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Office of Peace, Justice and the Integrity of Creation, Advisory Board

OPJCC Priority Issue: Peace and Nonviolence

In 1985, Pax Christi USA offered its members a Vow of Nonviolence. It was composed by Eileen Egan and Fr. John Dear. The Vow can be pronounced privately, with a local peace community, as part of a parish liturgy, or any other way that suits you. Many profess the Vow each year as part of their New Year observance. READ MORE.

Click on the image above for a list of prayers.

"Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good"
(Romans 12)

"Nonviolence is not primarily a tactic. It is a way of living and being and expressing the truth of your soul in the world." (Daniel Berrigan)

"There is so much focus on the distinction between nonviolence and violence, between nonviolent people and violent people. But in reality it’s not that easy to take sides like that. One can never be sure that one is completely on the side of nonviolence or that the other person is completely on the side of violence. Nonviolence is a direction, not a separating line. It has no boundaries." (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Gun violence in the U.S. is a complex problem. No single law, or set of laws, can prevent every act of gun violence in our country. The Second Amendment guarantees and individual the right to bear arms and most gun owners are responsible, law-abiding and use their guns safely. Together we can confront the culture of violence with love and work to promote a culture that values life, peace and the inherent dignity of all. READ MORE

Rice Bags Defeat Nuclear Weapons

In the 1950s, the interfaith peace organization Fellowship of Reconciliation launched an ambitious campaign to challenge the American people and government to look beyond politics and feed those who were hungry. They organized a “Feed Thine Enemy” program, in which tiny bags of rice were sent to President Dwight Eisenhower at the White House with the message concerning famine in China, “If thine enemy is hungry, feed [him].”

It flopped. No one in the White House acknowledged the existence of the campaign. Hostility grew between the United States and China.

However, a crisis arose over the possession of islands disputed by China and Taiwan. Twice the generals advising President Eisenhower recommended pre-emptive nuclear strikes against China, and each time Eisenhower turned to his aides and asked how many bags of rice had come in. Thousands, he was told.

In deference to the opinion of so many people, Eisenhower cited the bags of rice as the reason he ruled out nuclear weapons in this situation.

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Impact of the Afghanistan War on Women and Children

In 2011, women and children again increasingly bore the brunt of the armed conflict. The number of Afghan women and children killed in 2011 increased from 2010, particularly in the second half of the year. UNAMA documented the deaths of 166 women and 306 children, representing 30 percent of all civilian deaths between July and December 2011.

Compared with the same span in 2010, the number of women killed grew by 29 percent and the number of children killed by 51 percent in the last half of 2011. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) remained the leading cause of conflict related deaths of women and children. In the second half of 2011, 112 children (36 percent of all child deaths for the period) were killed by IEDs; up 45 percent from the last half of 2010. IEDs caused the deaths of 69 women (41 percent of all female deaths in the second half of 2011) up 30 percent compared with the last half of 2010. via: Afghanistan Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 2011

Women's Rights

As the U.S. and NATO military presence in Afghanistan draws to a close, we need to strengthen our diplomatic and civilian commitment to ensuring a peaceful and stable future forAfghanistan, and we need to continue to emphasize that the protection of the rights of women and girls must be a top priority in any negotiations. Working with the Afghan government and civil society, we need to end the pervasive problem of violence so women are free to learn,work and thrive. via: U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill