I’m writing this from Konstanz, Germany.
One hundred years ago this month, at the outbreak of World War I, German Lutheran Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze and English Quaker Henry Hodgkin shook hands and pledged a fellowship of interfaith pacifism.
They urged their governments to withdraw from war, to disarm their militaries, and to work toward international reconciliation.
The black-and-white beans danced around the screen. The heartbeats thundered through the speakers. My wife and I could not believe our eyes. We knew exactly what they were: twins.
For nearly 25 years, thousands of human rights activists have gathered every November for a vigil at the main gate of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the US Army School of the Americas — SOA — located at Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia.
It’s hard to stay optimistic right now. With civilians under attack in Gaza, innocents being shot out of the sky in Ukraine, people threatened with water shut-offs in Detroit and being denied their basic humanity at U.S. borders — there is much reason to despair.
how long will
this people be wrathful,
this nation that feasts
on the tears of its own trauma
so that it might strike out
again and again
against enemies real and imagined?
this nation repeatedly plucked
from its vine until
it cleared and filled the land,
planting its weapons deep
lifting up higher and higher walls,
spreading dread like an iron dome,