Home page and navigation bar

L'accueil et la barre de navigation

La recepción y la barra de navegación

You are invited to take part in any of the discussion questions. To write a reply or change language, you must be registered (click on "Register" below) and then log in.

Vous êtes invité à participer aux forums ci-dessous. Avant d'écrire, vous devez vous enregistrer (cliquez ci-dessous) et ensuite inscrivez vous.

Usted está invitado a participar de los forums que se encuentran aquí debajo. Antes de escribir, debe registrarse (clickear abajo) y entonces conectar..

» Welcome Guest

» Log In :: Register :: Search :: Help

» Bienvenue Invité

» Inscrire :: Enregistrer :: Rechercher :: Aide

» Bienvenido Invitado

» Conectar :: Registro :: Búsqueda :: Ayuda


[ Track this question :: Email this question :: Print this question ]

Question: Will nonviolence be embraced by the world's religions? CPNN article: Nobel Peacemaker Prophesizes Peace in 21st Century
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 1999,17:00

This discussion question applies to the following articles:

Nobel Peacemaker Prophesizes Peace in 21st Century
TOGO: imams de la religion musulmane en formation depuis samedi dernier à Kpalimé sur l’enracinement de la paix et de la non violence
Kpalimé, Togo: Muslim Imans Train for Peace and Nonviolence
Les ministres de la culture de la CEDEAO tiennent leur cinquieme reunion statutaire a Lome, Togo
Togo hosts 5th ECOWAS Ministers of Culture meeting
Vatican to Host First-Ever Conference to Reevaluate Just War Theory, Justifications for Violence
Back to top
Profile PM 
Tony Dominski
Posted: Oct. 28 2004,12:04

The following is the full text of the speech.

Edited by Tony Dominski on Oct. 28 2004,12:18
Back to top
Profile PM 
Tony Dominski
Posted: Oct. 28 2004,12:06

(Presentation by Mairead Maguire, at International Meeting "Religions and Cultures: The Courage of a New Humanism" in Milan, from Sept. 5-7th, 2004.
Organized by Comunita di Sant’Egidio, Italy).
Dear Friends,
My thanks to our hosts Archdiocese of Milan and the Comunita di Sant’Egidio, for their kind invitation.
I am happy to be in Milan. As many of you already know the 28th August was the Feast day of St. Augustine, who was baptized in Milan in the year 387.
For many of us when we think of St. Augustine, we think of his ‘Just War’ theory. Augustine lived in the time of the Roman Empire. The policies of the Roman Empire were War, Domination, and Occupation. (Very much like the foreign policies of the present USA Empire). Violence and war were totally unacceptable to the early Christians who, for the first 300 years were a nonviolent community. They read scriptures such as the ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ and believed in the nonviolent Jesus. (In the words of the late American Theologian, Fr. John L. McKenzie, "You cannot read the scriptures and not know that Jesus was totally nonviolent"). Our Christian roots therefore are steeped in an ethic of nonviolence and love.    //
Back to top
Profile PM 
Tony Dominski
Posted: Oct. 28 2004,12:07

In this the 21st century, faced as we are with the violence of ethnic conflicts, economic injustice, military occupations, invasions, pre-emptive strikes, wars, from Belfast, to Beslan, to Bethlehem, to Baghdad, the human family are asking ‘what can we do to stop all this?’
Firstly, I believe each of us is called to seek truth in our own lives, and live out of that truth with as much integrity as possible.
My own journey of truth seeking has lead me to the absolute belief that all human life is sacred, and I have no right to kill or hurt another human person, under any circumstances.
I believe there is a deep lie and self-delusion at the heart of humanity, which says we have the right to kill another human being.
I believe because the human family has lived under this delusion, that so much unnecessary suffering, death and destruction have been perpetrated on all of creation.  We have for too long regarded violence and war as something, normal, inevitable, glorious, just, and even, God forbid us, Holy. (We though the same thing about Slavery, and Racism until we got a bit more enlightened and abolished them). It is truly shameful to acknowledge (and repent) that Christians have been, and continue to be, amongst the bloodiest warriors, throughout history. //
Back to top
Profile PM 
Tony Dominski
Posted: Oct. 28 2004,12:09

We need to acknowledge this history of violence, begin to think in a new way, and work for the eradication of violence. In time too we will want to say we are sorry for all the violence and wars and abolish them to the dustbin of history. The Christian churches can play an important role in this urgent task (as we are now in a period of ongoing war, increasing militarism and nuclearism, declared upon the world by the United States of America). The Christian Churches can reject violence, reject the Just War Theory, Reject War, and accept Jesus’ ethic of nonviolent love of enemy. I believe that in this century we will see War abolished. My prayer is that the Christian Churches together with all faith traditions and people of goodwill, will build a new humanism by working to make war illegal and replacing it with a global ethic of nonviolence.

