Subject: Building a Real Peace:
Marianne Williamson and Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 16:14:58 -0500
From: Global Renaissance Alliance <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This coming Saturday, January 17th, thousands will be marching for peace
in Washington D.C. and in other parts of the United States. Regardless of how you feel about the possibility of war with Iraq, we hope that you will join with us in
prayer this Saturday that we find a truly peaceful solution to the difficult issues we currently face in the world. May we all find real actions we can take in our personal lives and for the world to make peace a reality on Earth.
Below are two inspiring and thought provoking articles that look at what
real peacemaking means for the United States and the world. One is by Marianne Williamson and the other a look at the impending war with Iraq by U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Please feel free to share them with anyone you feel would be interested.
All of us at the GRA...
(Global Renaissance Alliance: www.renaissancealliance.org )
"Forging a Real Peace"
By Marianne Williamson
Just as there is a so-called art of waging war, so there is an art of waging peace. "True peace," said Dr. King, "is not merely the absence of some negative force - tension, confusion, or war; it is the presence of some positive force -
justice, good will and brotherhood."
We need to declare peace now, with as much serious effort and intention
as that with which a nation declares war. Fear-based thinking is essentially a war mentality, and who among us does not live with fear. Our efforts to be spiritually
healed, to find the love that sets us free, is our effort to become not only more peaceful ourselves but also instruments of peace in a war-torn world. Gandhi said, "We must be the change we want to see happen in the world."
Until a critical mass of Americans commits to the establishment of a nonviolent society, violence will continue to plague us... Ultimately, only a massive change of heart will change our societal direction in any serious way.
Love is more than a feeling; it is a choice, a commitment, a stand we take, or it is nothing. A stand for heart is the essence of the new, nonviolent revolution now brewing in America. We are looking within, where we are finding our true power. And we are committed to expressing our power in meaningful, effective ways.
It is time for us to repudiate America's culture of violence, not just by blaming others but by inventorying our own hearts. Some of us need to surrender our guns, some of us need to surrender our violent books and videos, and some
of us need to surrender the unforgiveness we harbor and have harbored in
our hearts for years.
Until we, the American people, fundamentally change, nothing is going to
be fundamentally different. Our children will continue to kill and be killed. Our use of antidepressant drugs will continue to soar. Our water and food will essentially
become poisoned. And our very freedom will become mere memory.
The American experiment, in that awful yet no longer impossible scenario, will have failed. Unless we choose otherwise, of course... and while there is still time.
THE fabric of American society can only be rewoven one stitch at a time:
one person forgiven, one child read to, one sick person prayed for, one elder given respect and made to feel needed, one prisoner rehabilitated, one mourner given comfort. These actions, when performed sincerely, emanate from spiritual
ground that is itself the healing of our problems, as our separation from that ground of being has itself been our primary wound. Like the mythical lost
continent of Atlantis, there is a ground now submerged beneath the subconscious waters, visible in ancient times perhaps but not visible now, set, to rise again, to reappear. Our initial tenderness, wonderment, and innocence have
been suppressed and marginalized by the world we have built - the world of modern "progress." It is only when we fall in love, marry, give birth, grieve openly, or prepare to die that we dare to show our real face, to shine the light that glows within us. Our failure to be more authentically human is threatening to destroy the world.
In a country where our political right to live creatively is so awesomely assured, there is yet within most of us the feeling that a beautiful instrument is in some way going unplayed. There is a saying in the Jewish prayer book, "Sad is he who
does not sing, and when he dies his music dies with him." Something goes unsung in most Americans today, though there is yet within each of us the urging of an internal conductor, exhorting and preparing us to sing.
While earthly resources are finite, spiritual ones are not. In all of us there is divine potential and the natural propensity to reach for it. In a nation of 266 million people, there is a stunning collection of unmined spiritual gold. As we each
mature into a deeper understanding of our lives and why we're living them, that understanding itself becomes the womb of a new America. As each of us awakens to the preciousness of our individual right to make a difference in 'this
world - and the cosmic momentum that will support us when we try – we become a powerful wave of resistance to the forces of fear. It is not just our capacity to say no to what we don't want that is our power to renew the world around us. It is our deeper power to say yes to our own creative abilities and yes to the light within others, which is the healing balm for the American soul. Each generation brings forth new life, physically and spiritually, or life will have to stop. Each
of us might ask ourselves now, "Am I ready to bring forth new life, for myself, for my nation, for my world?"
When enough of us start asking deeper questions, then answers will miraculously appear...The difficulty and heartbreak of these questions are forcing us to our knees.
And that is exactly where we need to be.
--Excerpted from 'Healing the Soul of America- Reclaiming our Voices as
(c) 1997, 2000 by Marianne Williamson- a Touchstone book. Excerpts from
pages 141-144 in An American Awakening
This excerpt may be freely distributed electronically as long as it
contains all the above information.
"Iraq and the Economy"
U.S. Representative Dennis J. Kucinich
Sunday, January 5, 2003
My fellow Americans, in this ceremony we recognize the power of the
people in a democracy to create self-government. For you have truly lifted me, as a lowly servant, up from your midst to serve our nation. You have entrusted in me the duties of national service. You have asked me to stand as a sentinel to safeguard our rights. You have expected me to tell the truth, even if that truth shall disturb established economic, political and social structures. I accept your trust with humility and with resolve. I shall proceed in my duties each day with courage, with unshakeable faith and with love of you, my dear constituents, love of our country, love of freedom and love of our brothers and sisters worldwide.
For the America I envision seeks world unity instead of unilateralism. It gains its power through being the first to help, not the first to strike. It extends itself to the peoples of the world to lift their burden. It is an America, which when asked for help, dispenses bread instead of bombs, medical assistance instead of missiles, and food instead of fissile materials.
