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Harmonizing spirituality and resistance: St. Francis Day at Agape
an article by Suzanne Belote Shanley

The Agape Community held its 14th annual St. Francis Day in Hardwick Mass, with a forum of people in their 20's and 30's launching the event, including a Brown University student who was arrested with members of the community the first day of the invasion of Iraq. Christopher Shortsleeve addressed his concern that students become more aware of the legacy of nonviolent action, and participate more in the area of Civil Disobedience. His talk was followed by Luke Ryan, law student and recent arrestee at Westover Air Force Base, Bobbie Louton who works with Palestinian refugees here in the states and Edgar and Anne Rader-Hayes who spoke about married life with a new child and its meaning in the context of resistance.

The day focused on Leavening the Earth with Nonviolent resistance, including demonstration of Agape's Straw Bale House, solar energy, compost toilet and recently acquired vegetable oil car.

The day ended with voices of seasoned peacemakers including a WWII veteran who spoke about Depleted Uranium; Juanita Nelson, co-founder of New England War Tax Resisters; Claire Shaeffer-Duffy, Catholic Worker from Worcester; and George Capaccio who has traveled extensively in Iraq.

We sensed the need to continue to harmonize the themes of spirituality and resistance and to offer young people alternative life styles where they might seek a different way of orienting their lives.

Agape's next event is a college retreat held on Nov. 7-9th, we hope people will consider attending and check out our website for more information about it. respect reject share listen preserve rediscover

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


Religion: a barrier or a way to peace?, What makes it one or the other?

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LATEST READER COMMENT:

I have a question for the Agape Community poster, who related experiences of rejecting white priveledge.  I have certainly considered rejecting priveledge, but I have a hard time understanding where to draw the line.  So much of my upbringing, who I am, what I have and so on, are a construction of the many priveledges I have grown up with.  White, middle class, US citizen, female (can be considered a priveledge in some senses, male priveledge in other senses), able, assumed straight, etc.  When I've looked deeply into the matter, even my basic principles have basis in my class background, and I find they are still important to me, nonetheless.  Your story is inspiring and I hope you will provide some insight into the matter.  It seems that many of my priveledges are powers that can be used to spread the seeds of peace, but paradoxically are the seeds of war, as you described.  Is my use of them undermining the peace I want to create? ???. . ...more.


This report was posted on October 9, 2003.