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Digging In for the Long Haul

Posted by John Dear
11.14.16

Digging In for the Long Haul:
A Message from Fr. John Dear

Now that Donald Trump has been declared the winner of the presidential election, we have to face the fact that things are going to get much worse, and so, we are going to have to regroup and dig deeper into our faith and our nonviolence, and get even more involved in the struggle for justice and peace.

Our President elect is a racist, sexist, Islamophobe who threatens to increase our military spending and wars, to expel millions, to close the EPA and cancel all efforts to halt climate change, to cut services to the poor, for healthcare, for schools, and even to use nuclear weapons.

We, on the other hand, reject every act of violence and injustice. We pledge to continue our nonviolence, to be nonviolent to ourselves, to all others, to the earth, and to help build the global movement of nonviolent resist. So in these days of turmoil and preparation, we take serious quality time for prayer and meditation, we grieve the suffering of the poor and the destruction of creation, and we prepare to redouble our efforts for justice and peace.

We are not going to give up, give in, or surrender to the forces of injustice and violence. We cannot afford the luxury of despair. We carry on, which means we need to deepen our spirituality of peace and nonviolence, and use all the tools of peace and nonviolence we have. Remember: nonviolence means power. We are not powerless. Together, we can build a movement that is stronger, Gandhi taught, than all the weapons of the world combined. I say, let’s put our energies into the power of nonviolence and experiment with it as never before and see if Gandhi–and Jesus–were right.

Please take some new action for justice and peace. Ask your church to start a peace and justice group. Join a vigil or a protest. Bring in a speaker. Give away books on justice, peace and nonviolence. Host a nonviolence training. Get involved locally with the grassroots movements for justice and peace. Use Pope Francis’ forthcoming January 1st World Day of Peace message on nonviolence as an organizing tool. Make a donation to a peace and justice group. We need to support the grassroots movements for justice and peace if we are to stand up and resist the increasing systemic injustice and violence that is about to be unleashed.

Sitting back and doing nothing does not help, nor does it reflect our discipleship to the nonviolent Jesus or our common call to be peacemakers. We have to take a deep breath, remain centered and mindful, and do what we can to help build the movements of nonviolence on behalf of the poor, the children, the earth itself.

Recently, I visited the Standing Rock campaign in North Dakota, where the indigenous people have been struggling nonviolently to block the evil pipeline. It is one of the great Gandhian style satyagraha campaigns of our times, and they especially need our support after this election. But in effect, we are all Standing Rock people now. We all have to give our lives for the poor, for the children, and for Mother Earth.

At Campaign Nonviolence, we are committed to digging in for the long haul, carrying on our great projects, and working harder than ever to resist systemic violence and promote a new culture of nonviolence. We continue to build our national week of action for next September, and we hope to reach over 1000 actions; to promote and organize “nonviolent cities;” to hold nonviolence trainings; to work with the Vatican on achieving a new encyclical on nonviolence; and to teach and promote nonviolence around the nation and the world. But we need help, including your financial contributions.  Thank you for any help you can give!

I hope we can all keep our eyes on the nonviolent Jesus, remain in his Holy Spirit of peace, and continue the journey of loving nonviolence that we are called to live, come what may.

In that spirit of peace, love, and nonviolent action, we find strength to continue the work that we have been asked to do. As we go forward in loving, creative nonviolence, we become beacons of light in this time of darkness. Thank you all for carrying on the journey of creative nonviolence!

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