Perambulating the Bounds

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Something to think about

Went to hear John Dear speak this Sunday--he's a Jesuit peace activist, someone Geoff Little has gotten to know. He is radically non-violent, committed to it on every level of living. This most notably has led him to dedicate himself seemingly full-time to anti-war and disarmament protests, and writing and speaking about it and all the other stuff that goes with that. He's a friend of the Berrigans, and has been arrested a ton for civil disobedience. He's the kind of person who forces you to think about what you are doing and not doing other than opinionating excitedly from time to time.

Jude Adam asked him probably the question, what to do in the case of Hitler and Nazism. He responded by talking about the history of non-violent resistance to the Nazis. I've recently run across a reference to the Danes collective refusal to collaborate under occupation, which included saving the country's Jewish population. John doesn't concede the ground of this example, but it does still hang out there. However, it also doesn't really matter--the ground between that example and almost everything else that goes on is vast. The things he is working on, like resistance to our ungreat wars, to the accumulation of nuclear weapons, to the distortion of public wealth by directing so much to warmaking, the realities of empire, all of that holds true--there is no Hitler to excuse those things. It may just be a lack of imagination.


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