Posts Tagged ‘war & peace’

So I come into work today, a mess–but a good mess–so immobilized from weeping with joy and relief over Cpl. Adam McKay being out of the brutal desert in Iraq and bound for the cool and calming safety of an Ireland pub tonight that my chaplain peers at work, whom I’d notified before coming in that I was a mess, in tears, but would be in, albeit a few ticks late, surprised me with two of the biggest pieces of creamy cake (Dangerously High Calorie Count Div.) and Diet Coke served up in my boss’s office on purple tablecloth.
First, though, they rallied around to lay hands on me and pray for me and Adam and our family, and they read this most appropriate scripture to me, from Psalm 126:

When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
the LORD has done great things for them.
The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!
Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev***.
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy!
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.”

*** Negev–Following a visit to Palestine in 1867, Mark Twain described the Negev Desert in his book “The Innocents Abroad” as “a desolation that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action…”.

Rarely does one find a country so small with landscapes so varied as in Israel. In this tiny country of approximately 8,000 square miles (a little smaller than the state of New Jersey), it takes a few hours to drive from the snow-capped mountains in the north to arid desert expanses in the south.

“Negev” in Hebrew means south. Israel’s Negev Desert, where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob tended their flocks, comprises 66%, over 6,700 square miles, of Israel. Triangular in shape, with the resort town of Eilat at its southern apex and Beer Sheva as its northern base, the Negev has an arid and semi-arid climate, defined according to average rainfall (2 – 6 inches), type of soil and natural vegetation.
— From the Negev Foundation Website

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To all who’ve prayed me up — and moreso prayed up Adam McKay — so faithfully all these years that I’ve agonized over this war and over having my only son so far from home so long, and for responding to me when I asked you to think about all the ramifications and ripple effects of war that leave the warriors’ loved ones tossing and turning many nights, wondering, fearing, praying, vowing to never read or watch the news again because you just can’t handle the news of troops being killed and maimed, only to tune in to CNN or float around all the news channels in the middle of the night wanting war news and half fearing your son, your daughter, your brother or sister or loved one might be on some news film.
And for responding to me when I asked you to pray for all troops and their families and to always remember that war is hell, damn it, and hell on war families especially, and I’d rather you think long and hard about that than put a Support Our Troops sticker on your SUV or better yet–get involved, do something for all those warriors coming home with a few less limbs, often with not much brain left (Google up what the “signature wound” in Iraq was and is and here’s a clue for you all–it’s a brain wound), and being reduced to the care of parents or siblings who don’t know what’ll happen to the only son or daughter after they’ve died and gone and the son or daughter is going to be taken over by the government bureaucracy and we know how much they care.
I think I’ve said enough.
Just thanks for your prayers, and grace and peace today to all you who still have yours in harm’s way. I feel for you and pray for you and love you all in the way we all love each other.
And especially to Marine parents because they are obviously a little more special to me–I hear you. I know. I hear you. And once more, Semper Fi.

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Spread the news: The War in Iraq is finally over

The pugilist at rest, at long last

The pugilist at rest

Paul David Mckay | Create Your Badge
Paul David Mckay

For Cpl Paul Adam (Adam) McKay and the McKay family, war is finally over.
The blood of jitterbugger’s blood is in Kuwait as of this writing and will be heading to Ireland tonight for a visit to the pub (thank you nation of Ireland for providing our troops with your fine tap beer as soon as they stop in your wonderful nation for layovers from Kuwait!!!! Cheers!)
This librul almost-pacifist’s son is finally laying down his arms and will soon be all done with duty to Uncle Sam and can come home and pick up his blues guitar and leave the arms behind forever thank you Jeeeeezus!
Semper Fi, ol’ son! Proud is not the word of what we are of you!

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Her Majesty

Her Majesty

In the summer of 1958, Joan Chandos Baez, a 17-year old high school graduate (by the skin of her teeth) moved with her family – her parents Albert and Joan, older sister Pauline and younger sister Mimi – from Palo Alto to Boston. They drove cross-country with the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley” all over the radio, a guilty pleasure of Joan’s. She was an entering freshman at Boston University School Of Drama, where she was surrounded by a musical group of friends who shared a passion for folk music.A stunning soprano, Joan’s natural vibrato lent a taut, nervous tension to everything she sang. Yet even as an 18-year old, introduced onstage at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, her repertoire reflected a different sensibility from her peers. In the traditional songs she mastered, there was an acknowledgment of the human condition.

