Israel, are a hundred times more deadly for innocent people than the attacks by terrorists, vicious as they are.

The repeated excuse, given by both Pentagon spokespersons and Israeli officials, for dropping bombs where ordinary people live is that terrorists hide among civilians. Therefore the killing of innocent people (in Iraq, in Lebanon) is called accidental, whereas the deaths caused by terrorists (on 9/11, by Hezbollah rockets) are deliberate.

This is a false distinction, quickly refuted with a bit of thought. If a bomb is deliberately dropped on a house or a vehicle on the grounds that a "suspected terrorist" is inside (note the frequent use of the word suspected as evidence of the uncertainty surrounding targets), the resulting deaths of women and children may not be intentional. But neither are they accidental. The proper description is "inevitable."

So if an action will inevitably kill innocent people, it is as immoral as a deliberate attack on civilians. And when you consider that the number of innocent people dying inevitably in "accidental" events has been far, far greater than all the deaths deliberately caused by terrorists, one must reject war as a solution for terrorism.

Howard Zinn is a professor emeritus at Boston University and the author of the forthcoming book, "A Power Governments

Cannot Suppress" (City Lights Books, Winter 2007).

Filename: war is terrorism.wsp

Story board idea:

Three panes showing

Attackers aiming at a village,

innocents in village running,

body counts near the bodies of innocents.

moral and spiritual lifestyle


Jimmy Carter: 'The war has been unnecessary'

Today show

Updated: 12:37 a.m. PT Oct 8, 2004

Former President Jimmy Carter, who turns 80 this October, recently talked with “Today” host Katie Couric in Atlanta, Ga. They discussed the war in Iraq, whether Carter thinks the world is safer without Saddam Hussein in power and the upcoming U.S. presidential elections.



United States Department of Peace

The United States Department of Peace (or DoP) is a proposed cabinet-level department of the executive branch of the U.S. government. The original idea of a Peace Department in the United States dates back to the administration of George Washington, but has been most recently proposed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich in 2001 and formed a part of Kucinich's presidential campaign platform in 2004. A bill for this purpose, HR 3760, was introduced in the House of Representatives, with more than 60 co-sponsoring members of Congress, on September 14, 2005.

On September 22, 2005 Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton introduced a senate version of the Department of Peace legislation, bill number S.1756. This bill has one co-sponsor, Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont.

The US Department of Peace is also an independent grassroots political movement that operates autonomously and that has continued to gain momentum after Kucinich's bid in the 2004 presidential election. The ongoing movement is co-led by Kucinich and the author and popular motivational speaker Marianne Williamson. This movement actively lobbies for the endorsements of congressional leaders. It has local grassroot chapters in over 200 congressional districts, and to date over 60 members of Congress have co-sponsored Kucinich's bill.

The Kucinich proposal

In July 2001, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced Department of Peace legislation to Congress though it is unclear how similar his version of a Department of Peace would be to that of the founding fathers. The September 11 attacks several months later put the idea on hold.

Kucinich proposed a Peace Department again (House Resolution 1673) in April 2003; the legislation currently enjoys the support of 75 co-sponsors and is endorsed by groups including Amnesty International and the National Organization for Women. Highlights of the legislation include tying the budget of the department to a fixed percentage of the budget of the Defense Department and creating a "Peace Academy" parallel to the U.S. military academies.

This bill appears to include many proposed mandates which are nearly identical with the existing mandates of the federal agency, the United States Institute of Peace, however it also includes several additional proposed mandates which would go beyond the existing mandates of the US Institute of Peace. Some highlights amongst the areas of proposed additional responsibility include:

Monitoring of all domestic arms production, including non-military arms, conventional military arms, and of weapons of mass destruction,

Making regular recommendations to the US President for various arms reductions strategies,

Assumption of a more pro-active level of involvement in the establishment of international dialogues for international conflict resolution (as a cabinet level department),

Establishment of a US Peace Academy, which amongst other things would train international peace-keepers,

Development of an educational media program to promote non-violence in the domestic media,

Monitoring of human rights, both domestically and abroad,

Making regular recommendations to the President for the maintenance and improvement of these human rights,

Receiving a timely mandatory advance consultation from the Secretaries of State, and of Defense, prior to any engagement of US troops in any armed conflict with any other nation,

Establishment of a national Peace Day,

Participation by the Secretary of Peace as a member of the National Security Council,

Expansion of the national Sister City program,

Significant expansion of current Institute of Peace program involvement in educational affairs, in areas such as:

Drug rehabilitation,

Policy reviews concerning crime prevention, punishment, and rehabilitation,

Implementation of violence prevention counseling programs and peer mediation programs in schools,

Also Making recommendations regarding:

Battered women's rights,

Animal rights,

Various other "peace related areas of responsibility".

Proposed funding for the Department of Peace would initially come from a budget that is defined by the bill as, "at least 2 percent of...the Department of Defense (budget)". Whether or not the chairman of the US Institute of Peace would be promoted to a cabinet level position, or whether an entirely new position would be created, is not addressed by this bill.

Kucinich continues to energetically promote and lobby for this legislation. Williamson sometimes makes comparisons between this movement and the anti-slavery Abolition movement, or to the Woman's Suffrage movement as a demonstration of her belief of both the worthiness of this goal, and of her belief that due to its worthiness, it cannot do anything other than to eventually pass in congress.


Criticisms of the Department of Peace proposal

The bill appears to include an amazingly broad purview of responsibilities. Interestingly, this bill would give the US Department of Peace the authority to monitor and make recommendations to restrict the entire US arms industry, yet it provides no counter-balancing mandates to enable the proposed department to directly monitor any non-domestic arms production.

The seemingly random groupings of responsibility, and their closeness with Liberal and Democratic causes have caused some conservative observers to criticize the idea, claiming that these responsibilities overlap the responsibilities of the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Drug Czar, and Secretary of Health and Human Services and that the list was thrown together in an effort to create a department that would have clear liberal leanings and intent. The inclusion of drug rehabilitation, prison reform, and the claims that these are “peace-related activities” have drawn criticism causing some to label it the "Department of Liberalism" or the "Department of Socialism".


Similar proposals in history

The idea for the establishment of a U.S. Department of Peace can be traced back to debates by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. The first formal proposal for the establishment of a U.S. Department of Peace dates to 1792. This was the product of efforts by architect and publisher Benjamin Banneker and physician and educator Dr. Benjamin Rush. Their proposal called for the establishment of a "Peace Office" which was to be on equal footing with the "War Department". Their proposal also noted what it referred to as the urgent need for the establishment of, "an office for promoting and preserving perpetual peace in our country," in order to maintain the greater welfare of "these United States."






United States Institute of Peace

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and democratic transformations, and increase peacebuilding capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by its direct involvement in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.


Programs include:

Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention

Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution

Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations

Centers of Innovation

Rule of Law

Religion and Peacemaking

Virtual Diplomacy

Education Program

Training Program

Muslim World Initiative

USIP offers free online training in conflict resolution, holds events that are open to the public (audio archives of events are frequently available). In addition, USIP sponsors an annual national peace essay contest for high school students.

See also

United States Department of Peace

Peaceworkers UK : British NGO providing training for potential peaceworkers in nonviolent, civilian techniques of conflict transformation

The Education program of the United States Institute of Peace seeks to address the needs of educators, students, scholars, international affairs practitioners, and the public to understand the complexities of international conflicts.

The program provides scholarships, intensive teaching seminars, research resources, and curriculum materials. In addition, USIP provides grants for educational projects and fellowships that are open to educators and scholars.

The Professional Training program develops and presents programs that help government officials, military and police personnel, international organization representatives, civic activists, and leaders of non-governmental organizations—both American and international—improve their conflict management skills.

The program, headed by Mike Lekson and a staff of trainers, uses highly interactive methods and draws heavily on the professional experiences of the participants themselves.




[ REWRITE] some history of nonviolence

Jimmy Carter and the Practices of "Just Peacemaking"
A Random Chapter in the History of Nonviolence
by Michael Westmoreland-White
Sunday, 13 October 2002

Jimmy Carter, a former submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, is neither a pacifist, nor has he engaged in the practice of nonviolent direct action, either as a personal witness or as part of a mass movement. So why am I writing about him in a column devoted to the history of nonviolence? Because this column does not stand on its own, nor are these historical sketches of mere antiquarian or academic interest. This is an effort in peace education for the Every Church a Peace Church movement. As many of the resources on our website show, we believe that there is more to being "a peace church" than simply the disavowal of personal or group violence. One of the matters obscured by centuries of debate between pacifists and just war theorists (necessary and important as that debate is) is that the focus of Scripture's teaching on peacemaking is not whether or when or under what conditions one is permitted or forbidden to use violence or kill or go to war. Rather, the center of Scriptural teaching is on what one should be actively doing, now, to work for peace, in the full-orbed Hebrew sense of Shalom, "the presence of justice and well-being for the whole." In response to this realization, a new ethic has been developing to supplement (not replace) the ethics of pacifism or just war theory, namely, "just peacemaking." The announcement this week that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002 has been awarded to James Earl Carter, Jr., 39th President of the United States, allows for an exploration of the practices of just peacemaking precisely because so many of those practices have been advanced during Jimmy Carter's public career, both during and after his presidency.

