Sister Joan Speech        
    Page 3


    The Sufi, for instance, reminds us of the relationship between the political
    and the spiritual.  Once upon a time, the Sufi master tells us, water raged
    over the banks of a river, up to the level of the branches of the trees, and at
    the frailest end of the lowest branch, a scorpion clung quivering to the one
    leaf that remained above the rising water.  A Sufi, seeing the situation, knelt
    down in the dust, stretched himself out on a slender branch and extended his
    hand towards the scorpion as a bridge.  Each time he reached for the leaf,
    however, the scorpion bristled and sprang to sting.  Sufi, a passerby shouted,
    are you crazy?  Don’t you know that every time you touch that scorpion you will
    be stung?  And the Sufi shouted back, Ah, perhaps dear friend, but just
    because it is the scorpion’s nature to sting, should I lose my nature to save?  It would have been a very
    political thing for the Sufi to crush the scorpion, so he never has to fear being stung by that scorpion
    again.  But it was spiritual for the Sufi to take the risk of saving the scorpion for both their sakes.  

    Clearly, we are in that situation now.  Everywhere we turn, we come across borders, as nations, to talk of
    peace loaded down with the stings of the past.  We come heavy with the fear of the future.  We come
    more interested, too often, in justice for the wrongs of yesterday, than thirsting to peace for the children
    of tomorrow.  But if we truly seek peace, we cannot get locked in to the past, not even today.  We must
    give our hearts to constructing the future.  To speak of peace, we can not be shrunken in spirit by the
    miseries of our ancestors.  We must be enlarged in spirit because we have learned too much from their
    suffering to continue the old entanglements that destroyed them.  Indeed, we learned from the Sufi that
    new life depends on our being our best selves, our most feminine selves, ourselves most open to the
    other.  

    The second question we must deal with if we are to hear the voices of women in a war torn world is
    whether or not the spiritual can ever be real if it ignores the political.  In the second story, the Talmud
    shows us the relationship between spirituality and politics.  The Talmud tells
    us why we’re here, and what it requires of all of us, both politically and
    spiritually.  The Talmud teaches that the miracle of the Red Sea was not that
    the waters parted, the miracle of the Red Sea is that when the waters parted,
    the first Jew walked through!  One Jew, on solitary Jew had the faith to be led
    beyond the political pressures of the moment to begin the new beginning.  
    When we see a path through the water bed beginning to clear before us, we
    must run, one at a time, to link arms with those on the land on the other side
    who are also braving the waves in the hopes that together, we can meet half
    way and all of us come safely through together.  But, we must remember, we
    must remember, that it is the one who goes through the waters first, who
    gives the rest of us courage.  It’s the one who braves the water bed first, who
    gives the rest of us hope.  It’s the one who believes in miracles who becomes
    a miracle to the rest of us.  To be holy, we must, each, whatever deluge we
    have in our own lives or together face before,
    whatever tidal wave of distrust we may be drowning in right now, we must be
    the first to take that step into the sea.  

    We cannot allow fear or hate, vengeance or victimage to make that first step
    impossible.  We must, with Jesus say, when full of fear and facing the
    frightening others, Peter, put away your sword, and on a cross, forgive them.  
    Finally, we must refuse to ignore the question, what do women have to do
    with war.  And we must cry out the answer to the ends of the globe, women
    have everything to do with war!  Everything!  Everything!  Everything!  Women,
    as a class, excluded from the war making systems, on every major
    determining level, go to war in the worst possible way.  They go unprepared, unarmed, and unasked
    whether they want to be defended or not.  Women are the booty of war.  Their bodies have become an
    instrument off war.  Their children have become the fodder of war.  Their homes have become the rubble
    of war.  Their daily struggles to live have become one of the horrors of war.  
    Their futures have been left shattered in the shambles of war.  They die, too,
    from bombs and bullets.  They die in large cities and small villages today for
    lack of food, then they die left behind from lack of water or they die years after
    that from drinking water destroyed by war and left filthy with human feces.  
    They die in tent cities without medicines, without clothing, without sons and
    husbands and hope and they die seeing their daughters do the same.  So
    much for the commitment of men, to the protection of women!  

    So munch for the notion that men spare women the suffering of war!  Oh yes,
    when all the warriors have finally left the battlefield, it is the women who are
    left abandoned there either to die alone in the ashes of war and the cemeteries of anguish.  If truth were
    ever told, war falls hardest, longest, and cruelest on the backs of women.  Indeed, women must have a
    role, not only in the reconstruction of societies already ravaged by war, but more than that, they must take
    a voice until they are given a voice in the development of peaceful alternatives to war, as well!  But, is it
    possible?  Can it be done?  Will our spiritual traditions support such a thing?  The fact is that in another
    of our commons stories we have a model of why we’re here this week, why we’re talking about this
    subject this week.  We have to remember, in a special way, today, the story of Moses’ mother and
    Pharaohs’ daughter.  

    The baby Moses, you remember, doomed to die simply because his presence was a threat to the
    control of the Pharionic powers of the time, was taken by his mother to where the daughter of the king
    would see the baby and take pity on it.  There and then, then and there, two women together connived
    the baby’s survival.  Two women together, one Jewish, one Arab, one Arab, one Jew, subverted the male
    system in which they lived to save the impoverished, the outcast, the other, and because of them a
    whole people were saved.  Moses’ mother sent her child into the house of the enemy because she
    knew what the men did not know, no mother is an enemy to a child!  And Pharaohs’ daughter took into
    her own life the mother and the sister of the very ones that her father said must die.  Pharaohs’ daughter
    defied her father, the king, made a mockery of his laws.  Moses’ mother put her hopes, not in military
    revolution, but in the open heartedness of women and peaceful co-existence.  The presence of the
    women in the Moses story, its empowering cooperation of Moses’ mother and Pharaohs’ daughter was
    an antidote to extremism then, was the beginning of community then, was the seed of another newer
    nurturing world that was needed then, and its even more needed now!  

