Any cultural system dependent upon violence for its sustenance will inevitably result in violence. So long as the ‘keepers of the peace’ rely upon a pistol on the hip, it is only a matter of time until that pistol will come into play, and the peace will be broken.
If we are ever to conquer the deep-rooted violence in American life, we must replace systems reliant upon fear and force with systems based upon love and restorative practices.
Only when we honestly face our roots in an international slave trade and a
relentless appropriation of native lands will we be in a position to change from being a country dependent upon having the world’s largest military and the world’s largest jail and prison system.
A truly free America recognizes the innate worth and value of all persons. A truly equal America recognizes and repairs the historical trauma and continuing legacy of racism. A truly just America requires us all to take responsibility for the effects of our personal power and privileges, and every act that humiliates, belittles and diminishes others. A truly peaceable America, at home and abroad, will be created by our capacity for care–not by our capability for carnage.
Let the symbol of our power be the knee bent in compassionate and effective service. Let the symbol of our power be vaccines and ventilators readily shared with the world. Let the symbol of our power be thoughtful conversations with each other and with our elected representatives about the ways that best make for health, safety and peace among us. Let the symbol of our power to be not just an occasional vote but the daily use of our freedom to love our neighbor, to be in just relationship with one another, and to walk humbly in our search for integrity and truth.
Adopted July 15, 2020