First, let me say a few more words about just peacemaking and emerging consensus on its practices. It is not a synthesis of the just war theory and pacifism, analogous to Thomism's synthesis of Augustinian theology and Aristotelian philosophy. It focuses on active peacemaking processes that both pacifists and just war theorists can affirm: for just war theorists, these normative practices give more substance to the just war principle of "last resort," by being concrete about what "resorts" should be tried before the final resort of war. Pacifists rule out war, but just peacemaking practices flesh out for them the meaning of active peacemaking so that pacifism (from the Latin pax facere, "to make peace") does not become mere "passivity" in the face of evil and injustice or only the negative ethic of a renunciation of violence. Just peacemaking helps both pacifists and just war theorists to become focused active peacemakers -- although when such efforts fail (at least initially) and war breaks out, the common cause may end. Then just war theorists must use their principles to judge whether or not the war is just and demands their support or is unjust and demands their condemnation and resistance. Pacifists will refuse to fight and continue to work for a just end to the conflict and sow seeds of better justice and peace in the future. If the practices of just peacemaking become widely understood and viewed as normative, most, if not all, wars will be prevented and a more just and peaceful world order will emerge.

In Just Peacemaking: Ten Practices for Abolishing War, ed. Glen H. Stassen (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 1998), 28 scholars (New Testament scholars, moral theologians and ethicists, policy analysts and international relations theorists, and academically-trained peace activists) developed a consensus on 10 practices of just peacemaking. They are:

Support Nonviolent Direct Action Take Independent Initiatives to Reduce the Threat to the Adversary Use Cooperative Conflict Resolution Methods Acknowledge Responsibility (personal or one's group, nation, etc.) for Conflict and Injustice and Seek Repentance and Forgiveness Advance Democracy, Human Rights, and Religious Liberty Foster Just and Sustainable Forms of Economic Development Work with Emerging Cooperative Forces in the International System Strengthen the United Nations and International Efforts for Cooperation and Human Rights Reduce Offensive Weapons and the Weapons Trade Encourage Grassroots Peacemaking Groups and Voluntary Associations

How are these practices illustrated in the public work of Jimmy Carter? Perhaps the practice that is least evident is the first. Although heavily influenced by both the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War movements, Carter was never a participant in any movement of nonviolent direct action, whether or not involving civil disobedience. Nor does the Carter Center, the think-tank and non-governmental organization he founded to promote peace, human rights, and reduce poverty & preventable diseases, study or engage in active nonviolence. However, closer examination does show that Carter has supported the practice of nonviolent direct action. His promotion of human rights, including his work as president in intervening when dictatorial governments persecuted their human rights activists, worked to give space for indigenous nonviolent movements to develop and creatively engage their contexts. His opposition to apartheid in South Africa, for instance, becoming the first U.S. president to impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on the white South African government, lent support to the mass movements for freedom in South Africa, especially the nonviolent ones. Carter also attempted (unsuccessfully) to support the nonviolent, non-Marxist sections of the freedom movement in Nicaragua, efforts which, if successful, might have averted the U.S/Contra conflict with the Leninist-style Sandinista government of post-revolutionary Nicaragua during the 1980s. Still, vigorous support for nonviolent direct action, is a practice of just peacemaking where Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter could improve.

Carter has often taken independent initiatives to reduce the threat to adversaries. Perhaps he first learned this from his friend, the late Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat, who took the initiative to make peace with Israel by flying to Tel Aviv and making his case personally before the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) while their two nations were technically at war. Carter's independent initiative in going to Haiti in 1992, facilitated a peaceful resignation and exile of the Haitian military dictator, averting war with the United States. In 1994, Carter's independent initiative in going to North Korea to convince them to halt their program to develop nuclear weapons again averted a dangerous showdown with the United States. Most recently, Carter became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba since the rise of the Castro-led communist government. His frank confrontation of the Castro government's abuses of power was combined with a call for the U.S. to end its fifty year old sanctions, lift travel and trade restrictions, and a call for Cuba to support grassroots reform efforts indigenous to the country. The long-term fruit of this initiative has yet to be seen, but it clearly changes the terrain. That is what the practice of independent initiatives does: It changes the shape of the conflict, opening up possibilities for peacemaking that where either absent or unseen before. In this Carter is following Jesus, who told us to go to our brother (or sister) and talk to them when they have "ought against us," and proposed a series of transforming initiatives (turning the cheek, disrobing in the tax court, carrying a pack two piles when given forced labor by the occupying army, giving without thought of return) that both confront injustice nonviolently, and may lead to repentance and peace.

Perhaps the just peacemaking practice that is most obvious in Carter's life and work is the use of Conflict Resolution methods. Carter is a master negotiator and mediator who seeks both justice for all parties and reconciliation between them. His most famous success in using these methods is, of course, the Camp David Accords where Carter bridged the gap between Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin and Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, leading directly to the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978, the most enduring peace treaty in the history of post World War II Middle East. During his presidency, Carter also successfully negotiated the SALT II arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union and laid the groundwork for future arms reductions. Afterward, he has been a successful mediator in Haiti, North Korea, and the Balkans. The Carter Center has an entire program on mediation and conflict resolution.

For much of modern history, political theorists have assumed that repentance and forgiveness were for individuals. Nations neither could, nor should, repent for past actions. Recently, this longstanding belief has been challenged not only by theologians with interest in political matters (e.g., Donald W. Shriver, Jr., An Ethic for Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics (Oxford University Press, 1995).), but also by such experiences as the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" of post-apartheid South Africa which worked to heal the wounds of the long years of injustice and conflict in that land. (See Desmond M. Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness.) Confession and repentance promote humility and empathy and invite similar responses from adversaries, leading to the healing of wounds and making peace. Attitudes of blame and self-righteousness, on the other hand, invite similar moves of self-justification on the part of the enemy, leading often to the breakdown of peace talks and the resumption or escalation of conflicts. Carter's humility is well-known and he lived out these practices (normative for professing Christians like himself) in both his private and public life. Indeed, many of his conservative critics during his presidency faulted him for being too humble and not assertive enough with U.S. world power: But Carter is almost universally respected around the world while most U.S. politicians are perceived as arrogant and bullying by the rest of the world. It is clear that Carter's engagement in the just peacemaking practice has been far more helpful in achieving world peace than practices of demonizing adversaries and prideful refusals to admit to any wrongdoing on the part of "our" group or nation.

Carter has clearly engaged in the practice of advancing democracy, human rights, and religious liberty. During his presidency, he angered members of the Religious Right by his staunch adherence to the principles of religious liberty and church-state separation, rooted not only in the American experiment, but in his Baptist/Free Church heritage. He supported the public schools, dismissed all vouchers programs and all attempts to have agents of the government (school teachers and principals) lead in sectarian prayers. Yet, Carter was no secularist. He gave testimony of his personal faith to the ambassador of (Communist and atheist) China at a state dinner and continued to teach adult Sunday School all during his public life. Carter's witness was neither coercive nor forced. He also championed religious liberty around the world, chastising the Soviet Union for persecuting Jews and Christians, Muslim-majority nations for persecuting Christians, China for persecuting the Buddhists of Tibet, and many Latin American countries for giving legal advantages to the Roman Catholic Church over either indigenous religious traditions or Protestant movements. Restrictions on religious liberty have often been a source of conflict, violence, and even war. Promoting religious liberty for everyone is a positive practice of just peacemaking.

Carter's human rights policy as president was legendary. It was not perfect. Cold War constraints and a recalcitrant Congress more comfortable with a realpolitik philosophy that insists that nations should only look toward their own self-interests interfered with Carter's attempt to make promotion of human rights the centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy. Further, Carter made misjudgments, most notably, when he believed that it was better to work for reform of the government of the Shah of Iran than to support the populist Iranian uprising against the Shah's cruel dictatorship. The ruinous results of that misjudgment are still with us. But Carter was successful in making support for human rights a vital part of U.S. foreign policy. Many right-wing politicians since Carter's defeat have tried to reject concern for human rights, but the U.S. public has continued to pressure its government to support universal human rights for all. By Carter's own admission, his early support for human rights concentrated on political rights (e.g., free speech, religious liberty, a free press, the right to assemble and petition the government), but has since broadened to include economic and cultural rights as well. Violations of human rights is a major cause of violence and war. Respect for human rights promotes peace.

