Sunday, May 08, 2005

Thank you B'tn, Mothers Day and newsbits

Yea Bloomington! Thank you mayor, city council, WFHB, CATS, the sponsors and everyone connected to bring Amy Goodman to Bloomington and those who came out to hear her words. Thank you Carrie Newcomer for your marvelous gift of music.

Click this link and go to Green Dove's Alternative Radio page where you can reach WFHB, Democracy Now, Short Wave Radio and many other alternative radio stations. Please, if you know of others, send me the web address for posting..

Below,are a few things that have just come in.

Peace to you all and thanks for every thing you do toward creating a world in peace!

Bless Us All

Arise, Women of This Day!

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe gave this “Mother’s Day Proclamation”:

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of fears! Say firmly, “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.... We women of one country will be too tender toward those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” The sword of murder is not the balance of justice! ....[L]et women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as the means whereby the great human family can live in peace....

Howe did not exhort moms to put their feet up, daughters and sons to buy greeting cards. She saw in motherhood the motivation, moral authority, and power to change the world, and called upon mothers to accept that responsibility.

As I approach my second Mother’s Day as a mother, Howe’s vision seems more accurate than ever. I find it impossible to look at my son and listen to the news at the same time. My love for this child forces me into repeated, if not perfectly constant, awareness of a hard truth: All children are this precious. Every life is this sacred.

When U.S. bombs threaten the children of Afghanistan and Iraq, the mothers of those children fear and grieve just as much as you or I would fear and grieve. No justice can be made from the causing of such pain. The sword of murder is not the balance of justice! The idea that we can make the world safe for our children by destroying the lives of others’ children is a terrible lie. We must hold up every word and action of our leaders to a Mother’s Standard: Does this honor the sacredness of every life? Does it make the world better for all children? If not, we are being lied to again, and evil is being done in our names.

How do we respond to Howe’s words today? I don’t think another convention is the solution. I propose that we mothers do “take counsel with each other”--not in great formal assemblies, but in homes and on sidewalks. Let us talk of peace not over stacks of resolutions, but over the heads of our children. Any vision that can’t stand up amid the chaos of family life doesn’t have a chance anyway.

Let us ask each other questions. What would peace be like? What is necessary for peace to grow? What might I do–-what might you and I do, together–-to edge the world closer to peace? Let us remember that “the world” is not just out there--it is in here: in our hearts, our families, our communities. Let us listen carefully to our own wisdom, to the wisdom of our friends and our children.

And I think this time we should invite the fathers along--fathers who, since Howe’s time, have learned to giggle with their children, rock them to sleep, love them helplessly. And grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, neighbors, friends. If you have been irrevocably changed by the love of a child, you belong in this conversation. We all deserve a world where we can listen to the news, most days, and look our children in the eyes without agony or shame.

This year, on May 11, let’s celebrate mothers and mothering. Moms, put your feet up. Honor the sacred labor of bringing children forth and bringing them up. And then, on June 2 (Howe’s proposed date), let’s observe Mothers’ Day for Peace-–or maybe just Peace Day. On that day, let us listen to the voice of love that cries out in anguish and anger at the world’s violence. Let us lift our heads from the daily rush of family life, and look around with honest eyes. Let us start to talk, listen, act.

Howe was right: motherhood, parenthood, carries a broader responsibility than the care of our own offspring. The love of children is a powerful force. When we who love children let that love change us, let it change how we live in the world, the world is also changed. Let us accept Howe’s call, and begin to create a world where all mothers’ children are treasured and safe.

Note: The full text of Howe’s Proclamation can be found at

Copyright Denise Breeden-Ost, 2002. (Note: This essay, in slightly different form, was first published as a guest column in the Bloomington Herald-Times in May 2002.)


The new Iraqi cabinet was seated this week amidst increasing insurgent attacks, though the Iraqi government has still not named several key ministry positions, including Defense and Oil. An insurgent attack yesterday killed dozens of civilians and police recruits in Irbil. Ansar al-Sunna, the same group which claimed to have conducted the December mess-hall suicide bombing in Mosul, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Following last week's on-air debate, Naomi Klein writes in In These Times this week that it's time for the anti-war movement to support pro-democracy forces in Iraq and to begin making concrete policy proposals that can change the environment in Iraq.

Listen to the debate:


Gandhian Nonviolence:

Personal Transformation, Political Revolution, Social Justice

Katral Rainey"

The 2005 Gandhian Conference on Nonviolence will be held on

Friday and Saturday, October 14-15 2005

Hosted by Christian Brothers University and Rhodes

Funding – Assisi Foundation

October 14 – 15, 2005 Memphis,

You can log onto ,

or call Katral Rainey at



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