Rev. John Dear

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Monday, March 23, 2009
The Clemency of Billy Neal Moore
Last week, New Mexicans celebrated a great victory for justice and mercy: Governor Bill Richardson signed into law a bill abolishing the death penalty. This historic event came after years of campaigning and lobbying by many people--politicians, church workers, activists around the state, even family members of murder victims. In the end, moral pressure from all sides backed by the sober analysis of the death penalty made the difference.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Loving Our Enemies, The People of Iran
I had hoped to join a recent peace delegation headed late February for the maligned nation of Iran, but was unable to make it. In the end, only six of the twenty delegates received visas. Among those who did go were my friends David Hartsough and Father Louie Vitale, OFM. They returned brimming with fondness, hope and heartening stories.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008
With Jon Sobrino at the SOA Protest
Thousands of us gathered this weekend for the annual funeral procession at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, there to call for the close of the notorious "School of Assassins," where the U.S. trains the Latin American death squads that, over the past few decades, have killed hundreds of thousands. We gather there each year around November 16 th -- it's the anniversary of the massacre of the Jesuits in El Salvador. This year, the sole Jesuit to have survived the attack, liberation theologian Jon Sobrino, was our guest of honor.
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Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Hiroshima, Ninevah, and Los Alamos
This week, to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, hundreds of us converged on Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the bomb, and did what some may think strange. Taking a page from the book of Jonah, we sat in sackcloth and ashes, like the people of Ninevah, and repented of the mortal sin of war and nuclear weapons. Along Trinity Drive we sat in silence, our hearts begging the God of peace for the gift of nuclear disarmament.
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Thursday, July 10, 2008
The Only Diet for a Peacemaker Is a Vegetarian Diet
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last week to speak at the National Convention of Unitarian Universalists, I met my old friend Bruce Friedrich. We spent eight memorable months together in a tiny jail cell, along with Philip Berrigan, for our 1993 Plowshares disarmament action. A former Catholic Worker, Bruce is now one of the leaders of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He gave a brilliant workshop on the importance of becoming a vegetarian, something I urge everyone to consider.
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Thursday, June 26, 2008
Abolish the Death Penalty Now!
"The death penalty will be abolished. It's just a matter of time now." So said Mike Farrell, star of M*A*S*H and a leading opponent of the death penalty, in a recent visit to Santa Fe. Such words a decade ago might have rung hollow. But now they strike a loud chord. New Jersey's abolishing the death penalty this past January fills the air with hope.
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Wednesday, April 02, 2008
The Last Words of Dr. King
It was six o'clock on April 5th,1968, a Friday morning. My mother came into my room, shook me awake and said, "John, Martin Luther King has been killed. You have to get up." I was eight years old. That weekend forty years ago, the networks broadcast his story and little else. And all of us, my parents and brothers, took in all the reports about his life and work and campaigns to abolish racism, poverty and war. Over and over they played his famous speeches; they discussed his vision of nonviolence.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008
My Statement Before the Judge
It's a powerful experience to stand before a judge and be sentenced to jail for saying No to war, injustice and nuclear weapons, something I highly recommend for all peacemakers. In these days of war, poverty, nuclear weapons, global warming, and violence of every description, I think it's a blessing to be in trouble with the empire for practicing nonviolence, for daring to offer a word of peace, for serving the God of peace.
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Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The Legacy of Franz Jagerstatter
Two weeks ago, on October 26, 2007, an astonishing event happened in the Catholic Church. Anti-war hero Franz Jagerstatter was beatified, (that is, officially recognized as "blessed" by God), in the Cathedral in Linz, Austria. This event, ignored by religious and mainstream media in the U.S., was for me, one of the most political and best events in the institutional Church in recent decades, and a real sign of hope.
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Thursday, May 17, 2007
The Trouble With Our State
This week, my trouble-making friends and I, after several postponements, were expecting to stand trial for our attempt in Santa Fe last September 26th to pay a visit to Senator Pete Domenici and urge him to sign the "Declaration of Peace," a pledge to help end the U.S. war on Iraq. To aid our case we boldly subpoenaed the good senator, who is up to his ears in problems for his role in the firing of prosecutors. His lawyers are wrangling to keep him out of the courtroom, so our trial has now be postponed again until June 14th in Albuquerque.
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