Democracy can be considered the political equivalent of nonviolence: It requires commitment to self-rule and tolerance and cooperation with others, even adversaries, in shaping the common life and common good of a nation. Democracies, whatever their other problems, seldom if ever go to war with each other. Further, with the major exception of the United States, democracies usually spend less of their gross domestic product on arms and the military since they need not fear revolt by their own people. Spreading democracy (by supporting indigenous movements for democracy, not by conquest and imposition of democracy) spreads "zones of peace" globally. (The U.S. may not be a real exception. Our devotion of more and more of our precious national resources for military buildup -- more than the next 25 nations combined -- has gone hand in hand with corruption of our democracy by big business. It is quite possible that the U.S. is currently more of an oligarchy or plutocracy than a true democratic republic. Reclaiming our democracy will also reorient our spending priorities, reducing our bloated military budget.) Carter has been an election monitor all over the world, ensuring that nations making the transition from dictatorships to democracy have free and fair elections. He was instrumental in the last stages of the movement of East Timor from the military rule of Indonesia to a self-governing democracy.

The Carter Center's health programs, erasing the Guinea Worm in much of Africa, and programs for self-help cottage industries are examples of the practice of fostering just and sustainable economic development. The Carter Center also has domestic programs for economic development, largely overseen by Rosalyn Carter. Sustainable economic development also means reduction of dependance on fossil fuels and a transition to conservation policies and policies of renewable energy development. Jimmy Carter's presidency was excellent in this regard, though not flawless. In my own view, Carter overestimated the safety of nuclear power and promoted it far too much, even after the disaster of Three Mile Island. Nevertheless, he did create the Department of Energy and give the U.S. its first strategic energy policy -- a policy that included the promotion of solar power and other sources of renewable energy, and higher cafe standards on automobiles, reducing dependance on foreign oil and reducing air pollution. Poverty, hunger and its offshoots, disease and degraded environments, breed conditions for revolution and terrorism. Working instead for just and sustainable economic development promotes a stable peace.

Carter clearly works with cooperative forces internationally. The Nobel Committee cited such cooperation and promotion of international law in awarding Carter the Nobel Prize. In interviews, the Nobel Committee specifically contrasted this to the unilateralism of the current U.S. presidency. Clearly, the more forces that tie people together, the less their chances for war. The more institutions and practices that cross borders (whatever their other drawbacks and injustices, transnational corporations do help unite peoples in this way), the more people see themselves as neighbors and part of larger wholes, rather than evil "Others" that must be eliminated.

Carter also worked to strengthen the United Nations. The United Nations is not a perfect body. In my own view, too much power remains with the winners of the Second World War, plus China, the five permanent members of the Security Council. The United Nations needs more democratic reform and a good start would be to eliminate any member states from having permanent membership in the Security Council, making all memberships in that body rotating on an elective basis. This would give far more voice to developing nations and more independence to the UN which tends to be dominated by the U.S. as the sole remaining superpower, despite the U.S.' notorious debt of back dues which began with the Reagan administration. Carter has worked to strengthen the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and other institutions promoting international cooperation and human rights. He has, for instance, spoken out publicly in support of the International Criminal Court, urged its ratification by the U.S., and rebuked the Bush administration's efforts to gain immunity from prosecution by U.S. citizens.

Arms races, loose constraints on arms trade, and arms build-ups, whether of conventional weapons or "weapons of mass destruction," promote war. The old saw, "to make peace, prepare for war," is false. Preparation for war leads to the militarization of life and thought, and thus to military "solutions" to every problem. Arms reductions and reductions or eliminations of weapons trade, helps to promote peace. Currently, the U.S. is the largest arms dealer in the world, by far. Our government has continued to arm repressive regimes and terrorist groups which have later turned on us. Pacifists and just war theorists alike can agree that a nation's troops should not be sent into battle against enemies armed with weapons made and supplied by their own government. We have already mentioned Carter's negotiation of the SALT II nuclear arms reduction treaty during his presidency. Just peacemakers today must build on such efforts. It is notable that Carter has called for the U.S. ratification of the International Landmine Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, as well the International Code of Conduct of Arms Transfers -- the latter a small first step at reducing the weapons sold to nations or groups with massive human rights violations. I would press this practice further and work to eliminate first all weapons of mass destruction -- all nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons everywhere -- and then cut-off all arms sales while introducing massive cuts in conventional arms.

Some of these just peacemaking practices take involvement by government leaders and policy elites. Yet peacemaking cannot be left to such elites. The final just peacemaking practice is key to effectiveness of the whole: encouraging grassroots peacemaking groups and voluntary associations. Around the world, groups like Christian Peacemaker Teams, Amnesty International, Witness for Peace, the American Friends Service Committee, Poland's Solidarity, Latin America's SERPAJ (Servicio Paz y Justicia -- "Service for Peace and Justice"), Britain's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), the Mennonite Central Committee, the Brethren Volunteer Service, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, Doctors Without Borders, the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Methodists United for Justice and Peace, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Rabbis for Human Rights, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the Jewish Peace Fellowship, Nonviolence International, the Muslim Peace Fellowship, International Physicians Against Nuclear War, Las Abejas, Pax Christi International, and many others have initiated peace and justice movements that governments later joined or were forced to cooperate with. The Carter Center is not a grassroots movement, but Carter does work with Habitat for Humanity building houses for the poor, a voluntary association that works on one of the other practices of just peacemaking. The Carter Center does promote the work of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) at the United Nations, keeping links between governmental and grassroots movements for peace and justice.

In all these ways, Jimmy Carter participates in the practices of just peacemaking. His motivation for all of this is his Christian faith, but just peacemaking invites participation by peoples of all faiths and no faiths. We in the Every Church a Peace Church movement may want Carter and others to go further in embracing nonviolence -- not just as a tactic in direct actions for just peacemaking, but as a moral and spiritual lifestyle. But we must ourselves be challenged by the many ways Jimmy Carter embodies the holistic practices of just peacemaking, practices we also must engage if we are to truly be "peace churches" turning first ourselves to peace by more faithful discipleship to the living Christ and then inviting the world to follow these paths to peace. Reflecting on these practices and on the public life of Jimmy Carter, Nobel Peace Laureate for 2002, helps us envision a culture of peace and to strive to build such a culture, "piece by peace."



Online Resources

The Internet offers a unique opportunity for victims of domestic violence to find support and share their stories. As a warning, please be aware of online safety. Do not share personal data and use a gender-neutral user name on websites. You can find many web sites devoted to domestic violence by using an online search engine, but the quality and intent of the web sites you find have to be determined by you.

You can also visit these links:

ACOG Violence Against Women Site

American Institute on Domestic Violence

Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence

Battered Women’s Justice Project

CAVNET – Communities Against Violence Network

Community United Against Violence – Abuse and Religion

Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence

Department of Justice's Violence Against Women Office

Domestic Violence State Coalitions

Donate A Phone

End Violence Against Women - Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs

Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute (FVSAI)

Family Violence Prevention Fund

Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Institute for Law and Justice

Jane Doe, Inc.

Legal Momentum

Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse /MINCAVA

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Clearing House for the Defense of Battered Women

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Council of State Courts - Full Faith and Credit

National Electronic Network on Violence Against Women (VAWnet)

National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild

National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence

National Network on Behalf of Battered Immigrant Women

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women
email or call 877/RED-ROAD (733-7623)

National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence

National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center

National Workplace Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody

Safe At Home - CA Sec. of State
Confidential mailing address program

Stop Family Violence

The Project for Research on Welfare, Work, and Domestic Violence

The Sacramento Bee -- Violence at Home Series

U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime

U.S. DOJ - Violence Against Women Office


Violence Against Women Office

Violence Against Women On-line Resources

Women's Law Initiative

Physicians and Plastic Surgeons Helping Victims/Survivors of Domestic Violence

Various medical programs provide support for victims of severe physical abuse by providing them with consultation and surgery options. Oftentimes, healing the physical signs of abuse can help the healing process.