She recorded her first solo LP for Vanguard Records in the summer of 1960, the beginning of a prolific 14-album, 12-year association with the label. Her earliest records, with their mix of traditional ballads and blues, lullabies, Carter Family songs, Weavers and Woody Guthrie songs, cowboy tunes, ethnic folk staples of American and non-American vintage, and much more – won strong followings in the US and abroad.

Among the songs she introduced on her earliest albums that would find their ways into the repertoire of 60’s rock stalwarts were “House Of the Rising Sun” (the Animals), “John Riley” (the Byrds), “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin), “What Have They Done To the Rain” (the Searchers), “Jackaroe” (Grateful Dead), and “Long Black Veil” (the Band), to name a few. “Geordie,” “House Carpenter,” and “Matty Groves” inspired a multitude of British acts who trace their origins to Fairport Convention, Pentangle, and Steeleye Span.

In 1963, Joan began touring with Bob Dylan and recording his songs, a bond that came to symbolize the folk music movement for the next two years. At the same time, Joan began her lifelong role of introducing songs from a host of contemporary singer-songwriters starting with Phil Ochs, Richard Farina, Leonard Cohen, Tim Hardin, Paul Simon, and others. Her repertoire grew to include songs by Jacques Brel, Lennon-McCartney, Johnny Cash and his Nashville peers, and South American composers Nascimento, Bonfa, Villa-Lobos, and others.

At a time in our country’s history when it was neither safe nor fashionable, Joan put herself on the line countless times, and her life’s work was mirrored in her music. She sang about freedom and Civil Rights everywhere, from the backs of flatbed trucks in Mississippi to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington in 1963. In 1964, she withheld 60% of her income tax from the IRS to protest military spending, and participated in the birth of the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley. A year later she co-founded the Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence near her home in Carmel Valley. In 1966, Joan Baez stood in the fields alongside Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers striking for fair wages, and opposed capital punishment at San Quentin during a Christmas vigil.

The following year she turned her attention to the draft resistance movement. In 1968, she recorded an album of country standards for her then-husband David Harris. He was later taken into custody by Federal marshals in July 1969 and imprisoned for 20 months, for refusing induction and organizing draft resistance against the Vietnam war. As the war escalated, Joan traveled to Hanoi with the U.S.-based Liaison Committee and helped establish Amnesty International on the West Coast.

In the wake of the Beatles, the definition of folk music – a singer with an acoustic guitar – broadened and liberated many artists. Rather than following the pack into amplified folk-rock, Joan recorded three remarkable LPs with classical instrumentation. Later, as the ’60s turned into the ’70s, she began recording in Nashville. The “A-Team” of Nashville’s session musicians backed Joan on her last four LPs for Vanguard Records (including her biggest career single, a cover of the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” in 1971) and her first two releases on A&M.

Within the context of those albums and the approaching end of hostilities in Southeast Asia, Joan turned to the suffering of those living in Chile under the rule of Augusto Pinochet. To those people she dedicated her first album sung entirely in Spanish, a record that inspired Linda Ronstadt, later in the ’80s, to begin recording the Spanish songs of her heritage. One of the songs Joan sang on that album, “No Nos Moveran” (We Shall Not Be Moved) had been banned from public singing in Spain for more than forty years under Generalissimo Franco’s rule, and was excised from copies of the LP sold there. Joan became the first major artist to sing the sung publicly when she performed it on a controversial television appearance in Madrid in 1977, three years after the dictator’s death.

In 1975, Joan’s self-penned “Diamonds & Rust” became the title song of an LP with songs by Jackson Browne, Janis Ian, John Prine, Stevie Wonder & Syreeta, Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band – and Bob Dylan. His Rolling Thunder Revues of late 1975 and ’76 (and resulting movie Renaldo & Clara, released in 1978) co-starred Joan Baez.

In 1978, she traveled to Northern Ireland and marched with the Irish Peace People, calling for an end to violence. She appeared at rallies on behalf of the nuclear freeze movement, and performed at benefit concerts to defeat California’s Proposition 6 (Briggs Initiative), legislation that would have banned openly gay people from teaching in public schools. Joan received the American Civil Liberties Union’s Earl Warren Award for her commitment to human and civil rights issues; and founded Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, which she headed for 13 years. She won the San Francisco Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) award as top female vocalist in 1978 and 1979, and a number of film and video and live recordings released in Europe and the U.S. documented her travels and concerts into the ’80s.

