Peace & Peacemaking

Sin and Oppression (part 2)

Does the Jewish tradition include the concept of sin? If they did, wasn’t it was relating to following the law (order of the religious establishment) in order to please God? So, Jesus, who in my understanding did a lot of anti-oppression work, was a big sinner, right? Sunday in church, someone mentioned again that Jesus was perfect.

Jesus disobeyed most of the ways to be a man in society, as a Rabbi he called disciples in an unconventional ways, and he behaved in ways towards women, the unclean and marginalized, in ways that got him rebuked by the keepers of the law. When I follow Jesus, I am led to do anti-oppression work. I am lead to be with the marginalized of this society, and behave differently as a woman than society has dictated. This will cause me to sin against some of the institutional laws of the religious establishment, right? For example, it could cause me to go against what my parents have told me. It could go against general church regulations against homosexuality, women preaching and teachings about reproductive rights. (more…)

Christmas invitation from Oaxaca, Mexico

For the last three weeks I haven’t been blogging as much because I’ve been doing support work for a Christian Peacemaker Teams emergency accompaniment team in Oaxaca, Mexico. The team of two CPT reservists was invited to Oaxaca because of increasing repression by state and federal police of local people who have been protesting to remove their governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (more on why below). The state government has replied by killing more than 15 Oaxacans and 1 American and imprisoning hundreds of Oaxacans on fabricated charges.

This Christmas, we are inviting you, along with your families and churches to write Christmas and New Years cards of support to the families of those who have been imprisoned. Here’s the story of one of the families:

Bernadita Ortiz Bautista, a 40 year old Mixteca Indigenous woman, was arrested along with her son Alejandro (19) and two of her daughters, Rosalva (12) and Beatriz (14). Rosalva and Beatriz saw the police beat their mother. The Mexican authorities held the children for three days (separately from their mother) before releasing them. They are now at home helping to care for five younger brothers and sisters. Their father, Pablo Ortiz, says he is unable to work, because he needs to be home with the children now that the mother is away. Typical of homes in Campimiento, their one room house is only sixteen feet long and thirteen feet wide.

(more…)

Looking for youth to blog on peace and justice

I got this from Susan Mark Landis, Peace Advocate of Mennonite Church USA, today. Thought I would put it out there…

Friends,
Sometime early next year, my office will be sending postcards to
Mennonite youth in high school, encouraging them to
Choose life!

(If you go to a Mennonite congregation that has given addresses of youth
to the Mennonite Education Agency, your youth will receive the postcard.
If not, you may send names/addresses to LisaA at Mennoniteusa dot org and she
will do a special mailing. The postcard is intended for Mennonite youth,
but we’re glad to send it to high schoolers from other denominations.)

The postcard will refer youth to a NEW! webpage for youth, about peace.
We’re looking for several youth who are articulate, willing to have
their words looked over before posting (it IS a church website),
thinking about peacemaking and willing to write at least weekly. As I
understand, this is called a blog.

Please talk to youth you would recommend and have them send me a note
expressing their interest, telling me what they would write about, how
they feel about the idea. (do NOT click return, please):
SusanML at MennoniteUSA dot org

Peace,
Susan

some small thoughts

radical self love
a roommate once wanted to start a “masturbate for peace” campaign. he was shot down by everyone he talked to. i now wish i had backed him up. but this isn’t really a post about that…

“love your neighbor as you love yourself.” is that a command or a statement of fact?

make someone happy – buy yourself an iPod.
maybe this is a post about that after all…

world peace
i’ve discovered the key to world peace. (more…)

My Blood Doesn’t End in Me: Learning from West Point

I live with three wonderful women. All four of us are peace studies majors trying desperately to figure out what that means. Our last party was to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the UN resolution 1325, which highlights women in peacebuilding—a bit pretentious, I know, but I take any opportunity I can to have an evening of poetry, singing, sharing, and dancing–especially when it is in celebration of courageous, yet often ignored, women. Our door is open and guests have poured in and out since the beginning of the semester. This weekend we had a more unexpected group of guests. We hosted 6 West Point cadets—friends of friends who needed a place to crash. Life is full of beautiful surprises. We ushered the men in uniform into the guest bedroom—appropriately adorned with “make love, not war” painted brightly across an old sheet, Tibetan prayer flags, and Yoda. (more…)