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John Dear: One Man's Journey To Create A Nonviolent World

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"You could make the case that over two-thirds of the human race is involved in nonviolent movements in the last 30 years. I think about that every day.  We just don't see it in the U.S. because we are in the belly of the beast. We are the empire.  

"But something has happened with the Occupy Movement. I'm very glad and grateful for that -- as long as they engage in nonviolence.   We have to remain nonviolent in all movements. That's what Dr. King called for: Accepted suffering, love in pursuit of truth becomes redemptive and transformative and can lead to breakthroughs that couldn't happen otherwise."

This "radical" message of peace and nonviolence is often met by hostility at many of the venues in which Dear speaks.   Say the word "peace" to people and it can make them "fighting mad."

"I think very, very, very few people are interested or committed to nonviolence," Dear said. "Everybody is for peace, I always joke, but deep down, there's always someone we want to get. Everybody's for killing Osama bin Laden or Khadafy or Saddam Hussein. When I talk, I usually face hostility. Even when I speak to peace groups, I face hostility because they want to know why I'm bringing up the religious/spiritual aspect of all of this."

So how does the life of nonviolence intersect with today's political world? "I don't have any particular solutions for what any individual should do," Dear said. "But you have to try to do something public and active through your nonviolence. Everyone has to wrestle with that question -- "What should I do?" I think everyone has to have one foot in the global movement for peace and justice. I think all issues are connected. I like to think that every one of us is Rosa Parks. I always quote Archbishop (Oscar) Romero (archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador assassinated in March 1980) who said literally minutes before he was shot: "Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.'"

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Joanne Boyer is founder and editor of Wisdom Voices Press and Her first book is "Wisdom of Progressive Voices." Joanne has worked in professional communications for more than 30 years. Her career includes being the first (more...)
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