Disarming the Heart: Toward a Vow of Nonviolence by John Dear

By John Dear

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Example text

We still maintain a fleet of Trident submarines; each one can destroy whole continents of people. We still participate in the forty wars being fought on the planet. And we continue to prepare at the Pentagon and at Livermore Laboratories for a postnuclear arms racewhere laser beam weapons (used in movies like Star Wars or Star Trek) are being designed. The nuclear arms race and its research center, the Livermore Laboratories in California, are preparing for "one thousand years" of research and preparation for nuclear annihilation.

The result of this denial of God has been violence committed against the poor who suffer from hunger, disease, illiteracy, hopelessness, unemployment, and relievable misery. Our idolatry kills the spirit of peace and love within each of us, causes us to arm our hearts, to hate our suffering sisters and brothers, and to create systems of mass violence against the poor of the world. Charles McCarthy defines violence specifically as "responding to a person as an object for the purpose of self-gratification.

This scene is typical of our world. In El Salvador, the guns and daily bombing raids killed scores of people and left an entire nation paralyzed with fear and poverty. El Salvador's repressive government was sponsored by millions of dollars from the United States. Similar violence is aimed at the people of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and the Philippines. Elsewhere Page 33 as in Haiti, Somalia, and Indiaentire populations hang on the brink of starvation, disease, and misery because they lack money, food, jobs, health care, and education.

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