Each program is part of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Cosmetic and Reconstructive Support program. NCADV administers the initial screening all applicants must go through to determine eligibility. Once an applicant passes the initial screening, a referral is made to a local domestic violence shelter to set up an appointment with a counselor. The counselor then verifies that the injuries were sustained from an abusive relationship and ensures that the participant is receiving the proper counseling to overcome emotional scars. Each program requires applicants to be out of the abusive relationship for at least one year.
To find out more about how these programs can help rebuild the lives of victims of domestic violence in your area, please call NCADV at (303) 839-1852 or visit


FACE TO FACE is a project of the Educational and Research Foundation for the Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFRS). FACE TO FACE provides facial, neck and head reconstructive and plastic surgery to repair injuries caused by an intimate partner or spouse. For more information, please call 1-800-842-4546.

Give Back A Smile

Give Back A Smile (GBAS) is a program of the National Humanitarian Project of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and the AACD Charitable Foundation. Survivors of domestic violence who have suffered injuries to their front teeth and/or supporting structures of the front teeth can receive complimentary construction and cosmetic and reconstructive dental care. For more information, please call 1-800-773-GBAS (4227).

Skin Care Outreach Empowers Survivors (S.C.O.R.E.S.)

S.C.O.R.E.S. is a program no longer recognized by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), although they still provide volunteers from their membership that offer dermatologic surgery to domestic violence survivors to repair skin injuries (scars, burns, tattoos) on the body caused by an intimate partner or spouse. For more information, please call 1-888-892-6702.

How is your relationship?

Does your partner:

Embarrass you with put-downs?

Look at you or act in ways that scare you?

Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?

Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?

Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?

Make all of the decisions?

Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?

Prevent you from working or attending school?

Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?

Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?

Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?

Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?

Force you to try and drop charges?

Threaten to commit suicide?

Threaten to kill you?

If you answered 'yes' to even one of these questions,
you may be in an abusive relationship.


Are You Abusing?

Not all men are abusive, how do you measure up?

Abuse Is:

Calling bad names or putting someone down

Shouting and cursing

Hitting, slapping and/or pushing

Making threats of any kind

Jealousy and suspicion

Keeping someone away from family and friends

Throwing things around the house

Domestic violence is a crime.

It destroys relationships and families.

It passes from generation to generation.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

If you abuse, you can choose to stop.
Call us at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3223.

Friends & Family

Yes, it is your business

Maybe he’s your friend, your brother-in-law, your cousin, co-worker, gym partner or fishing buddy. You’ve noticed that he interrupts her, criticizes her family, yells at her or scares her. You hope that when they’re alone, it isn’t worse.

The way he treats her makes you uncomfortable, but you don’t want to make him mad or lose his friendship. You surely don’t want to see him wreck his marriage or have to call the police. What can you do?

Say something. If you don’t, your silence is the same as saying abuse is ok. He could hurt someone, or end up in jail. Because you care, you need to do something… before it is too late.

What Can You Say or Do?

Draw attention to it.

“Do you see the effect your bad words have on her?”
“When you do that, it makes her feel bad.”
“Did you mean to be so rough? That’s not cool.”

Tell him what you think.

“I’m really worried about her safety.”
“I’m surprised to see you act that way. You’re better than that.”
“I care about you, but I won’t tolerate it if you abuse her.”
“This makes me really uncomfortable. It’s not right.”

Express ideas about loving behavior.

“Loving her doesn’t mean abusing her.”
“Good husbands and partners don’t say or do those kinds of things.”

Offer suggestions or solutions.

“Men should never hit or threaten the women they love.”
“Kids learn from their parents. Is this how you want your son to treat women?”
“How would you feel if your daughter chose someone who acted like this?”
“Call me if you feel like you’re losing control.”
“Maybe you should try counseling.”
“You should talk to your faith leader and see what he/she suggests.”

If his behavior is criminal, tell him so.

“Domestic violence is a crime. You could be arrested for this.”
“You could end up in jail if you don’t find a way to deal with your problems. Then what would happen to you and your family?”

He May Not Like It

He may not listen. He may get enraged, deny it, ignore you or make excuses. He may want to talk about what she did to him. He may even laugh it off or make fun of you. Still, you need to say something. Your silence is the same as saying you approve.

Or He May Take You Seriously and Decide to Change

If men learn to put down and abuse women from other men, they can also learn from other men how to respect women. When you decide that violence against women is unacceptable and choose to lead, other men will begin to think twice before they strike with their words or fists.

It isn’t easy or comfortable, but men must step up to the plate because next time, it could be your sister, mother, friend or co-worker. It’s the right thing to do.

Listen. Teach. Lead.

Help Stop Domestic Violence

If you are concerned about the safety of your friend’s partner or spouse, or to learn about services in your area, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or
TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Do The Right Thing

Tell Him There Is A Better Way

Click Here for information on the Men’s Nonviolence Project


Resource Materials

Battered Wives. Del Martin. Volcano Press, 1981

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond. Patricia Evans. Adams Media Corporation, 1996

Why Does He Do That? Lundy Bancroft. Berkeley Trade, 2003

Saving Beauty from the Beast. Vicki Crompton & Ellen Zelda Kessner. Little, Brown, 2003

But I Love Him: Protecting Your Teen Daughter from Controlling, Abusive Dating Relationships. Jill Murray. Regan Books, 2001

In Love and In Danger. Barrie Levy. Seal Press, 1998

When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse. K.J.Wilson, Ed.D. Hunter House, 1997

Additional Information Links – Liz Claiborne’s teen dating violence website has great information for both, those living with violence and their friends and family. – The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website contains current information for survivors and those dealing with violence. – The Family Violence Prevention Fund website provides materials which can be ordered, including “No Excuse for Abuse” materials and health care provider brochures. – The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence’s website features various publications and resources for organizations and individuals working to end domestic violence. – The National Center for Victims of Crime information site includes materials on domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. – Legal information website, including referrals and detailed protective/restraining order information, state by state.




Constitutional Rights,

Civil Rights

Human Rights






Question Authority


Republic [REWRITE]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

This article concentrates on the several forms of government of real states and countries that have been termed republic, for all other uses see: republic (disambiguation)

In a broad definition, a republic is a state or country that is led by people whose political power is based on principles that are not beyond the control of the people of that state or country. Several definitions, including that of the 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica, stress the importance of autonomy and the rule of law as part of the requirements for a republic.

Often republics and monarchies are described as mutually exclusive.[1] Defining a republic as a non-monarchy, the most common short definition,[2] is based on this idea. Although largely covering what is usually understood by a republic such definition has some borderline issues, for example while the distinction between monarchy and republic was not always made as it is in modern times, while oligarchies are traditionally considered neither monarchy nor republic, and while such definition depends very much on the monarch concept, which has various definitions, not making clear which of these is used for defining republic. In his 1787 book, "Defence of the Constitutions," John Adams used the definition of "republic" in Samuel Johnson's 1755 "Dictionary" ("A government of more than one person"), but in the same book, and in several other writings, Adams made it clear that he thought of the British state as a republic because the executive, though single and called "king," had to obey laws made with the concurrence of the legislature ("the British constitution is nothing more or less than a republic, in which the king is first magistrate. This office being hereditary, and being possessed of such ample and splendid prerogatives, is no objection to the government’s being a republic, as long as it is bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend.” -March 6, 1775).

The detailed organization of republics' governments can vary widely. The first section of this article gives an overview of the distinctions that characterise different types of non-fictional republics. The second section of the article gives short profiles of some of the most influential republics, by way of illustration. A more comprehensive List of republics appears in a separate article. The third section is about how republics are approached as state organisations in political science: in political theory and political science, the term "republic" is generally applied to a state where the government's political power depends solely on the consent, however nominal, of the people governed.



Democracy [REWRITE]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Democracy (literally "rule by the people", from the Greek demos, "people," and kratos, "rule") is a form of government for a nation state, or for an organization. Today democracy is often assumed to be liberal democracy but there are many other varieties and the methods used to govern differ. While the term democracy is often used in the context of a political state, the principles are also applicable to other areas of governance.


Main article: Democracy (varieties)

The definition of democracy is made complex by the varied concepts used in different contexts and discussions. Political systems, or proposed political systems, claiming or claimed to be democratic have ranged very broadly. For example:

Aristotle contrasted rule by the many (democracy), with rule by the few (oligarchy), and with rule by a single person (autocracy).

Tribal assemblies.

Systems randomly selecting leaders from the population (see Sortition).

Systems seeking consensus (see Deliberative democracy).

Even what is usually seen as de facto dictatorships which may claim to be democratic and hold sham elections to gain legitimacy (for example, the former German Democratic Republic).