Living as we did throughout the 30 years of violent ethnic/political conflict in Northern Ireland, many were forced to choose between violence and nonviolence. People, particularly in working class areas, were daily surrounded by all kinds of violence, whose roots came from both State and Paramilitary injustice. Many of us challenged the violence of the both republican and loyalist paramilitaries (Irish republican army in my case as I lived in a catholic area) but the State injustice was particularly difficult to deal with, as they were supposed to be protecting the community.//
Back to top
Profile PM 
Tony Dominski
Posted: Oct. 28 2004,12:10

Repressive laws, abuse of civil liberties by security forces, often resulted in reactionary violence, and keep alive the cycle of violence. I asked myself ‘could I as a committed Christian ever use violence against State injustice?’ ‘Is there such a thing as a Just War?’ I read St. Augustine on justified warfare, and came to see the idea of just war, as a lie, more often used by warmongers to attempt to justify their wars, and proclaiming that war itself is not evil. (George Bush’s theory of pre-emptive strike is only a logical development of the just war theory itself, and he still has Church people supporting him publicly on this basis).
My own questioning took place during the early 70’s in N.Ireland, when there was, and had been for a long time, a great deal of ambiguity, amongst both Christian clergy and laity on the question of violence. I decided to pray about the matter and asked myself, "what would Jesus do"?  
In l972, in a Church, looking at the figure of Jesus on the Crucifix, the words ‘love your enemy, do good to those who hate you, do not kill,’ came to me with great clarity. I became conscious of the indwelling presence of God in my heart, in every human heart and in creation. I knew then that God’s purpose for each of us, is to love and be loved, that every human life is sacred, and that I could not hurt or kill another person, in whom God dwells. God’s purpose for each one of us is to be happy and to celebrate the gift of life, but never to take it. //

I remembered too at the Last Supper, Jesus said ‘I give you a new commandment, Love one another, as I have loved you." This is real love. Jesus’ love was not a sanitized, sentimental thing. He suffered State capital punishment, because he saw injustice and he challenged it in words and actions, (as we should). He refused to enter into retaliatory violence. Jesus was not ambivalent about violence. He was totally opposed to it, as we should also be. I believe the crucifixion shows that violence kills, but a response of love makes Resurrection possible.
My journey into pacifism, brought with it an increased responsibility to work for justice and peace, rooted in the belief that there is an alternative to fight or flight, i.e., active nonviolence, and in the words of Fr. John L McKenzie, the just war theory is ‘a phony piece of morality’.
It was out of my belief in the sacredness of life, and that there is an alternative to violence, that in August l976, when my sister Anne’s children were killed, that I got the courage to stand up and say STOP to all the violence. //
I would like to tell you the story about my sister Anne and her children. I believe it is important, because when we talk of War, we talk in big numbers, and loose sight of the suffering caused to individuals and their families. On 10th August, Anne went to visit my mother, with her 4 children. There was a clash between the Irish Republican Army unit, and the Army. The Army shot the Irish Republic Army driver, Danny Lennon, (19) and his car crashed into the family. Anne was seriously ill, and three of the children were killed. (Joanne 8, John 2.l/2 and Andrew 6 weeks old). Only her son Mark (7) was saved.

As a result of this, the Peace People movement started. We invited people from all religions and none, to come together and work for nonviolence and justice. We asked them to remember that life is sacred and to put their common humanity above their divisive tribal politics. We encouraged people to work on common projects in order to build friendship, to do away with divisions, which would leave us forever vulnerable to sectarianism and violence. We encouraged a Northern Irish identity built on trust and friendship, and a new vision of a way forward together. Nonviolence and Community Politics were important, as we were convinced that people working together, would help lift us all out of a demoralized acceptance of violence, into a politics of hope and self-respect. //
Back to top
Profile PM 
Tony Dominski
Posted: Oct. 28 2004,12:12

Northern Ireland has come a long way since the violence of mid 70’s. The people have declared the war is over. It is time now for the paramilitary groups to stop all the violence and say they are sorry, as we all must, for their part in the suffering and death caused during the ‘troubles’. The Good Friday agreement contains a framework for political stability, and the politicians hopefully will find a way of working together.

