The power of nonviolence

9 years ago

To the editor:
The food pantry in Houlton served 900 households last year. U.S. taxpayers spend hundreds of billions of dollars on war and preparations for war every year. Climate crisis impacts weather and food supplies around the world. Racial injustice tears U.S. communities apart. Global violence and fear of violence escalates. These issues are connected.

When we watch the news and listen to our neighbors, we often feel the pain of violence and injustice in so many corners of the world and here in our own community. Alongside and in response to this reality, but often less visible, is a growing nonviolent movement for peace and justice. “Nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to succeed as violent ones.” according to a recent essay in “Foreign Affairs Magazine” (“Drop Your Weapons”, by Erica Chenowith and Maria Stephan, July/Aug 2014). Nonviolence is an effective force for truth and justice — a force that is neither violent nor passive.
A coalition of groups working to abolish war, end poverty and reverse the climate crisis is calling mainstream Americans to join this global movement. “Campaign Nonviolence,” led by Fr. John Dear, invites us all to see the connections between these issues and work towards peace by practicing nonviolence toward ourselves, toward others and the world.
Members of Pax Christi Houlton, a local group of Pax Christi USA, join in solidarity with “Campaign Nonviolence” actions this week in order to follow Jesus’ commandment, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) and “overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21).
In the words of Pope Francis, “Wars are always madness: all is lost in war, all is to be gained in peace.” (June 2013)
Pax Christi Houlton
Mary Beth DiMarco
Marilyn Roper
Harry Roper
Deacon Al Burleigh