Main varieties include:



Direct democracy is a political system where the people vote on all policy decisions, such as questions of whether to approve or reject various laws. It is called direct because the power of making decisions is exercised by the people directly, without intermediaries or representatives. Historically, this form of government has been rare because of the difficulties of getting all the people of a certain territory in one place for the purpose of voting. Criticism is also drawn upon the use of this term for it implies the notion of voting, while it neglects other democratic procedures such as speech and press and civic organizations. That is, these critics argue that democracy is more than merely a procedural issue.

All direct democracies to date have been relatively small communities; usually city-states. The most notable was the ancient Athenian democracy. Today, a limited direct democracy exists in some Swiss cantons that practice it in its literal form. The extensive use of referenda, as in California, is akin to direct democracy.



Representative democracy (or Polyarchy[1]) is so named because the people do not vote on most government decisions directly, but select representatives to a governing body or assembly. Representatives may be chosen by the electorate as a whole (as in many proportional systems) or represent a particular subset (usually a geographic district or constituency), with some systems using a combination of the two. Many representative democracies incorporate some elements of direct democracy, such as referenda.



Liberal democracy is a representative democracy (with free and fair elections) along with the rule of law, a separation of powers, and protection of liberties (thus the name liberal) of speech, assembly, religion, and property. [3] [4] Conversely, an illiberal democracy is one where the protections that form a liberal democracy are either nonexistant, or not enforced. The experience in some post-Soviet states drew attention to the phenomenon, although it is not of recent origin. Napoleon for example used plebiscites to ratify his imperial decisions.


Federal government of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The government of the United States of America, established by the U.S. Constitution, is a federal republic of individual states. The laws of the United States are laid out in Acts of Congress (especially the United States Code and Uniform Code of Military Justice); administrative regulations, and judicial cases interpreting the statutes and regulations. The federal government has three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial. Through a system of separation of powers or "checks and balances", each of these branches has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate the other two branches, and has some of its authority, in turn, regulated by one or both of the other branches.



World Citizen

Global Citizen


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Federal may refer to:

Federal, an adjective describing federalism or a federation

Federal republic, a federation of states with a republican form of government

Federal government of the United States, especially as contrasted with State or local government

Federal district, a subdivision of a federal system of government, generally considered a separate entity under the direct control of the federal government.

Federal style architecture, a U.S. style of Georgian architecture

Federal (Amtrak), a passenger train providing overnight Boston–Washington, DC service in 2003 and 2004

Federal Cartridge, a U.S. manufacturer of ammunition


A federation (Latin: foedus, covenant) is a union comprised of a number of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central ("federal") government. In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states are typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of the central government. The form of government or constitutional structure found in a federation is known as federalism (see also federalism as a political philosophy). It can be considered the opposite of another system, the unitary state.





The Art of Peace

The Poetry Man





Andrew Willis

In 1873, Samuel Colt introduced a new pistol and called it ‘The Peacekeeper.’ It was different

from previous hand guns; it had a simple design, and the used bullets, or shell cartridges

rather than older style loaders. In fact it was so simple and easy to use that anyone could learn

to use this weapon. Not only was it easy to load, but the graduated sight made it

straightforward to aim and fire. At the time it was said that although God made every man

different, Sam Colt made them equal. For the first time a larger, stronger person could no

longer overpower a smaller, weaker one and get away with it. What previously depended on

strength now depended on speed and accuracy- something anyone could practice.

In November 1982, American president Ronald Reagan introduced a new mobile missile to

the world, calling it ‘The Peacekeeper.’ This missile, because of mobility and more modern

guidance systems, was claimed would keep the peace on earth by acting as deterrent.

Peacekeepers. The word calls to mind images of armed solders patrolling the demilitarized

zone in Korea, the blue berets on the armed forces seconded to the UN standing on the peace

line in Cyprus, or warrior armoured personal carriers in the Balkans. The pictures we see, the

stories we read, the sound bites we hear all tell us that if in this world you want to keep the

peace then, you had better be prepared to enforce it. If you are going to keep the peace it

seams that you need to armed. Not only that but you should be better armed and better

prepared than the other sides involved in the conflict.

And yet despite the numbers of peacekeepers, the number of armed interventions, the

numbers of United Nations resolutions, world is not at peace. It would appear that

‘peacekeeping’ does not work very well.

In the last century as many as 50 million men, women, and children are thought to have died

as a result of armed conflict and war. It has been estimated that in over 3100 years of recorded

world history, we have only been at peace for 8% of the time. In other words a total of just

286 years. It is also estimate that during our history more than 8000 treaties have been made

and broken.

What most people do not seem to understand is that peace is not something that can be

imposed from the outside. You cannot ‘keep’ a peace that isn’t there.

John MacArthur says, ‘A truce just says you don’t shoot for awhile. Peace comes when the

truth is known, the issue is settled, and the parties embrace each other.’

This is why when Jesus instructs his followers what to do if they want to be known as the

children of God he did not tell them to be peacekeepers.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. (Matt 5.9)

It’s important to note that Jesus, the ‘Prince of Peace’, asks his disciples not to be

peacekeepers, but peacemakers, ‘blessed are the peacemakers.’

A peacekeeper is a person who enforces, by whatever means, by force of personality or by

superior weapons, a truce. A peacemaker is one who actually discovers the origin of the

conflict, and finds a way to resolve it, and helps the parties to restore a proper, loving

relationship. This applies to individuals or nations. He or she actually ‘makes’ or ‘constructs’


Jesus is rejecting the idea of a forced peace. Jesus is rejecting the idea that superior power,

superior weaponry can be the basis of a lasting peace. Jesus is rejecting the idea that one party

can compel another to desire peace. And by insisting that his followers become peacemakers

rather than peacekeepers, Jesus is pointing us to the Old Testament. By rejecting violence as a

solution, Jesus is reminding us of the words of the prophet Micah.

Micah 4

He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;

they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning- hooks; nation

shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; (Mic 4.3)

The prophet Micah shares a vision of peace. A time when countries will solve their problems

through discussion and compromise rather than by war. War will not even be a option

anymore; their weapons will be decommissioned. They will be turned from implements of

death into tools of life. War will become a distant memory, future generations will not even

prepare for it.

According to Micah this peace is based not on force, or the threat of violence. Rather as it

says in vs. 4.

… they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make

them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken. (Mic 4.4)

Haden Robinson, writer of Salt and Light says, ‘No peace will exist between nations until

peace reigns in each country. And no country will have peace until peace dwells with the

people. And no people will have peace until they surrender to the prince of peace.’

Micah explains that everyone has a share in the advantages of peace. No one goes hungry, no

one is disenfranchised, no one is left on the margins, and poverty is forgotten.

From both a Christian and a practical perspective, for there to be a lasting peace at least four

things need to be present.

Firstly there must be dialogue and discussion in stead of war cries. Lasting peace comes not

from violence but from negotiation, dialogue, and compromise. Violence and force needs to

be replaced by discourse and reasoning.

Secondly there must be justice. Unfortunately as we look at the world around us the world is

full of injustice. Justice goes hand in hand with peace. Injustice will never lead to peace.

Poverty and exploitation breed discontent and hopelessness, which leads to desperation and


Justice requires respect for human rights, human dignity and human difference. Justice

requires that poverty, marginalization, resentment and hostility be resolved before peace

becomes possible.

The thirdly for peace to last we need forgiveness. We know that we need to ask for

forgiveness to heal broken personal relationships; yet we often forget that there may need to

be corporate or national forgiveness. If there is to be peace, it is important that old arguments

be forgotten, that the past be buried and that we look to the future. This act of forgiveness is

necessary to break the cycle of resentment, hate and revenge. Bygones must be bygones. We

must forgive and look towards the fourth stage, reconciliation.

Reconciliation is the restoration of relationships which have become hostile and estranged. It

builds upon the foundation provided by forgiveness. Without reconciliation there can be no

cooperation, harmony, or peace.

These four elements are to be found in the vision of peace set before us by the prophet Micah.

But I can hear some of you complaining. The context for Micah chapter 4 you argue is that of

the Messianic restoration oat the end of time. It points towards the earth recreated and is not

meant to be a model for us today, I hear you say.

Yes Micah chapter 4 refers to the kingdom of God. However, whilst this earth will find

complete peace under the ‘Prince of Peace’, I believe that its message also has a more

contemporary application as well.

A few weeks ago we were reminded of the incarnation of Jesus and his birth in Bethlehem. At

his birth angel choirs appeared to the shepherds ushering an era of peace on earth.

Once Jesus started his ministry, as we read the gospel stories we hear that he declared that the

kingdom of God had arrived. In the Sermon on the Mount he spelt out the values of the

kingdom to his followers and his lifestyle challenged his followers to live as citizens of the

kingdom of God.

