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St. Anthony Messenger’s Interview with John Dear

Posted by Erin Bechtol

Last week, Father John Dear was interviewed by Mark Lombard of St. Anthony Messenger. Currently entering the final month of his book tour for his new title They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace and Nonviolence in a Time of Climate Change, John fielded questions about the just war theory, the current state of violence in our world, and the way of nonviolence and its role in addressing the variety of challenges facing us today. Read the full interview here, and check out some of the best John Dear quotes from the interview below.

On the current state of our world: “We are undergoing an epic of violence. I think we are getting closer to global destruction. Right now, there are some 30 wars happening, 3 to 4 billion people in some form of extreme poverty, 16,000 nuclear weapons good to go, catastrophic climate change, and all of these forms of violence from racism, sexism, corporate greed, and torture. “

On the perception on nonviolence: “The world says that in the face of violence you can do two things: You fight back using the means of violence or you run away and do nothing. That’s not what we are talking about. Nonviolence is a third option of active nonviolent resistance to violence where you engage the opponent. You try to stop the violence, only you do not use the means of your opponent because then you only become just like them.

On the wide-ranging applications of nonviolence: “I don’t see nonviolence as an issue. I see nonviolence as life. It is the way of God. . . . We are talking about a language of love and peace and compassion. If you apply that to every form of violence—and we are connecting all of the dots here—that means we love our neighbors, we’re nonviolent to people around us, we don’t have guns, we don’t threaten to kill people. That means we try to be nonviolent in rehabilitating people. We don’t execute people. That means we are nonviolent to people in other countries, nonviolent to immigrants, and we welcome people because they are our sisters and brothers.”

For more inspiring quotes, see the full interview here.

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