In 1983, she performed on the Grammy awards telecast for the first time (singing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind”). In the summer of 1985, after opening the U.S. segment of the worldwide Live Aid telecast, she later appeared at the revived Newport Folk Festival, the first gathering there since 1969. In 1986, Joan joined Peter Gabriel, Sting and others on Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope tour; her subsequent album was influenced by the tour, as it acknowledged artists and groups whose lives in turn were influenced by her, with songs from Gabriel, U2, Dire Straits, Johnny Clegg, and others. Later in 1986, however, she was chosen to perform The People’s Summit concert in Iceland at the time of the historic meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. Joan’s 1989 concert in Czechoslovakia was attended by many of that country’s dissidents, including President Vaclav Havel who cited her as a great influence in the so-called Velvet Revolution.

After attending an early Indigo Girls concert in 1990 (the year after their major label album debut), Joan teamed with the duo and Mary Chapin Carpenter (as Four Voices) for a series of benefit performances. The experience reinforced Joan’s belief in the new generation of songwriters’ ability to speak to her. When her album, Play Me Backwards, was released in 1992, it featured songs by Carpenter, John Hiatt, John Stewart, and others.

In 1993, Joan became the first major artist to perform in Sarajevo since the outbreak of the civil war as she traveled to war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina at the invitation of Refugees International. The next year, she sang in honor of Pete Seeger at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala in Washington, D.C. Also in 1994, Joan and Janis Ian sang for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Fight the Right fundraising event in San Francisco.

In 1995, Joan received her third BAMMY as Outstanding Female Vocalist. Joan’s nurturing support of other singer-songwriters came full circle with her next album, Ring Them Bells. This idea of collaborative mentoring was expanded on 1997’s Gone From Danger, where Joan was revealed as a lightning rod for young songwriting talent, with compositions from Dar Williams, Sinead Lohan, Kerrville Music Festival newcomer Betty Elders, Austin’s The Borrowers, and Richard Shindell (who went on to tour extensively with Joan over the years).

In August 2001, Vanguard Records began the most extensive chronological CD reissue program ever devoted to one artist in the company’s history. Expanded editions (with bonus tracks, and newly commissioned liner notes) were released of her debut solo album of 1960, Joan Baez, and Joan Baez Vol. 2 (1961). The six-year campaign went on to encompass every original LP she recorded while under contract to the label from 1960 to 1972. In 2003, spurred by Vanguard’s lead, Universal Music Enterprises gathered Joan’s six complete A&M albums released from 1972 to 1976 into a mini-boxed set of four CDs, also with bonus material and extensive liner notes.

The release of Dark Chords On a Big Guitar in September 2003 was supported with a 22-city U.S. tour. On October 3rd, Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin presented her debut performance of “The Joan Baez Suite, Opus 144”. Written for Isbin by John Duarte and commissioned by the Augustine Foundation, the piece featured songs from Joan’s earliest days in folk music.

On the night of February 11, 2007, at the 49th annual Grammy Awards telecast viewed by more than a billion people worldwide, it was announced that Joan Baez had received the highly prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, the greatest honor that the Recording Academy can bestow. In turn, she introduced the live performance of “Not Ready To Make Nice” by dark horse nominees the Dixie Chicks. It was an ironic moment, as Joan’s ‘lifetime’ of activism resonated in sync with the trio. They had been blacklisted by country radio and the Academy Of Country Music (ACM) when they criticized the President and the impending war in Iraq back in March 2003.

Most recently, Joan was seen by a billion tv viewers around the world, standing center stage behind Nelson Mandela at the “46664” 90th birthday celebration in his honor, at London’s Hyde Park on June 28, 2008.

“All of us are survivors,” Joan Baez wrote, “but how many of us transcend survival?” 50 years on, she continues to show renewed vitality and passion in her concerts and records, and is more comfortable than ever inside her own skin. In this troubled world, to paraphrase “Wings,” she will always continue to seek “a place where they can hear me when I sing.”