Whilst the temporal kingdom of God will only be installed at the end of this earth’s history,

Jesus had ushered in the spiritual kingdom of God.

Because he our peace, in his flesh he made both groups into one and broke down the dividing

wall, of hostility between us (Eph 2.14), he reconciled us to his father and granted us


hi f th ki d

#Page 5

As Christians and citizens of the kingdom we have responsibilities and duties. One of those is

clearly the call to be peacemakers. As we have seen it is included in the

Sermon on the Mount. It is a requirement if we are to be called God’s children. We read other

references to it throughout the gospels.

We often remind ourselves of the idea of Christians being the light and salt to the world (Mat

5.13-14). We like to remind ourselves of our witness to the world around us, and yet we often

forget that in the Gospel of Mark this witness is linked to the idea of peacemaking.

Mk 9.50

Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves,

and be at peace with one another.

In other words our peacemaking will act as a witness to others. People will be drawn to the

‘Prince of Peace’ through our acts of peacemaking.

We are called to be peacemakers. At home, between family members; at work between

colleagues and friends; in church, between members; in our communities and society, and

even between nations.

This morning, peace looks far away. It appears as we are not so much drifting to war as

sprinting towards it. The biggest military build up in years looks hard to stop and our leaders

seem intent on war. As Christian’s with a call to peacemaking how are we to respond. As

citizens of the kingdom of God are we going to take seriously the call to make peace?

Some may feel that a church service is not the time or the place to talk about it. Some are

uncomfortable about what they see as the politicising of our faith. Some believe our Christian

duty is to support our society’s leaders.

But as our study of the bible has shown us this morning; now is the time, now is the place. If

we are to take seriously Jesus’ statement in Matthew 5.9, then we need to respond.

And just in case the biblical mandate is not enough, we also have the Seventh-day Adventist

Church’s official statement, voted last year. I’ll put a copy on the board after the service in

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Church’s role in educating for peace and it calls on the Church’s pastor’s to use their pulpits

to proclaim the message of peacemaking.

The first thing we need to do is dialogue, we need to ask questions and look for answers. We

need to know what is happening so that we can make a judgement and so that we can act.

At this particular moment in time, I personally believe, along with almost all the Christian

leaders who have spoken out, that a war with Iraq, as it currently stands does not meet the

criterion (which has been a central part of Christian tradition) for a just war. I am not an

apologist for the Iraqi government, I do not support their leader and would like to see him go,

however from a Christian standpoint, I do not believe the argument for a just war has been


That is my view. Don’t accept it for yourself without careful deliberation and thought. If you

want to know more about the traditional view of a just war just speak to me later. If you

disagree then that is a matter for your conscience. If you believe, along with many Christians

that war is never just; I know that you have already thought long and hard about being a

peacemaker. All I am asking is that we accept the seriousness of Jesus’ call to radical

citizenship of the kingdom of God.

If you share my view, if you believe God is calling you to be a peacemaker, then what are we

going to do about it?

Firstly pray. Ask for the ‘Prince of Peace’ to intervene. Never under estimate the power of


Secondly do something. Join wit a group of likeminded people. You may have about the

Adventist Peace and Justice Fellowship. You may know of other at work or in your

neighbourhoods. It is time to be the salt. It is time to be peacemakers.

The first Christian creed was the simple confession ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Lord, kyrios, lord, king,

Caesar, today we might say king, prime minister or president. Biblically to confess Jesus as

lord means that whilst we pay respect and support our countries leaders, they are not really

our leader. If Jesus is Lord, no other leader deserves unquestioned support. Every Christian,

every child of God, every citizen of the kingdom of God must obey God, not human beings.

That means that it is not wrong to protest when you believe that your leaders are going against your beliefs. Contact your representatives, your MP’s, MSP’s, councillors, union reps, and register your desire to be a peacemaker. Join in non-violent demonstrations. Sign petitions, write to papers, and spread your saltiness. And when people ask why you oppose war, tell them it is because of your Christian principles. Don’t hide it. Season those around you. Many people who believed that the church was out of touch and irrelevant are finding that it now represents their views- what an opportunity to show true kingdom values to a society that wants so much more out of life.

This morning, as Christians we look forward to the events foreshadowed in Micah and

prophesised in the book of Revelations:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and

the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (21.1-2)

However we are also reminded that we are already citizens of that kingdom and have been called to live out its values in this world today.

This morning I challenge us all to be peacemakers.

Desperation in Washington

I highly recommend you get a copy and get an education as to the extent that Washington, DC has undermined the right of the American people to choose the leaders we want. They want us to choose the leaders they want us to have and that folks is not a democracy or a republic. That is Banana Republic tyranny and fascism all wrapped up as democracy and freedom.

The book title is:

Hacked! High Tech Election Theft in America, 11 Experts Expose the Truth

Call Cruelty What It Is

By Tom MalinowskiMonday, September 18, 2006; Page A17


President Bush is urging Congress to let the CIA keep using "alternative" interrogation procedures -- which include, according to published accounts, forcing prisoners to stand for 40 hours, depriving them of sleep and use of the "cold cell," in which the prisoner is left naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees and doused with cold water.

Bush insists that these techniques are not torture -- after all, they don't involve pulling out fingernails or applying electric shocks. He even says that he "would hope" the standards he's proposing are adopted by other countries. But before he again invites America's enemies to use such "alternative" methods on captured Americans, he might benefit from knowing a bit of their historical origins and from hearing accounts of those who have experienced them. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for the president's reading list.

He might begin with Robert Conquest's classic work on Stalin, "The Great Terror." Conquest wrote: "When there was time, the basic [Soviet Secret police] method for obtaining confessions and breaking the accused man was the 'conveyor' -- continual interrogation by relays of police for hours and days on end. As with many phenomena of the Stalin period, it has the advantage that it could not easily be condemned by any simple principle. Clearly, it amounted to unfair pressure after a certain time and to actual physical torture later still, but when? . . . At any rate, after even twelve hours, it is extremely uncomfortable. After a day, it becomes very hard. And after two or three days, the victim is actually physically poisoned by fatigue. It was as painful as any torture."

Conquest stated: "Interrogation usually took place at night and with the accused just roused -- often only fifteen minutes after going to sleep. The glaring lights at the interrogation had a disorientating effect." He quoted a Czech prisoner, Evzen Loebl, who described "having to be on his feet eighteen hours a day, sixteen of which were devoted to interrogation. During the six-hour sleep period, the warder pounded on the door every ten minutes. . . . If the banging did not wake him, a kick from the warder would. After two or three weeks, his feet were swollen and every inch of his body ached at the slightest touch; even washing became a torture."

Conquest quoted a Polish prisoner, Z. Stypulkowski, from 1945: "Cold, hunger, the bright light and especially sleeplessness. The cold is not terrific. But when the victim is weakened by hunger and sleeplessness, then the six or seven degrees above the freezing point make him tremble all the time. . . . After fifty or sixty interrogations with cold and hunger and almost no sleep, a man becomes like an automaton -- his eyes are bright, his legs swollen, his hands trembling. In this state, he is often convinced he is guilty."

Next on the list: Aleksander Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago." Solzhenitsyn describes the experience of prisoner Anna Skripnikova in 1952: "Sivakov, Chief of the Investigative Department of the Ordzhonikidze State Security Administration, said to her: 'The prison doctor reports you have a blood pressure of 240/120. That's too low, you bitch! We're going to drive it up to 340 so you'll kick the bucket, you viper, and with no black and blue marks; no beatings; no broken bones. We'll just not let you sleep.' And if, back in her cell, after a night spent in interrogation, she closed her eyes during the day, the jailer broke in and shouted: 'Open your eyes or I'll haul you off that cot by the legs and tie you to the wall standing up."

Finally, the president might review the memoirs of former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, who describes experiencing sleep deprivation in a Soviet prison in the 1940s: "In the head of the interrogated prisoner a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep, to sleep just a little, not to get up, to lie, to rest, to forget. . . . Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger or thirst are comparable with it. . . . I came across prisoners who signed what they were ordered to sign, only to get what the interrogator promised them. He did not promise them their liberty. He promised them -- if they signed -- uninterrupted sleep!"

The Soviets understood that these methods were cruel. They were also honest with themselves about the purpose of such cruelty -- to brutalize their enemies and to extract false confessions, rather than truthful intelligence. By denying this, President Bush is not just misleading us. He appears to be deceiving himself.

The writer is Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.

