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Peace & Life Connections Index

#454 Muslims, Quakers, Explaining Belligerency

More on Muslim Nonviolence Reader responds to last week’s issue: Barry L. Gan I saw the weekly newsletter on Muslim nonviolence and want to mention to you another resource on Muslim nonviolence, an anthology I’ve co-edited with Robert L. Holmes, Nonviolence in Theory and Practice. It has one chapter on Islam and Nonviolence, another chapter on Badshah Khan and the Khudai Khidmatgar, and a third chapter on the Druze (a religious offshoot of Islam) of the Golan Heights and their nonviolent resistance.

Barry Gan & his co-edited book

Being Among Friends The Quakers had a conference last weekend (March 22-24) for Friends from all over North and South America. Our member group, Friends Witness for a Prolife Peace Testimony, had a table there. They also held an interest group called “The Consistent Life Ethic and Pro-life Feminism,” which attracted five people. It was a good discussion, and definitely not preaching to the choir. Though Quakers can be expected to be with us on war, death penalty, racism and poverty, many Quakers still suffer from the common stereotypes of pro-lifers, and lack of sufficient exposure to what we really think. A couple of pages on the prolife Quaker group’s website: Is Abortion Against Peace Principles? Listen to Those Who Do Them. Pacifism 101 for Non-Quaker Prolifers

Latest CLN Blog Post: Explaining Belligerency We see it on all issues of socially-approved violence: people use some astonishing mental gymnastics to justify it. Rather than making a reasoned argument to make their case, they can get intensely hostile. And while those of us advocating nonviolence can also be quite vehement – that goes with feeling passionate about something – this antagonism on behalf of violence can go beyond mere vigor. It can lead to actions that are actually counterproductive for maintaining the violent institution, actions that go against prudent calculation. Why? The psychological answer has to do with our main concern: consistency. According to the theory of cognitive dissonance, this kind of insistence that others must not merely acquiesce in the violence but actively support it fits what we know about the human mind. Rachel MacNair expounds on this for slavery, war, and weaponized medicine in Explaining Belligerency.

Quotation of the Week Ron McAndrew Testimony for Senate Bill 236, Montana House of Representatives, March 25, 2009 Those of us who have lived through an execution know just what the death penalty does to those who must perform it. In my tenure as warden, I helped perform three electrocutions in Florida and oversaw five lethal injections in Texas. In both places, I saw staff traumatized by the duties they were asked to perform. Officers who had never even met the condemned fought tears, cowering in corners so as not to be seen. Some of my colleagues turned to drugs and to alcohol to numb the pain of knowing that a man had died by their hands. I myself was haunted by the men I was asked to execute in the name of the state of Florida. I would wake up in the middle of the night to find them lurking at the foot of my bed.

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