–Arthur Levy, July 2008

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Yes, Rev. Paul will be seeing Sir Paul live and in the person (and somewhat upclose!) on an August night even if he has to take his invisible friend.
So Rev. Paul is asking you to stop what you are doing right now, right this minute, and consider whether God is moving you to send a generous love offering to him in order to compensate for the enormous hit that Rev Paul’s wallet just took. (Minimum $100 donations, please; Between Sir Paul and Jerry Jones, capitalism is alive and well.)
Rev. Paul also joined the OneVoiceMovement at the urging of Sir Paul. (See below)
Now, for a personal message to Sir Paul:
Hi, Paul. Me Paul here and I just bought two tickets to your August night show at the New Jerry Jones Palisade so please be in top form for me will you? This purchase means one of two things for me: I’ll either be (a) workiing overtime at the hospital for the rest of my natural born days or (b) the love offerings I’ve pleaded for had better start pouring in quick.
We’re probably kin, you know, as we both have the same name Paul.
But more than that, I’m Paul McKay and you are Paul McCartney.
Really close connection there and we have to be kin somewhere down the line. So if you want to comp me for my ticket purchases hey, I’m game, man.
And sure, I’ll come backstage for some buffet and pictures.
Any extra girls back there?
HA HA HA! Paul–just a joke. I’m a minister, man!
However . . .
Take me to your daddy’s farm, yaw.

The OneVoice Movement is an international mainstream grassroots organisation with an equal number of supporters in Israel and Palestine. It aims to amplify the voice of the overwhelming- but heretofore silent- majority of moderates who wish for peace and prosperity, empowering them to demand accountability from elected representatives and work toward a two-state solution guaranteeing an end to occupation and violence, and a viable, independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel.

Paul first came into contact with the OneVoice Movement during his memorable trip to Israel and Palestine in 2008 and he officially joined their International Board of Advisors in March 2009. Paul continues to honour his commitment the organisation by playing an important role in raising awareness of OneVoice and all the vital work they do.

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Peace Is the Way
A Collection of Inspirational Quotations for Peacemakers
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
{From SpiritualityandPractice.com}
A Note from Frederic and Mary Ann: We put together this collection of inspiration quotations about peace on October 8, 2001, just 27 days after we wrote “Rest in Peace,” a prayer in the form of a poem to express our empathy with all those affected by the terrorist attacks in our city and to emphasize the unity of all in our world community.

One of the early Christian desert fathers said: “I have spent twenty years fighting to see all human beings as one.” We are indebted to him for reminding us just how difficult this spiritual practice can be. Mahatma Gandhi reminds us as well: “I believe in the essential unity of humanity and for that matter, of all lives. Therefore, I believe that if one person gains spiritually, the whole world gains with that person, and if one person falls, the whole world falls to that extent.”

The day before we made this collection, we learned that the United States had started bombing Afghanistan while we were attending an Interfaith Service at Union Square Park in New York. Protestant and Catholic Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus united their voices and spirits in a call for peace. We came together as New Yorkers to assert that “Our Grief Is Not a Cry for War.” At the end of the service, candles were lit and passed around as symbols of our resolve to keep this feeling of unity aglow in our hearts and to bring it to others.

We now offer you these light-filled quotations on peace. May your own little light shine.

• When people talk about war I vow with all beings to raise my voice in the chorus and speak of original peace.
— Robert Aitken

• Be peace, don’t just talk about it.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

• The God of peace is never glorified by human violence.
— Thomas Merton

• The earth is too small a star and we too brief a visitor upon it for anything to matter more than the struggle for peace.
— Colman McCarthy

• No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in the present instant. Take peace. The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within reach, is joy. Take joy.
— Fra Giovanni

• War will stop when we no longer praise it, or give it any attention at all. Peace will come wherever it is sincerely invited.
— Alice Walker

• If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed — but hate these things in yourself, not in another.
— Mahatma Gandhi

• I pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of all the world and to the community for which it stands: one people loved into existence by God, breathing an indivisible air, warmed by a sun that shines on good and bad alike, kept alive by rain that falls on the just and unjust. I commit myself to spend my life for this world for liberty and justice for all. Amen.
— Mary Evelyn Jegen

• May we look upon our treasure, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try to discover whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions.
— John Woolman (1774)

• Anyone can love peace, but Jesus didn’t say, “Blessed are the peace-lovers.” He says “peacemakers.” He is referring to a life vocation, not a hobby on the sidelines of life.
— Jim Wallis

• While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.
— St. Francis of Assisi