There is a role for America in the world. It is in working with the community of nations to achieve the security of all nations. It is in restoring the promise of the Non Proliferation Treaty to lead the way to get rid of all nuclear weapons. It
is in helping to assure international order. It is through strengthening and abiding by international treaties. It is in assuring control and eventual elimination of biological and chemical weapons, and landmines. It is in protecting our global climate by cooperating with the rest of the world in reducing carbon emissions.
America can help protect the world. America can help save the world. But
America cannot control the world, nor should we want to do so.
Yet our Administration would project American power for the purpose of
domination. Their National Security doctrines call for America to strike anywhere it pleases and to be the first to use nuclear weapons.
Our nation is now poised to go to all-out war against Iraq. Iraq has not
committed any act of aggression against the United States. Iraq was not responsible for 911. No credible evidence exists linking Iraq to Al Queda's role in 911. Iraq was not responsible for the anthrax attack on our nation. The United
Nations has yet to establish that Iraq has usable weapons of mass destruction. There is no intelligence that Iraq has the ability to strike at the United States. According to the CIA, Iraq has no intention to attack America, but will defend
itself if attacked.
Why then, is our nation prepared to send three hundred thousand of our
young men and women into house to house combat in the streets of Baghdad and Basra? Why is our nation prepared to spend $200 billion or more of our
hard-earned tax dollars for the destruction of Iraq?
Why is our nation preparing to use the most powerful military machine in
history to wage an assault against the people of Iraq, to destroy their houses and buildings, to wipe out their water and electric systems and to block their access to food and medical supplies?
There is no answer which can separate itself from oil economics, profit
requirements of arms trade, or distorted notions of empire-building.
War with Iraq is wrong. But if war is prosecuted further in Iraq, we must be prepared to advance the cause of peace in this country. We must be prepared to stand up, to speak out, to organize, to march, to demand an end to the war, or to
demand an end to an administration which insists on war.
It is urgent we oppose this war. It will dominate our nation's
priorities. It will threaten Social Security. It will threaten
Medicare. It will block a prescription drug benefit for the elderly. It
will stop America from providing jobs for all, health
care for all, education for all.
There are some who believe that it is unpatriotic to challenge the
Administration on the war. They believe it is politically wiser to debate the economy. But how can one reasonably separate war from the budget, war from the economy, war from America's ability to meet the needs of the people of this nation?
The Administration's own top economic adviser said the war could cost up
to $200 billion. Our federal budget is already close to a $200 billion deficit due to huge tax cuts for the wealthy. Remember when we had a budget surplus?
Each time the administration talks about war, fear is created and when fear goes up, the market goes down. War will mean a sharp increase in oil prices, which will hurt jobs in manufacturing and transportation. One economic study with a
worst-case scenario puts the cost of an all-out war, plus long-term occupation of Iraq at $1.6 trillion.
You cannot separate war from the economy. You cannot separate war from
America's future, from its role in the world and its ability to meet the needs of our own people here at home. We need to ask the questions: Why does America have hundreds of billions to ruin the health and take the lives of innocent people in Iraq but no money to provide health care for all Americans?
Why would America spend hundreds of billions to retire Saddam Hussein,
but no money to protect the retirement security of its own people?
Why does America have money to blow up bridges over the Euphrates River
in Iraq, but no money to build up bridges over the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland?
The path America must take is one of peace which leads to prosperity. It
is one which understands that creating a structure of peace ensures that economic structures can be sound, affirmative of human needs and restorative of
This is the dream of a Department of Peace which can help America take the first step towards making nonviolence an organizing principle in our society - - making the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a reality - - and working to make war itself a thing of the past. It is this ethic of peace seeking and peace building which will cause us to take down weapons from the heavens and work to create a heaven on earth full of new possibilities.
Peace and prosperity shall be as two pillars in a newly rebuilt America which provides for the economic and social security of its own people as a cause of nationhood and for the economic and social progress of peoples of other lands
as a cause of brotherhood.
This confirmation of the purpose of nation was the dream of Franklin
Roosevelt and the New Deal, Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society, and John F. Kennedy and the New Frontier. This shall continue to be our dream in the days ahead, that no matter the darkness, we shall hold up the light of America's
higher purpose, which calls to us across the ages from Washington. Jefferson and Adams through Lincoln to the present day.
Our nation has always had a higher calling, despite the darkness of 911
and the official response to it. It is a calling to maintain the quest for democracy, for freedom and liberty at times of peril as well as in times of peace. We can sense that higher calling. That higher calling is our heritage. The words of
Francis Scott Key still echo:
"Oh say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o'er the land of the
free and the home of the brave?" In this he celebrated the link between freedom and bravery: That it takes courage to live in a democracy. It takes courage to stand up to terrorists and maintain basic liberties. It takes courage to lead the way toward global disarmament while some are bent on destruction. It takes patience to face dictators around the world and not be tempted to bomb them into submission. It takes wisdom to have great power and to make gentle its
presence in the world.
And it takes compassion to understand the plight of peoples world wide
who themselves are trying to survive, to live out their own humble lives despite having conditions which are challenging or governments which are oppressive.
My friends. This is still your government. You have a right to have a say in how its destiny is being charted. That right derives from our very Declaration of Independence, which claimed self-governance as a basic right. Government does not just happen in Washington, DC. It is the result of a process which
takes place in thousands of cities, villages and townships. It is also a process which also takes place in our hearts, which is brought to life by our love of country, and our love of each other. It is your love which enables me to carry those hopes and dreams forward. And I shall do so courageously in the days ahead. Thank you.
For more information, please contact Congressman Kucinich at
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"Just as there is a so-called art of waging war, so there is an art of
waging peace." -Marianne Williamson