The highly-respected anthropologist Ashley Montague (1905-1999) said simply: “A civilized society is a considerate society.” Why not cloak consideration with a fleece-lined jacket of compassion? For Gandhi “God is Truth.” Are we asking too much in seeking honesty, consideration and compassion in life?
Enslavement of human beings is the absolute antithesis of all virtuous qualities mentioned above. The first black slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia August 20, 1619. There is no such thing as a “civil” war. Historians estimate over 600,000 died in the US War Between the States over continuation of slavery. Abolitionists were beaten, imprisoned and scorned for their campaign to cast aside slavery. Elijah P. Lovejoy was beaten by pro-slavery mobs in Alton, IL on one occasion. Next, his printing press was thrown into the Mississippi. On the third encounter Lovejoy was murdered – Spared from jail.
Is there enslavement to violence in our nation that has invaded seventy other countries since 1776? WWI and WWII were “fought to end all wars.” Since WWII ended in 1945, our elected officials in Washington have invaded fifty nations. We presently have military outposts in over 100 countries. Spending trillions on maintaining our role as the most powerful (dangerous) country in the world has left us with a debt of $17 trillion, never to be paid off.
Harvard researchers were troubled by the number of public mass shootings in our nation. Lafayette, LA was among the sorrowful litany as one man opened fire on those viewing movies at the Grand Theatre on July 23, 2015. The scholars concluded “From 1982 until 2011, the US experienced a deadly mass shooting about every 200 days. In the following three-year period, the average escalated to every 64 days.” (Soli Salgado, in the NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER, August 14-27, 2015)
Fr. Richard McSorley observed “Our consent to use nuclear weapons is the tap-root of violence in society. Until we renounce that threat, every other moral issue pales in comparison.” Biblical scholar John MacKenzie held a similar ethical conviction on use of city/country destroying weapons.
Admiral Noel Gaylor with 45 years in the US Navy was one of the leading opponents of nuclear weapons. As a retired military officer the Department of Defense could not persecute or prosecute Gaylor for his seemingly insurrectionary call for abolition of nuclear weapons. Samuel Hamilton Day, Jr. was a journalist who wrote continually against the immorality of nuclear weapons. As a civilian engaged in non-violent peace actions near missile sites surrounding Kansas City, MO, day spent time in county jails.
The US administration hypocritically intends to spend $1 trillion in “modernization” of our nuclear arsenal. Ninety percent of nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons are located in Russia and the US. Five members of the UN General Council (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US) all have nuclear weapons in defiance of UN Resolution 1653 condemning a nation that uses such widgets of mass destruction.
Biologist Jacob Brnowski wrote, “Nothing happened in 1945 (Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings) except that we changed the scale of our indifference.” (Atomic Coverup by Greg Mitchell, p.35) Nuclear abolitionists are not indifferent. Visit them in jail to discover their compassion. A prominent Louisiana newspaper in August applauded the 1945 bombings in Japan. Indifferent or uncivilized?