• I tell you one thing — if you want peace of mind, do not find fault with others. Rather learn to see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.
— Sri Sarada Devi

• My personal vocation is to be a pilgrim of peace . . . We, as Christians, are on the side of nonviolence and this is in no way an option for weakness and passivity. Opting for nonviolence means to believe more strongly in the power of truth, justice, and love than in the power of wars, weapons, and hatred.
— Dom Helder Camera

• We can never obtain peace in the world if we neglect the inner world and don’t make peace with ourselves. World Peace must develop out of inner peace.
— The Dalai Lama

• There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.
— A. J. Muste

• I’m a nonviolent soldier. In place of weapons of violence, you have to use your mind, your heart, your sense of humor, every faculty available to you because no one has the right to take the life of another human being.
— Joan Baez

• Returning violence for violence only multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

• If we want to reap the harvest of peace and justice in the future, we will have to sow the seeds of nonviolence, here and now, in the present.
— Mairead Corrigan Maguire

• The job of the peacemaker is to stop war, to purify the world, to get it saved from poverty and riches, to heal the sick, to comfort the sad, to wake up those who have not yet found God, to create joy and beauty wherever you go, and to find God in everything and in everyone.
— Muriel Lester

• Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
— Albert Einstein

We know that peace is only possible when it is the fruit of justice. True peace is the result of the profound transformation affected by nonviolence which is, indeed, the power of love.
— Perez Esquivel

• Violence obliterates anybody who feels its touch.
— Simone Weil

• As peacemakers we must resist resolutely all the powers of war and destruction and proclaim that peace is the divine gift offered to all who affirm life.
— Henri J. M. Nouwen

• The life of “peace” is both an inner journey toward a disarmed heart and a public journey toward a disarmed world. This difficult but beautiful journey gives infinite meaning and fulfillment to life itself because our lives become a gift for the whole human race. With peace as the beginning, middle, and end of life, life makes sense.
— John Dear

Explore more resources on peace (books, movies, teaching stories, spiritual exercises, articles) at our homepage for this spiritual practice.

—- John 14

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322005_f260AUNG SAN SUU KYI

1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Oppositional leader
Human rights advocate.

Born: 1945
Residence: Burma

Prime Minister of Burma

Prime Minister of Burma

Imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi from Burma--often called "the Nelson Mandela of Burma."

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Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, bohemian and member of the Communist Party (who lived with the great American playwright Eugene O’Neill), had daughter Tamar by another man, was a firebrand leftwing radical reporter when she converted to Catholicism and became a radical, radical, radical firebrand “fool for Christ,” as she called herself–so radically pacifist that she opposed World War II and never backed down from that position, which–love her or hate her–people knew that any and every position she ever took was genuine and sincere and based solidly on her conviction that God calls us all to be as radical as the Christ who commanded us to follow him in his Sermon on the Mount. I love Dorothy Day, who, in addition to everything else, was an incredibly good writer and natural born reporter, and it’s no secret that jitter has a fondness for cranky reporters.

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(FOR Paul Adam McKay)
From the book Servants, Misfits, and Martyrs: Saints and Their Stories, by James C. Howell, Upper Room Books, 1999:
“It was the middle ages that saw history’s greatest saints. A pregnant woman dreamed she gave birth to a dog with a torch in his mouth. Her son turned out to be Saint Dominic. . . . .
Another woman, while her husband was abroad at a cloth fair, gave birth to a boy and named him Giovanni. As an adolescent, he affected a French accent and manners, and played the troubador so exquisitely that his friends dubbed him Frenchy, or as we know him, Francis.
His promising future in his father’s cloth business collided with an unexpected destiny when war broke out against Perugia. Francis suited up as a knight for battle with the other young men of Assissi, but the result was disastrous. He was captured . . . and languished, gravely ill, for months. He had visions, perhaps from his fever or perhaps from God (or both), that led him to reassess all he was about. Francis began to pray in a crumbling old church, San Damiano, over whose altar hovered a Romanesque crucifix.

One day Jesus spoke–yes spoke–to Francis from that crucifix. “Go, rebuild my church, for as you can see, it is falling into ruin.” Francis heard this as a call to rebuild the stone edifice in which he knelt, and did so, with his own hands.

(More to come)

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Paul David Mckay | Create Your Badge
Paul David Mckay

From that crazy fool for Christ St Francis of Assissi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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