Bush’s cruel and degrading presidency
By Mike Whitney
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Sep 19, 2006, 00:42

Washington is a moral swamp. When the chief executive can stand at the presidential podium and make an unabashed appeal for torture, then the American dream is dead.

Bush hates America and only God knows why? He’s been buoyed-along his entire life on a raft of wealth and privilege; distancing himself from his endless failures, one after the other . . . flop, flop, flop. Still, President Codpiece wants more; another pound of flesh to inflate his battered, alcohol-saturated ego. He wants to snuff out anything that even vaguely resembles honor or decency or dignity, so he can permeate the world with his own fiendish image beaming from TVs across the globe.

Who could ever have imagined the President of the United States making the case for torture like some flannel-mouth medicine man at a tent show?

“Where is your sense of decency, sir?”

The shame that Bush has brought on this country is nearly as great as the ignominy heaped on the nation by the Republican rubber-stamp congress. The House of Representatives is the real moral swamp. Not once, in six years have they stood up to Bush . . . not once!!! Meanwhile the country has trundled off to war on a “pack of lies,” the president has authorized unlimited spying on the American people, 300,000 mostly poor, black people were ethnically cleansed in New Orleans, and countless thousands of innocent Muslims have been kept in bondage in American gulags.

And don’t bother defending that phony McCain and his cadres of far-right toadies jousting with Bush on “secret evidence.” What a joke. McCain never saw a war he didn’t like. He’s chairman of the International Republican Party, a slick-sounding NGO that topples foreign governments (like Hugo Chavez) that don’t believe that every nickel of the world’s wealth should go to the upper 1 percent. Even his fight against “secret evidence” is pure fiction. If McCain “the maverick” wins, American-held prisoners will still not have the right to challenge their case in federal court or sue for damages in the case of unlawful arrest. McCain, Warner and Graham, have removed habeas corpus (the foundation of American jurisprudence dating back 800 years into English law) as a fundamental human right. The only rights that prisoners will have are the right to appear before three of Rumsfeld’s hand-picked stooges to plead for mercy. It is an utter travesty.

Republicans love to lavish praise on that inveterate racist Winston “bomb the niggers” Churchill. Here’s what Churchill said about habeas corpus: “The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious, and the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.”

According to the Associated Press (AP) there are more than 14,000 of these unlucky souls in Bush’s gulags right now. That doesn’t include the tens of thousands in Iraqi concentration camps and detention facilities. Bush not only claims the right to hold them indefinitely, but wants the congress to endorse his right to torture them as he sees fit. This is the very definition of tyranny.

Here’s Bush defending torture in his September 6 speech: “Captured terrorists have a unique knowledge about how terrorist networks operate . . . and knowledge of what plots are underway." (The ‘ticking time-bomb farce) "Our security depends on getting this kind of information." (Like the Sept PDB “Bin Laden Planning on Striking in America”?) "Many Al Qaida or Taliban fighters try to conceal their identities and withhold information that could save American lives. They have received training on how to resist interrogation. And, so, the CIA used an Alternate Set of Procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Dept of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively, and determined them to be lawful.”

Then why change the laws, George? No harm, no foul.

Bush wants to change the law because he KNOWS the “procedures” constitute torture; a violation of the War Crimes Act and the Geneva Conventions. His petition for torture goes far beyond a sadistic urge to inflict pain on other human beings. It is a frontal assault on the fundamental principles which underscore the Bill of Rights. It is an expression of the hatred he feels for our system, our laws, and our prevailing ethos. It is a way of forcibly removing any obstacles to absolute power.

The opponents of torture have mounted a flimsy, limp-wristed defense that torture produces unreliable information or that it may put our own soldiers at risk. What gibberish! That’s the spineless equivocating of lawyers not humans.

We oppose torture because it is a moral evil; it makes no difference if you are religious or not.

There is no lower form of human activity than inflicting pain on another person. None. Even killing someone allows them to retain some trace of dignity; torture robs them even of that.

Anyone who thinks torture is “quaint” is unfit to lead; in fact, they are a cancer on society. Bush’s railing against the Geneva Conventions is the sign of a man who accepts no legal or ethical constraints on his behavior. It is a blanket defense of cruelty and an attack on our core principles as Americans. It is the language of a dictator whose sole aspiration is the expansion of his own despotic power.

Bush says that the wording of Geneva is “vague,” and that “outrages against human dignity” is hard to decipher. That is because he plans to push the limits of the law by exacting as much pain as possible from his victims. Geneva is not vague. It intentionally casts a broad net to discourage ANY harsh treatment of detainees in one’s charge. Its condemnation of the “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment of prisoners has never been challenged because it is a clear indictment any such punishment.

What is it that Bush does not understand about our laws and traditions? How can a man reach the pinnacle of power without the slightest resolve to defend even minimal standards of human decency?

“Inalienable rights” have no geographic boundary; they are the province of every person. Prisoners are no less entitled to human rights than anyone else. The president’s plea to repeal the Geneva Conventions is a portentous reminder of how “absolute power corrupts absolutely” and of how quickly America has slipped into the quicksand of moral depravity.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at:

Copyright © 1998-2006 Online Journal
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The Activism Industry

Dana R. Fisher, The American Prospect

Progressive groups are outsourcing their grassroots canvassing to national organizations. What happens when paid employees replace committed activists?


You've seen them before. The crunchy-looking college-aged twentysomethings who knock at your door on summer evenings or stand on street corners across the country. Dressed in the T-shirts of progressive organizations like Save the Children or the Sierra Club, clipboards in hand they step into your path, smile, and make eye contact: "Hey there, how's it going? Do you have a minute?"

This type of grassroots outreach was born on May 27, 1971 when Marc Anderson, a former encyclopedia salesman, decided to combine his door-to-door sales knowledge with the political experience he gained volunteering for a local candidate's campaign. Harvard law student and self-described "Nader's Raider" David Zwick became intrigued by Anderson's efforts while he was trying to fund his newly formed group Clean Water Action. Learning the technique from Anderson, Zwick used issue-based canvassing to develop and sustain his work, which is now supported by 700,000 citizen members around the country. Zwick notes that all of the issue-based groups that have canvassed in the past 30-plus years can be traced back to Anderson's work, either via his direct management or through people he trained spinning off to run canvasses for other groups: "Virtually all... today are either imitators or direct descendants."

During the 1990s, as the funding for progressive causes waned, many national progressive groups were forced to tighten their belts and close their local field offices. Like corporations that hire workers in India to run their call centers, the canvassing, phone banking, and direct mail outreach that sustains the fundraising and membership base of progressive organizations and campaigns in America were outsourced to national groups that emerged to fill the gap on the left. As word spread of this efficient and cost-effective way to develop and maintain a grassroots base, national groups that had never worked at the grassroots level also decided to outsource. Today, progressive groups have only to sign up with an intermediary organization and trained canvassers will go door-to-door or work the sidewalk traffic on their behalf, dressed in the group's T-shirt and armed with pitches that work.

The system is indeed more efficient. Unfortunately, this type of outsourced politics increases the distance between members and the progressive national groups that claim to represent them - and has proven no match for the kind of political institutions on the right that are locally rooted and turn citizens into engaged activists.

One of the largest of the progressive grassroots clearinghouses is the Fund for Public Interest Research*, which currently runs campaigns from numerous progressive groups simultaneously. In summer 2003, for example, the Fund ran campaigns for more than fifteen organizations around the United States, including the Sierra Club, the Human Rights Campaign, Save the Children, and Greenpeace. Their model of grassroots politics is very successful at recruiting members and raising funds. Sally Green Heaven, the deputy field director of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), reported that their membership has grown from 200,000 to 600,000 members since the group started outsourcing to the Fund in the late 1990s. According to John Passacantando, the executive director of Greenpeace USA: "[The Fund] helped us build our new financial base...It gave us a new base and it paid approximately 25 percent of our yearly income from monthly electronic donations, which is huge."

Canvassers at the Fund are expected to bounce from one campaign to another. In the words of HRC president Joe Solmonese, "The person who is out standing on the street corner trying to sign you up to join HRC... they honestly, like the next day, might be doing the same thing for [a different organization]." As a result of their short shelf lives and having to juggle multiple campaigns, most canvassers do not become particularly committed to the cause. (Turnover is notoriously high.)

Beyond raising money, it is unclear how effective canvassers can be at building grassroots support when they have such limited knowledge of and passion for the campaigns. One long-term canvasser I met in Portland spoke to me just before canvassing on behalf of Save the Children. When I asked him about the group, he replied: "Yeah I don't know too much...You probably know as much as I do."

