Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Peace

Last week I received an e-mail from The Peace Alliance saying that a Charlottesville citizen had made a financial donation in my name to that worthy organization, to honor some of the things that I've tried to do in my life, and in my time on Council, to encourage nonviolence among peoples and toward creation (most recently by proudly adding my name to a U.S. Mayors resolution opposing another disastrous war in the Middle East, this time in Iran -- see here). Given the central role that nonviolence plays in my own faith tradition/philosophy of life, I was very touched by that gesture and I am grateful to the citizen who made it.

Those who are inclined to support violence and warfare as a means of solving problems or acting out their bitterness get agitated and dismissive when others speak instead of the power and preferential option of nonviolence. I have spent well over 2,000 hours working on local issues as a City Councilor and Mayor and about 2 or 3 of those hours on issues of war and peace. For those who believe that even 2 or 3 hours is too much, that local elected officials should remain silent on issues of war and peace, I understand your agitation and accept your dismissiveness but respectfully disagree with your position. I am not a U.S. Congressman or U.S. Senator or a member of the United Nations. My City Council campaign platform didn't mention a thing about bringing peace to the Middle East. I am, however, an elected official who understands that violence and warfare have direct consequences for our community -- for the Charlottesville residents who will be sent off to fight and die in these wars, for the Charlottesville families whose loved ones will be put in harm's way in these wars, for the Charlottesville drivers who will have to pay even higher gas bills due to increased instability in the Middle East, for the Charlottesville infrastructure projects that will be de-funded so we can pay for all of this military adventurism, for the Charlottesville citizens whose taxes will be increased to pay for this military adventurism, for the Charlottesville citizens yet to be born who will inherit the massive debt and increased threat of terrorism caused by this military adventurism....shall I go on?

Or shall I remain silent?

Is 2 or 3 hours out of 2,000 too much to give...

...or too little?

3 comments:

Cat said...

Very well said, Dave. Keep talking...

Heather said...

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are those who are merciful, for mercy shall be shown unto them.

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall behold their God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." ~Jesus

Dave, thanks for ways you hunger and thirst for righteousness, give the mercy, cultivate purity of heart, and stand up as a peacemaker to sustain the lives and well being of Charlottesville families with active duty Armed Services members.

Standing up as a peacemaker is a wonderful way to act conservatively with the treasure of Charlottesville citizens. I am alarmed that the average US family owes more than $400,000 due to tax cutting while waging war over the last seven years. OUCH! Standing up for peacemaking is pro-life and fiscally savvy.

Keep on peacemaking!

Steve Ashby said...

Hear! Hear! Let's beat our swords into trolly cars!