However, in the final analysis a lasting settlement depends on the Northern Irish people, deciding to trust each other, building political consensus and living together in a fair and equal society.

There is a still long way to go in Northern Ireland, but I am very hopeful for the future. Above all I believe the Christian Churches, working together with believers and nonbelievers, and with all Faith traditions, have an important role to play by continuing to work on the following issues:

 Developing a ‘Just Peace’ culture and rejecting the ‘Just War’ justification for violence, and teaching peace and nonviolence as part of the gospel message.//
 Teaching meditation and contemplation as means of reaching inner freedom and peace, and transcending self. The faiths traditions can also help people to develop an awareness of the beauty of themselves, of all creation, and celebrate the joy of living each moment fully alive.
 Dealing with issues of Justice, such as the marginalization of Women in Church and State. The question must be asked, "Why are 50% of human beings denied the dignity and rights that are accorded to the other 50%, not just in the Catholic Church but in some of the other religions as well?
Work to abolish the growing International Arms Trade in Northern Ireland (where Raytheon, Shorts, Thales are now based) and in the Republic of Ireland.
Back to top
Profile PM 
Tony Dominski
Posted: Oct. 28 2004,12:15

Education – dealing with division between Catholic and Protestant schools. There is a lack of support for integrated education, which needs to be addressed by the Christian churches. Also, as this is the UN Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) a unified effort by all to put nonviolence and peace into education, and teaching peace at every level of society.

Seeking way to help Northern Irish society to break out of the tribalism of Unionism and Nationalism and create a new model of Northern Irish identity, based on our common humanity.
 Inter-Church, Inter-faith, Inter-spirituality dialogue, based on the Right and celebration of religious diversity. These are way down in the list of our priorities in Northern Ireland in terms of commitment of time, money and resources. This needs to be taken on with more will and commitment by all the faiths. The spirit in which this work is undertaken is very important. Dialogue can lead us to be inspired by the truth not only in our own but also in other traditions. It can also help us to transcend the false ideologies of race, class, and all other human-made myths, which have divided people since the beginning of time. Such dialogue, based on equality, also helps protect us from dangerous certitude as we come to realize there are many paths to the Ultimate reality, and as Vatican II tells us "grace lives in the hearts of all men and women". In this interspiritual age, I believe, it would be immoral for any one church or faith to be declaring theological superiority, as this would not contribute to the urgent mission of peacebuilding in our world today.
 Environmental degradation – Unethical globalization, and Corporate Capitalism. Many of these issues are interconnected, as often profit is put before people. The Faith traditions have important role in encouraging people in N. Ireland to become more aware and active on global injustice.

The most urgent task facing us all is to work together as the human family, to end the Occupation of Palestine, the ongoing war in Afghanistan, and the invasion of Iraq. This can be done, in all cases, and we the International community must demand of the Political leaders,United States of America, Britain, and Israel to take immediately the necessary steps to solve these problems, before they escalate into more horrific violence and destruction of human life both military and civilian.

We must never doubt the great power of nonviolence, which is the power of love in action.. But we must also remember that with great power comes great responsibility. We, men and women throughout our world, have a responsibility to unite and raise our voices against the forces of war, violence, injustice, abuse of human and civil liberties, and the setting aside of International Laws, by an undemocratic corporate and governmental elite, in the USA and other governments.

They can only operate if we, the people, remain silent and afraid. They are made powerless by our refusal to accept their polices and agendas, to dominate and control the peoples of the world. The Human family is at a crossroads.  We must choose between violence or nonviolence, death or life, despair or hope. Let us choose hope, and have the wisdom to put our common humanity above everything that divides us. We CAN build a nonviolent world together, we are not afraid.

Peace to you all,  
Mairead Maguire,
Peace People, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT96GE, N. Ireland
[ www.peacepeople.com ]  e-mail:   info@peacepeople.com
Back to top
Profile PM 
Posted: Dec. 11 2011,07:12

On religion and peace, most agree that religion can be used to promote peace and harmony among people. However, historically it has been misused by many and created more conflict. The solution to the problem lies in encouraging interfaith initiatives.
Back to top
Profile PM 
4 replies since Oct. 23 2004,04:34 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track this question :: Email this question :: Print this question ]