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Peace & Life Connections #273
August 14, 2015


Report on Campaign Nonviolence
 
        Consistent Life is an endorser of Campaign Nonviolence. Stay tuned for links when videos are available, and meanwhile, check out the second annual grassroots actions for the week of September 20-27.         
        On Friday night, Rev. James Lawson gave an excellent speech, but near the end said abortion was women’s choice, to applause. CL vice-president Rachel MacNair pointed out that all of the issues of violence being connected here had euphemisms in common, that over 16 million girls were missing world-wide – some due to infanticide, but mainly feticide – and that in our patriarchal culture, dismembering children on the idea this is beneficial to their mothers is cruel; some applause followed. Rev. Lawson responded with an excellent exposition on the need to eliminate sexism. Afterward, he shook Rachel’s hand and told her privately, “I agree with you 100% -- we need to eliminate the killing.”
        This is an unusual statement from someone who just used a “pro-choice” applause line, but it does show the importance of our being available to witness. Just one person can stop the illusion of an abortion-defending consensus in the peace movement. 
 
273 Campaign Nonviolence Conference 
Left: On the anniversaries of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, people literally sat in sackcloth and ashes at the site in Los Alamos where those first bombs were first produced, in a half-hour of silence.

Right: Rev. James Lawson
 
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Differing Perspectives Under the CL Umbrella: Undercover Videos
 
This is part of the “Differing Perspectives” series; for others, see that term in our subject index.
 
       We all agree lying about people in violent institutions is wrong – but what about lying to them to uncover truth? The recent Planned Parenthood scandal used videos showing a brutal reality. But to get them, people posed as something they weren’t.
 
Arguments for undercover investigations: This is what journalism does, and researchers do it with later debriefing. It has a long history in exposing injustice by various social movements. Crucial truth remains hidden without it. Full disclosure at the time of the release of the information is where honesty is important.
 
Arguments against: Justifying lying is arguing the end justifies the means – a kind of thinking which got us into killing-as-problem-solver in the first place. Nonviolent reaching of consciences becomes harder with people who know they’ve been lied to.  Honest whistleblowers should be encouraged for the task of showing the brutal reality.
 
 273 PP

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Latest CL Blog
 
        CL Board member John Whitehead has written a piece on the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. August 6 and 9 are important anniversaries to anti-nuclear activists; this year marks the 70th anniversary.  

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Quotation of the Week
Christopher O. Tollefsen
On the Dangers of Thanking God for the Atom Bomb
August 5, 2015

Editor’s note: the whole article goes into much more detail connecting all the issues
 
        [The atom bombing’s] proponents even now justify it primarily . . . not by denying the intention of killing the innocent, but by reference to casualties prevented, a consequentialist justification. . . . [thus passing over] the subsequent history of our nation, a history that includes further acts of indiscriminate killing during the Vietnam War, a standing resolution to destroy the Soviet Union if it were first to attack us with nuclear weapons, and the eventual adoption by the nation in its domestic affairs of death as a solution to be embraced for its consequences—before birth, as in abortion or human embryo destructive research—or at the end of life, in [Physician-Assisted Suicide] and euthanasia. These are, sadly, natural choices for a country swayed by consequentialist justifications; the way to those choices was paved by the literally catastrophic choice to destroy Japanese cities (as before them, German cities) for the sake of military gain.
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