This system has become so regimented and widespread that another long-term canvasser who worked out of the Fund's Atlanta office actually called it "a monopoly on political organizing" for the left. In fact, this type of outsourced politics maintains the grassroots base for approximately 25 percent of the largest left-leaning membership organizations in the United States. (This number is calculated based on the members of the progressive advocacy group coalition America Votes who outsource their canvassing.) In 2004 this type of political outsourcing expanded to electoral politics. During the presidential election, the Democratic National Committee hired a for-profit spin-off of the Fund to extend its political base. As a result, canvassers dressed in DNC T-shirts stood on sidewalks around the country raising funds for the Democratic Party. Josh Wachs, the executive director of the DNC during the 2004 election, reflected on the success of this outsourced canvassing for the Party: "We created hundreds of thousands of new grassroots donors, 90-some percent of which were new to the party...There were 700,000 new donors who were created through [it], which is really an incredible amount."

This type of outsourced politics is widespread in electoral campaigns on the left. According to Karen Hicks, who worked as the national field director for the Democratic Party in 2004 after running Howard Dean's presidential campaign for the state of New Hampshire: "The trend within the Democratic Party has really been to outsource contact with voters to paid vendors and direct mail firms... [as well as] hiring people just to contact voters because it's a shortcut. It's a more reliable way to do it."

Although she recognized the efficiency of outsourcing grassroots politics, Hicks also noted that canvassing does not foster long-term dedication and commitment or develop much local infrastructure: "At the end of the campaign, you're left with nothing, basically, because all those canvassers walk out the door. It's not a job that most people do time and time again." So the organizations get members and money out of canvassers, and most of the canvassers go back to their schools or jobs, or move on to an entirely different campaign when it's over. As a result, this type of outsourced politics leaves the grassroots base on the left disconnected and disorganized.

Indeed, progressive causes and progressive candidates have been losing out to conservative issues and candidates who use a very different model of organization. In contrast to the outsourced politics of the left, political groups on the right work through pre-existing civic associations formed by churches and other locally grounded networks to create lasting connections with its political base. Adopting more and more of the social conservative platform originally developed by the Christian Coalition, Republicans are able to tap into the extensive network of local groups that the Coalition developed since its creation in the late 1980s.

In the 2004 presidential election, the Bush-Cheney campaign instituted a strategy designed to exploit such local connections. The Republican Party's "72-hour Plan" was designed to get out the Republican vote by taking advantage of these ever-expanding networks of conservative Americans. Originally conceived to provide a blueprint for the final 72 hours of a campaign, its goal was to recruit Bush supporters -- both young and old -- through a complex network of local volunteers contacting Republican and Republican-leaning voters. The National Conservative Coalition’s director for the Bush campaign, Gary Marx, stated that the Plan mobilized economic and social conservatives through each individual's "sphere of influence." Volunteers who were recruited through their friends and neighbors were taught how to implement the 72-hour Plan in their communities through trainings and the campaign's sophisticated web site.

While the Republicans rallied local networks of conservatives to work on the Bush campaign, the Democrats relied on paid professionals and imported volunteers from blue states to canvass and work for them to turn out the vote on Election Day. Although the Democrats mobilized more people than ever before with the help of 527 political groups like America Coming Together, the outcome of the 2004 election speaks for itself: having non-local people go door-to-door with clipboards is not as effective as mobilizing locals already living in those neighborhoods to speak with their friends and neighbors. Laurie Moskowitz, a political consultant who directed the DNC's field effort for the Gore campaign in 2000 and worked on the grassroots mobilization of progressive Americans during the 2004 campaign through an independent firm, explains: "The Republicans built a system that was based on personal connections over time...[they] had the time and energy invested in it, and the resources ...[with the 72-hour Plan] you had your ten people...based on that personal connection. At the end of the day, we just were trying to make contacts."

In recent years, there has been some recognition of the dangers of outsourcing progressive politics. John Passacantando pointed out that canvassing used to be a major entry point for activists to get involved with his organization, but after outsourcing to the Fund, Greenpeace could no longer mobilize canvassers to participate in political actions. After comprehending the need to combine their fundraising with their activism in a more meaningful way, and noting the fact that the members who signed up through their outsourced canvass did not stay on very long, Greenpeace became one of the only national organizations to buck the outsourcing trend. As of December 2004, Greenpeace was no longer outsourcing its grassroots outreach. Instead, it is experimenting with running its own local campaigns.

Beyond this one environmental group, however, the trend continues. As a result of this political shortcut, the distance between progressive Americans and the national groups and political candidates that purport to represent them is growing. More importantly, progressive candidates and progressive issues keep losing to conservative counterparts that have invested the time and the money to develop real local ties to Americans.

This article is available on The American Prospect website.

* In the book, Activism, Inc., from which this article is derived, the author refers to the organization as the "People's Project." Since the Fund for Public Interest Research has chosen to reveal its identity to David Glenn in his article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the organization is named directly in this piece.

Dana R. Fisher is assistant professor of sociology at Columbia University, and author of Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America.



He was polite yet earnest, the way he must have been when he persuaded Yugoslavia President Josip Broz Tito in 1970 to sign a "Declaration of World Citizenship." The way he must have been when he discussed war and peace with Jimmy Carter, Indira Gandhi, Hubert Humphrey, Norman Cousins and others.. (continued below)

A self-described private diplomat who employs a salesman's gimmicks to advance his non-profit causes, Elling since 1988 has persuaded several hundred organizations to become peace sites by committing themselves to a code of values, including cultural friendship, service to others and environmental stewardship.Of the 700 peace sites worldwide, there are 159 in Minnesota, including resorts, schools, churches and businesses - even the Mall of America.

A Lasting Conviction

Elling grew up in Duluth and Minneapolis before graduating from the University of Minnesota with a business degree in 1943. As a World War II naval officer in the South Pacific, he surveyed the carnage of the battle of Tarawa, where 6,000 people were killed.

From then on I was haunted by the question, "How can we abolish war, like we did slavery?"

After the war, Elling became an insurance agent in Minneapolis. His family struggled financially, he said, until he learned through a course to visualize success in "three dimension, stereo sound and living color," a technique he claims to have used in all of his achievements since.

Success allowed him to devote more attention to the questions that haunted him. During a World Federalists convention in Japan, he and his wife, Donna toured Hiroshima and its war memorial.

The displays depicting people with flesh burned off sealed Elling's destiny. "Hiroshima gave me a lasting conviction to do something," he said.

For years Elling focused mostly on adults. His many efforts included getting Minneapolis in 1968 to become the first of 200 cities in the United States and Canada to pass a Declaration of World Citizenship.

The effort was lauded by officials from Minnesota Gov. Harold LeVander on down, but when the U.N. flag was raised over City Hall, dissenters ripped it down.

"That aspect became some kind of hassle," said Arthur Naftalin, who was mayor at the time. "Some folks thought it was subverting American sovereignty."

U.N. expert Joseph Schwartzberg, a professor of geography at the University of Minnesota , said the world government advocates in the United States always have faced opposition, from anti-Communists in the McCarthy era to John Birch Society. Many modern politicians stay away from the issue out of fear they'll be viewed as a threat to the American way of life," he said.

Yet Elling said his views and activism never hurt his business, even when he and Donna marched in opposition to the Vietnam War. "Some of my clients are very conservative, but they've been understanding," he said.

Turns to Kids

Elling, who has five children, directed more of his peace activism toward younger people even as he grew older. But he did so through his establishment channels, resisting the lure of causes that could get him arrested or hurt his credibility with those in power.

"I've got to be squeaky clean to work with school kids," he said. "I don't want to get off on the fringe." In 1987 he borrowed the peace site idea from a social worker in New Jersey and ran with it.

His first taker locally was Longfellow Elementary School in Minneapolis. Dozens more quickly followed, thanks in large part to Elling's infectious enthusiasm.

"He's always full of energy and willing to come out to the schools and get the program going," said Clarence Von Eschen, who was principal of Indian Mounds Elementary in Bloomington when it became a peace site several years ago.

"It's a symbolic thing, but many things we do in the world are symbolic," said Von Eschen. who now is retired. "I thought kids needed to get in their heads subconsciously that there are places where peace is a priority."


Lynn Elling, Founder, Attends St. John's Catholic School Peace Site Dedication

By Lynn Elling

The Peace Site dedication of St. John's Catholic School and Church in January '05 was unique and inspiring to all in attendance. The students from the high school conducted a Peace Mass prior to the dedication. The artwork, displays programs, and music were outstanding. I was moved to suggest that this International Peace Site could become a “prototype” for hundreds of others throughout the world.