    The lives of our children, the protection of millions, the hopes of all humankind, wait again now for
    women, from opposite cultures, opposite tradition, to step over the line of political hatred to save them.  
    We cannot afford many more male military mistakes!  The UN is very clear about the needs of women
    being ignored here and the need for women in the political arena and the peacemaking process.  Kofi
    Annan puts it this way, the future of the world depends on women!

    So, goaded by the now unconceivable, God awful conditions of women everywhere, thanks to the
    women’s movement everywhere, the United Nations has taken leadership to provoke governments of
    the world to civilize their attitudes toward women.  As Margaret Meade put it once, we can judge the level
    of civilization in a culture only by the way it treats its women.  With those realities in mind, the UN is
    calling, first, for an international truth and re-conciliation commission on violence against women in
    armed conflict.  If you want to be a woman peacemaker, you must pursue that passionately!  Two.  The
    want sanctions against the trafficking of women and girls in order to criminalize it everywhere.  We must
    demand that passionately!  They want protection officers deployed at the highest levels to shield, secure
    and sustain displaced populations, all of them largely women.  You must insist on that passionately!  
    They want HIV aides programs in conflict situations to address the disease burden, now being carried
    almost entirely by women whose very bodies have been made a weapon of war.  We must demand that
    passionately!  They want gender training programs to guide government officials in dealing with women
    victims and we must press for that passionately!  They want gender based conflict resolution processes
    that seek peace through understanding rather than force and we must seek this passionately!  They
    want gender equality, not tokenism in all the peace processes, so that the agenda of both men and
    women, women and men, will be integrated into peace building programs.  We must prod and prod and
    prod them to this passionately!  And finally, they want Resolution 1325 implemented in every country of
    the world.  Consider yourself blessed if you’ve ever heard of it.  

    In October, 2000, the first UN Security Council resolution on women and peace and security, Resolution
    1325 passed unanimously!  It’s a watershed resolution.  It makes women and gender perspective an
    essential of all peace agreements, all refugee camp plans, all peace keeping operations and
    reconstruction plans in war torn societies.  Have we, has this government installed that in the so-called
    new government in Iraq?  Resolution 1325 finally gives political legitimacy to the long history of women’s
    peace activities, like Peace Links, the International Solidarity Movement of Women, the Global Peace
    Initiative of Women, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and countless, countless,
    countless, others, all of which have been ignored for years.  It’s time for women indeed.  Indeed it’s time
    for women.  

    You and I must take responsibility for making real the religions this country says it believes in.  It’s time
    for women to be an organized international voice for peace, a religious critique of national policies that
    threaten the life of the world, a sign of peace on the local level everywhere!  It’s time for women to reach
    across the borders that men will not breach, to take the hands of the other, not to bind them, but to bond
    them.  It’s time for women’s analysis of world situations and women’s solutions to conflict to be heard.  
    The Global Peace Initiative of women is asking therefore, that people, that women like this, women like
    you, prod, press, provoke, so that in the name of Brahman, the Buddha, Yahweh, Jesus, and the
    prophet, that the UN’s institutionalize, what they alone have had the courage to create, a public rostrum
    and a universal call to the women spiritual and religious leaders of this world, to monitor, create, and
    publicly critique new initiatives for peace, under the status and aegis, politicians and even religion itself
    has not given us up to this time.  

    The philosopher Camus wrote, the saints of our time are those who refuse to be either its executioners
    or its victims.  It’s time for women to refuse to be either victims or executioners!  Not only to make safe
    the world, but to make real the religions the religions teach.  So that before death can come, as God
    wants, life will come for us all.  The question for us all then, today, isn’t why is it happening and what
    does that have to do.  The question is that the answer is you.  The answer is crucial now.  When we
    need to develop the kind of religion that finally makes us love one another, when we need to foil the
    dictators who are using religion as a prop to keep themselves in power, when we clearly need to
    release women, the boldest and most unmanageable of all revolutionaries, then perhaps we too, this
    country too, this government too, the Samurai of this time too, will finally come to see things differently,
    do things differently, deal with things differently, then we too will come to know the real difference
    between heaven and hell.  



    Transcribed from video by Andre Sheldon – subject to error from punctuation,
    run-on-sentence, or incomplete sentences. (reflects speaking style)

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PEACE and LOVE

How beautiful the world is when we live and work together in peace.
Global Strategy of Nonviolence
Mother Theresa said, “Peace begins with a smile.”
Welcome! A Global Strategy of Nonviolence
FOR the CHILDREN A World-Wide Unity Campaign
A Strategy to Bring Peace For the Children and Stop  War
(GS of NV)
GUIDELINES

In 3 years, we the
people, can change the
world
.

PLAN ALL 3 PHASES

PHASE ONE:

Mobilize, in every village,
town, and city,in every
country!

Select Demands
and Deadlines

One year awareness
campaign

Starting Event

June 21, 2018
+23 scheduled events


PEOPLE POWER

The People must be
HEARD, the Moderate
Voice

We want the children to
see an overt exhibit of
nonviolence.
PHASE TWO:

Conflict Resolution
and Disarmament

PHASE THREE:

Programs For the
Children
Origination