Daniel Berrigan and Thich Nhat Hahn‘s 1975 dialogue Communities of Resistance: A Conversation is the eighteenth chapter of The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace .This dialogue leads off the Post-Vietnam to the Present (1975- ) section of the book. Hahn and Berrigan’s hopes for communities of resistance springs from their own experience with religious communities in the Buddhist and Catholic faiths, respectively, and with the experiences of their late mutual friend Thomas Merton.
The sixteenth chapter of The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace contains Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam. The speech, which is also known as Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence ,was given in the Manhattan’s Riverside Church exactly one year before King was assassinated. It is sad to realize that Dr. King’s 45 year old attempt to seek freedom from war applies equally to the Vietnam War as it does to the wars that the United States is now waging in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen.
Through the lens of history, it is hard to understand how controversial the speech was in 1967. It is common wisdom today that the Vietnam War was a mistake, despite the US government’s recently started 10-year plan to rehabilitate American’s view of that war. In 1967, all the major media backed the Vietnam War. Dr. King was regularly attacked in national newspapers such as the New York Times for speaking out against the Vietnam War. Peace activists are still attacked in today’s media for opposing today’s wars for the same reasons that Dr. King cites.
Dr. King responds to his critics who say that he should only speak about the domestic issue of civil rights, and keep silent on the VietNam War. The critics make the lesser evil argument that Dr. King is hurting the cause of civil rights by speaking out against the war. Dr. Kings explains in the introduction of his speech that those critics misunderstand both who he is , and misunderstand”the world in which they live.” Dr. King gives seven reasons why he must speak out: Continue reading MLK: Declaration of Independence from the War→
It’s the last day of “Sonny Meadows Week” at Peace Couple! (If you have not headed over to CD Baby to check out his work, and get copies for yourself and as gifts, you should do so now, while you remember.)
On this last day: What song should we pick?…
“Drums of War” by Sonny Meadows is the Peace Song of the Day for December 11th. You can find this song on the album Bibles, Guns & Flags. In the liner notes, Sonny Meadows comments on his inspiration for this song:
Written in response to Kosovo and my own personal experiences in Viet Nam, but applies to the Mid-East, Africa and everywhere we let vengeance take the place of common sense.
You can find a sample of this song, or buy the album or MP3,
at CD Baby: here.
(Drums of War is Track 4)
Masters of War by Bob Dylan is the Peace Song of the Day for Saturday, September 10, 2011. When Duchess Susanna heard Duke Augustus playing this song this morning, she requested he post it as it the Peace Song of the Day because she had to leave to go bring music into the world. Duke Augustus find these to be some of Dylan’s most straight-forward lyrics, but there still seems to be room for disagreement. The song was released in the spring of 1963 album TheFreewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Wikipedia claims that Nat Hentoff‘s liner notes frame the song as a protest against Cold War arms build-up.The liner note themselves seem to give the song a broader context:
“Masters of War” startles Dylan himself. “I’ve never really written anything like that before,” he recalls. “I don’t sing songs which hope people will die, but I couldn’t help it in this one. The song is a sort of striking out, a reaction to the last straw, a feeling of what can you do?” The rage (which is as much anguish as it is anger) is a away of catharsis, a way of getting temporary relief from the heavy feeling of impotence that affects many who cannot understand a civilization which juggles it’s own means for oblivion and calls that performance an act toward peace.
This weeks Royal (Comic) Book of the Week for Monday September 5, 2011 is Walking With Alfred Hassler, Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong by Peace is the Way. This comic book does not exist yet. The plan is for a “feature documentary film and 3D animated comic book about normal people who became Nonviolent Super Heroes.” Peace is the Way is currently raising funds for this project through IndieGoGo.