“No More War, No More Warming! Give Us Peace on Earth!”
Remarks by Fr. John Dear at the Peace Rally for the Climate March
New York City, September 21, 2014
Dear friends, on this historic day, in the name of the God of peace, the Creator, we call for an end to the destruction of the environment. We say, Stop the suicidal pursuit of fossil fuels, stop greenhouse gas emissions, stop the keystone pipeline project and fracking and offshore drilling. Fund alternatives such as wind and solar power, pursue 100% clean energy by every nation; enact a new national policy and way of life that serves creation. Let’s protect the earth, the air, the sea, the sky and all our creatures and all humanity!
But today we also say, in the name of the God of peace, the Creator, if we want to stop the war on earth, we need to stop our wars and pursue the coming of peace on earth. So we say: stop all wars and stop the warming! The U.S. military is the single greatest institutional producer of greenhouse gases in the world. We say, cut the U.S. military budget; redirect those trillions of dollars to fund human needs and cleaning up the earth. Stop our bombings and drone strikes and occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Palestine and Yemen; bring the troops home. War is not the answer. War only benefits the one percent and their oil companies and weapons manufacturers. War is not the will of God. War is immoral, unjust and illegal. War never brings peace; it always sows the seeds for future wars and more terrorist attacks and catastrophic climate change. We want a new world without war, we want peace on earth!
Today in the name of the God of peace, the Creator, as we approach the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we call for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Congress just approved $1 trillion dollars to upgrade our nuclear arsenal over the next three decades. This is criminal, immoral, and insane. We need to dismantle our nuclear arsenal and use those trillions to feed the hungry at home and abroad, to house the homeless, build better schools, create green jobs and healthcare for all and a more just immigration program, to clean up the earth and fund nonviolent conflict resolution. Nuclear weapons don’t protect us. They poison the earth, they’re bad for our health, they bankrupt our economy, they threaten the whole planet, they destroy our souls, and they mock the Creator. After 70 years, we say, fulfill the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, retire the bomb, abolish nuclear weapons, give us a nuclear free world!
Today in the name of the God of peace, the Creator, as people of faith, conscience and goodwill, in the spirit of Gandhi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr., we say we are sick and tired of violence and war, racism and sexism, corporate greed and neglect of the poor, of all the killings, extinctions and destruction of the earth. Martin Luther King was right: nonviolence is our only hope, our only way forward, our only future. As Dr. King said, we are not powerless. We have a power, the power of active nonviolence to change the world. So we pledge to become people of nonviolence, to practice nonviolence in our personal lives, non-cooperate with the culture of violence, and work for a new nonviolent world.
Today, in the name of the God of peace, the Creator, like the Abolitionists of old who announced the abolition of slavery and the vision of a new world of equality, we announce the abolition of war itself, and poverty, and corporate greed, and hunger and nuclear weapons and systemic injustice and environmental destruction. We announce the coming of a new world of nonviolence, a new culture of peace with justice for every human being, for every creature, and for the planet. This week, CampaignNonviolence.org has organized over 235 marches, rallies and actions across the U.S., in every state, against war, poverty and environmental destruction, for a new culture of peace. With Campaign Nonviolence, we dedicate the rest of our lives to the nonviolent struggle for justice and peace. We pledge to keep building a global grassroots movement of nonviolence for all creation and all humanity.
Dear friends, keep on speaking out for peace and for the earth. Keep on praying for the gift of peace on earth. Keep on organizing and acting and standing up for humanity and creation. Keep on practicing nonviolence and keep on marching for a new future of peace and justice.
Thank you and God bless you!
Author of thirty books and long-time activist for peace and justice, Fr. John Dear is Outreach Director at Campaign Nonviolence and Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service.