TERRORISM: Compassion And Nonviolence From New York To Afghanistan by John Dear

December 9, 2014

From Christian Peace and Nonviolence Reflections after September 11th Like thousands of other New Yorkers, I started volunteering immediately after the World Trade Center disaster.  Within a few days, the Red Cross asked me to help coordinate the chaplain program at the Family Assistance Center, the site run by the government and the Red Cross for families. I’ve been working there ever since.  These past few weeks, I have met some 1,500 grieving family members, police officers, and firefighters. All we can do is stand with them in their grief, share their pain, listen, hold them, pray with them, encourage, and bless them. I remember the Long Island Catholic man who came to turn in DNA evidence only to discover his missing [...]

POETRY: Poems Of Pain

December 4, 2013

To A Terrorist For the historical ache, the ache passed down which finds its circumstance and becomes the present ache, I offer this poem without hope, knowing there’s nothing, not even revenge, which alleviates a life like yours. I offer it as one might offer his father’s ashes to the wind, a gesture when there’s nothing else to do. Still, I must say to you: I hate your good reasons. I hate the hatefulness that makes you fall in love with death, your own included. Perhaps you’re hating me now, I who own my own house And live in a country so muscular, so smug, it thinks its terror is meant only to mean well, and to protect. Christ turned his singular cheek, one man’s holiness another’s absurdity. Like [...]

PRAYER: A Blessing For Terrorists by Pierre Pradervand

October 7, 2013

I bless those who are tempted to commit terrorist acts, whether out of despair, hatred, fear, lust for power, or any other tormented human motive. I bless them in their integrity, that they may discover that the wholeness in themselves cannot be reached at the cost of the wholeness of others. I bless them in their realization that love is the ultimate law governing the universe and mankind, and that their deepest honest longings can only be reached through the law of love. I bless them in their awareness that, deep down, they are children of the light, and that terrorist schemes are but an inversion of the light with no true cause, substance, or law behind them. I bless them in their understanding that the darkness they see or imagine can [...]