Is Domestic Terrorism the New Normal?

Blog by Justice Promoter Sister Judy Morris, OP

Is there such a thing as the calm after the storm?  After having witnessed thousands of domestic terrorists storm the United States capital, with the lives of former vice president Pence and Speaker Pelosi being threatened and five people dead, I had hoped that calm would prevail after the dust settled.  No such luck.

Homeland Security has just issued a domestic terrorism warning: “Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence,” the bulletin said.

In plain English, American political extremists, excited by lies spread by the former administration and fed by current members of Congress, have become an active threat to our nation.

This is not a poorly written play; this is our new reality, with no final act in sight.  I was shocked to see a large crowd in Wyoming (unmasked, of course), listening to Rep. Matt Gaetz call for removing Rep. Liz Cheney from office for her vote to impeach Donald Trump.  I am always impressed by someone who follows her/his conscience in making a decision. It appears Rep. Gaetz is not.  This vote may cost her life, as threats abound.

Some members of the House of Representatives are now wearing bullet-proof vests.  Rep Greene of Georgia carries a gun, and is best known for her violent rhetoric.  A few years ago she called for the execution of Nancy Pelosi and then-President Barack Obama; another Congressperson has asked to have her office moved away from Greene’s after an ugly confrontation over mask-wearing.

The national guard remains in place near the capital and a seven-foot fence continues to serve as a reminder of the ongoing fear of more violence.  Where does that lead us?  How do we “be peace, build peace and preach peace” in this never-ending arena of vitriol and violence?

The answer is not to remain silent.  Many people tiptoe around all things political.  Isn’t there such a thing as respectful dialogue?  No one wants to lose a friend or have strained family relationships.  However, our voices need to be heard.  Minority leader in the House Kevin McCarthy needs to hear from us about the violent rhetoric coming from Rep. Greene.  She serves on the education committee even, though she called the massacre of 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook a “hoax,” and the massacre of 17 students at the Stoneman-Douglas High School in Florida “overblown.”  She also stalked one of the students who was meeting with his representatives in Washington.  Your senators also need to hear from you before the vote of conviction of Donald Trump.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was asked what he thought needed to be done to end racism, and he responded that the greatest obstacle was the silence of good people.  Silence allows violence, injustice and racism to continue.  Silence is not acceptable.  No one is too busy to lend a voice.  Catherine of Siena would say Amen to that.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Peace and Justice Updates 12.23.2020

Our Dominican Family has chosen to focus our Dominican Month for Peace. on Ukraine, a country struggling with the effects of violence and war.

UNICEF, a worldwide nonprofit organization providing relief to Ukraine, describes the situation as an ongoing challenge, especially for children: “After seven years of conflict, women and children in Eastern Ukraine remain extremely vulnerable. The conflict is taking a heavy toll on civilians: regular ceasefire violations, damage to homes, and social infrastructures lead to mine contaminations and limited access to services.”

Here are some resources that you can use to continue to learn about and offer support to the people of Ukraine.

Documentaries:
Hunger for Truth:

In English:        Hunger for Truth

Generation Maidan:
In English:        https://vimeo.com/ondemand/generationmaidan

Resources on Ukraine:
https://ui.org.ua/onlinecourse_en

ucmc.org         https://ui.org.ua/media-research-xx_en

Organizations to support:
Building Ukraine Together: https://bur.lef.org.ua/en/

This is a project that has had great moral as well as material impact.
BUR Friends – monthly BUR support campaign provided by people who believe in the idea of ​​the program and want to be part of it.
Support of Political Prisoners held in Russia: case of Oleksandr Marchenko

Ukrainian Political Prisoner Oleksandr Marchenko
A Russian court has sentenced Oleksandr Marchenko to 10 years’ imprisonment, despite the evidently flawed nature of the charges against him and his consistent account of torture inflicted by Russian-controlled militants in eastern Ukraine before being abducted to Russia.

Write a letter of support:

Here is a sample letter (letters must be written in Russian)

Привет,

Желаю Вам здоровья и терпения, и очень надеюсь на скорое освобождение. Простите, что мало пишу – мне трудно писать по-русски, но мы все о Вас помним.

[Hi.  I wish you good health, courage and patience and hope that you will soon be released.  I’m sorry that this letter is short – it’s hard for me to write in Russian., but you are not forgotten. ]

Address

350915 РФ, Краснодар, ул. Красноармейская, д. 22, ФКУ СИЗО-5

Марченко Александру Владимировичу,  1971 г. р.

[In English:  350095, Russian Federation, Krasnodar, 22 Krasnoarmeiska St, SIZO No. 5

Marchenko, Alexander Vladimirovich, b. 1971 ]

Books on Ukraine:
Red Famine by Anne Applebaum
Bloodlands by Tim Snyder
Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev
Road to Unfreedom by Tim Snyder
Putin’s People by Catherine Belton

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Sharing Our Peace

Kelly Litt
Justice Promoter Kelly Litt

Return to Peace

I have a bracelet with a dove charm that I wear daily. I like to think it reminds me of my passion for peace and dedication to social justice. If I’m being honest, it usually just ends up being an accessory that I don’t pay much attention to. Last week, however, was different. On a day that I was feeling particularly discouraged and defeated, my bracelet kept getting caught in the threads of my sweater. Thinking of it as a nuisance, I made a mental note not to wear the bracelet when I wore this sweater again in the future. Yet after the 10th or 11th time of this little dove getting caught in my sweater, I realized perhaps this was a gentle reminder from God to return to peace in times of struggle and to keep peace at the forefront of my life and work. Continue reading →

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Their Names are Tevin and Dantrell

Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

Their names are Tevin and Dantrell, and we met them through their Grandmamas. One is in his 20s and getting ready to start his second year in college; the other is in his late teens and still in high school. One is a gentle giant with a quiet demeanor and whisper of a voice; the other is tall and lean and ready to get physical with footballs and basketballs. Both of them have hearts bigger than the universe and are willing to give their time and their talents to their church, their schools and to our boys’ summer camp.

 Continue reading →

Posted in Weekly Word

Make Me A Channel of Your Peace

Nancy Garson, OP
Blog by Sr. Nancy Garson, OP

How would you describe peace? I checked several dictionaries and much to my surprise, I found that peace was defined as “an absence of war.” So the first definition for peace is a description of what it is not.

I noticed that ultimately all definitions of peace were based in relationship: relationships of one nation to another, of communities to its members, of individuals with each other and one’s relationship with oneself. Peace goes from global, local, person-to-person and finally to the self. Continue reading →

Posted in Weekly Word