Monday, February 2, 2015

ANGELS, SHEPHERDS, and MUSICIANS: Ring Them Bells for Nuclear Disarmament in 2015

Ring them bells!

The call for activism for nuclear disarmament in 2015 includes encouragement for the faith community to help lead the way.  Plans are being developed for an interfaith service during the April 26, 2015, convergence in New York City and a "global wave" in which people all over the world will join in saying goodbye to nuclear weapons.

In Palestine, Bethlehem Christmas Church will wave goodbye nukes with church bells.

In Cambridge, MA, Harvard's Lowell House will ring their bells to play "Morning Has Broken."

How will people of faith all over the country -- and around the world -- lift up the cause of nuclear disarmament in 2015?

Ring Them Bells

My sister, Elaine Scarry, has told me that she has long heard Bob Dylan's song, "Ring Them Bells," as a call to all of us to break the silence about the nuclear threat.

She recently shared with me this profound performance of "Ring Them Bells" by the breakout American singer, Sarah Jarosz:

Elaine has called my attention especially to these lines:

Oh the shepherd is asleep
Where the willows weep
And the mountains are filled with lost sheep

For my money, there could be no better challenge to faith communities than the beautiful voice of Sarah Jarosz calling on them to "Ring them bells so the world will know . . ."

(More about "Ring Them Bells" here:

(Fr. John Dear on the influence of the nuclear bombings on Dylan and his work: )

Bruegel, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (detail)

Gather the Sheep

It is startling that the lectionary for April 26 includes Psalm 23 and John 10:11-18:

The Lord is my shepherd . . .
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for you are with me . . . (Psalm 23)

I am the good shepherd . . . (John 10:11)

It is hard to imagine more appropriate texts for a day devoted to renewing our commitment to bringing about nuclear disarmament.

"Now is the time to counter the logic of fear . . . . "
(See full text of the message of Pope Francis to the
Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

Pope Francis Leads the Way

Members of the disarmament community gathering in Vienna in December, 2014, were heartened by a passionate call from Pope Francis to the world's powers to disarm:

"Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among people and states. The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more. They deserve a peaceful world order based on the unity of the human family, grounded on respect, cooperation, solidarity and compassion. Now is the time to counter the logic of fear with the ethic of responsibility, and so foster a climate of trust and sincere dialogue." (emphasis added)

(See full text of the message of Pope Francis to the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.)

What Else?

The music and readings above are just a few examples of how we can lift our voices and our faith for nuclear disarmament in 2015.

What resources can you bring to the effort?

Related posts

2015 "No Nukes" Mobilizations planned in the US already include New York City in April, Nevada in March, and New Mexico in August.

(See Key 2015 Events for Nuclear Disarmament Movement Organizers )

I believe that once the Church comes out of the closet -- that is, once we start speaking quite openly about the difference between the world as we find it and the world as we believe God wishes it to be -- there is no way this old world will be able to stay the same.

(See Let the Church Out of the Closet )

Sixty-seven years ago tonight, morning in Japan, a single B-29 dropped the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. This incredible blast destroyed most of the city and killed over 60,000 people almost immediately. Another 80,000 more died in subsequent months and years from the deadly radiation.

(See Our Dark Beacon: Prayer Vigil for Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 5, 2012)

I never quite understood how much of a Chicago story the Bomb and opposition to it really is. I can think of at least three reasons why people right here in Chicago -- today -- need to make themselves heard about nuclear disarmament . . .

(See Unfinished Business in Chicago (Nuclear disarmament, that is))

Is it possible that scripture is telling us that it's no longer acceptable to passively nod in agreement -- -- to murmur inwardly, "I'm with you in spirit" -- and then to go back to our other concerns?

(See Afghanistan: Where is the Church?)

I can't help wondering at the coincidence of the Dead's big July4th concert series, and the global Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference that will be taking place in New York City in April/May at the UN.

(See FARE THEE WELL: Deadheads for Nuclear Disarmament?)

It's up to those of us with networks in the U.S. to get the word out to people in this country about the what nukes do to people -- and the need for people to become active in the movement to eliminate nuclear weapons.

(See NEEDED: MESSENGERS - Americans Need to Hear the Awful Truth of Nuclear Devastation )