Not Even to Save Our Lives
Not Even to Save Our Lives
On a Thanksgiving visit home two years ago to his family in Sault Ste. Marie,
â€œIf Rick was being asked to risk his life as a soldier then I, as a pacifist Christian who believes that war is not the way to peace, should be prepared to take the same risks,â€ he recalled trying to reason with his father.
Jim returned from
Millions of people around the world are learning for the first time about these peace warriors. But what few people know is that CPT members go to conflict zones like
Claire Evans, delegate coordinator in the organizationâ€™s
Gene Stoltzfus, a retired CPT coordinator, explained why the groupâ€™s members go out of their way to renounce violence even to save their own lives. â€œWe are a non-violent group. We canâ€™t preach nonviolent action in protection of human beings and then ask it to be used on our behalfâ€¦that would be inconsistent, inappropriate and incoherent.â€
Alluding to the organizationâ€™s larger strategy, the retiree who volunteered as a civilian aid worker in
He explained that CPT members, working in the nonviolence tradition and philosophy, are prepared to accept whatever happens as a result of their actions, all of which â€œbecomes useful as a moral witness to point to the larger goal weâ€™re working for â€“ a fair and just society.â€
â€œWe would not have had the modern civil rights movement if people said, â€˜itâ€™s too dangerous to go across that bridge (the Edmund Pettis Bridge, in
The organization is not relying on the fates to rescue the four held in
True to CPTâ€™s principles, the catchphrase, â€œLove your Enemies; End the Occupation; Release the Peacemakers,â€ has been appearing on banners at prayer vigils around the world, such as those at over a dozen churches in Italy last Sunday where the following prayer was said: â€œWe pray for their kidnappers, that they may realize that violence will not help us build a better world. We pray for our four friends, that their faith may sustain them in these difficult times and that they may bear witness of the Christian love for one's enemies, as they have always done in their activity in support of the victims of war. We pray for all the Iraqis who have disappeared or are being held captive, that they may soon be reunited with their loved ones."
Yesterday, across Canada, CBC radio listeners heard an announcer play the haunting second movement from Henryk Goreckiâ€™s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, offering it â€œas a public prayerâ€ for the four hostages.
Two years ago on that holiday trip home, Jim Loney was not very successful explaining why he wanted to go to
Two days ago, Jimâ€™s family wrote the following, indicating his work is having an effect beyond
Mike Ferner spent time with CPT and Jim Loney on a two-month trip to