Peace & Justice Blog

Stay up to date on peace and justice issues, both locally and internationally, and learn how you can take action.


 

Always our Children

Carol Gaeke, OP
Blog by Sr. Carol Gaeke, OP

A couple of decades ago the US Bishops wrote a pastoral letter for parents of gay children. It was entitled Always Our Children.

In the flurry of US political conversations and polarization in this upcoming election season there seems to be a disconnect in how we talk about different categories of people in our country. As a nation we seem to make categories of people as “other” – as the undeserving, the illegal, the wrong color or sexual orientation, the wrong gender. Continue reading →

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Diplomacy or War?

Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

After Secretary of State John Kerry announced an historic agreement to prevent Iran from creating a nuclear bomb, the airways heated up, unfortunately with more heat than light. This agreement represents many months of challenging, principled diplomacy with the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany and Iran. At every turn the key component was the demand that the US and allies would verify that Iran was reducing its nuclear stockpile. One could hear in the distance President Reagan’s voice, “Trust and then verify!”

While there is never a perfect agreement, my hope is that politicians on both sides of the aisle will read the agreement, noting the many strengths and choose diplomacy. The strengths are many:
-International inspectors will monitor Iran’s nuclear program at every single stage.
-It would increase the time it would take Iran to acquire enough material for one bomb from 2-3
months to at least 1 year.
-It would reduce Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium.
-The agreement would prevent Iran from producing weapons grade plutonium.
-Iran’s nuclear activities would be tracked with robust transparency and inspections.

 Continue reading →

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Amnesty International and the Commercial Sex Industry

Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

For many years Amnesty International has been a beacon of hope in their work to inform the world about torture and violence in many forms. I have been a donor for several years, but am putting future donations on hold prior to their international meeting in August, when they will vote to decriminalize prostitution. If passed, this would legitimize the sexual exploitation of hundreds of thousands of women. This cringe-worthy policy recommendation endorses the decriminalization of pimping, brothels and purchasing of sex. Continue reading →

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The World’s Longest Receipt

Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

MOMS Demand Action for Gunsense in America is on a mission and people are listening. Founded after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 by Shannon Watts, this organization of determined women has not slowed in its campaign for common sense, responsible gun legislation. They have taken on corporations around the country asking them to enact policies that prohibit the carrying of rifles and other guns openly. Target, Panera Bread, Sonic, Chipotle and Starbucks are just a few of those who have responded positively to MOMS’ request. On September 18, 2013, Starbucks’ CEO announced that guns were no longer welcome in Starbucks stores, reversing the company’s previous policy of allowing open and concealed carry. The CEO stated: “Guns should not be part of the Starbucks experience.” Continue reading →

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Growing Up in the South with Flags and Racism

Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

When I reflect on growing up in the south one incident comes to mind immediately. A young associate pastor issued a challenge to members of Young Christian Students attending the public high school in Danville, KY, a segregated town in a segregated state. He challenged students to approach the managers of local restaurants and ask why they did not serve African-Americans. Needless to say, when I followed through with questions my presence was not appreciated. This was my first, up close and personal experience of racism, and served as a catalyst for my involvement in social justice concerns. I continued to see many forms of racism throughout high school. Continue reading →

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