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Peace Memo

   Volume1, Number 2                                                                                                             February, 2008

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NONVIOLENCE: PIET�s Theme for 2008

It would appear that Peacebuilding Institute of East Tennessee�s (PIET) programming is crystallizing around the theme of nonviolence. This was the focus of our 10-hour Winter Workshop on February 1st and 2nd. Five sessions addressed nonviolence within, nonviolence in the family, nonviolence in the community, nonviolence in the world, and nonviolent communication (for more on nonviolent communication, see the report below.) Our next workshop, scheduled for March 11th and 13th, on is on healing, followed by a seminar, Saturday, March 15th, on �Nonviolent Atonement.�     The �Nonviolent Atonement� seminar has enormous implications for our understanding of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Though there are several theological theories concerning the meaning of Christ�s crucifixion, Christians have typically embraced the �satisfaction� theory. Anselm, a Catholic theologian of the Middle Ages (c.1033- 1109 C.E.) is the associated with this theory, which states that God the Father required the violent death of Jesus to satisfy his need to restore his (God�s) honor and justice. God, according to Anselm, had to be paid back for man�s sin; that is, the debt of sin had to be �satisfied.� As Jesus was the only one who could pay such a debt, God required his violent death on the cross in payment for the sins of all humanity.

This makes God the Father a violent God. But there is ample evidence in both the Old and New Testaments that God is just the opposite � a God of peace, love and forgiveness. Therefore, there must be some other way to explain Jesus� violent death on the cross. The �Nonviolent Atonement� seminar presents another theory. Nonviolent atonement theory is the subject of a growing debate among contemporary Christian theologians worldwide. It is a particularly relevant topic for those of us who want to believe that God is a God of peace, and that the practice of peacemaking is a reflection of the nature of God.

 Three American theologians, all of whom have written extensively on the theory, will facilitate the March 15th seminar. Michael Hardin, who was with us last October, is editor of and a contributor to Stricken by God?: Nonviolent Identification & the Victory of Christ, and is with the ministry, Preaching Peace, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Anthony Bartlett is author of Cross Purposes and Assistant Professor of Theology, Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary, Rochester, New York. Sharon Baker is author of By Grace? An Economy of Atonement and Assistant Professor of Theology at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

This workshop is imperative for all those who believe that theology and nonviolence matter. God�s apparent violence towards Jesus is a crucial matter for all Christians, regardless of their understanding of the Atonement. There is always more to learn of God and God�s ways towards the world.

                                                                                                Jim Foster

Peace Memo is published bi-monthly by the Institutes for Christian Spirituality (http://www.christianspirituality.org/). Available through online subscription.  All material �, however distribution � with attribution � is encouraged. Email questions and comments to peacememo@yahoo.com

Publisher: Jim Foster, Editor: Victoria Medaglia

   News and Notes from PIET

Reflection on the Public Hearing held February 26, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the �Draft Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement� of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

For all practical purposes, in spite of the impressive title, these hearings had to do with the projected renovation and expansion of the nuclear bomb-making capacity at the Y-12 complex of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The 400-seat auditorium in the ironically named New Hope Center at the gates of the Y-12 complex was filled to capacity for both the afternoon and evening sessions. Iindividuals who had registered to speak were given three minutes to say whatever they wanted to put into the record. Ninety-two people spoke at the afternoon session, and more at the later session.

The speakers appeared to be fairly evenly divided between those speaking for the proposed upgrade of Y-12 and those opposed to the production of bombs altogether. The disconnect between the two factions was readily apparent. Those who spoke for the upgrade of bomb-making capacity were generally concerned with the local economy, the possible loss of jobs if the upgrade does not happen, and the expressed concern to do their part in keeping America strong.  Those against the upgrade were typically more concerned with our proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the breaking of the non-proliferation treaty, the image we project to the world, and the perpetuation of violence and hostility.  These comments quoted in the Knoxville News-Sentinel are representative of the divide.

�It�s up to us to set an example for the abolition of nuclear weapons.� --Kim Bergier

�Let�s keep the highly enriched uranium mission right here where it was all invented.��Joe Lenhard

�I don�t need this kind of protection�I�m here to tell you�might doesn�t make right.��Yusif Barakat

�It�s a no-brainer.  Y-12 helped secure the peace, and it will help keep the peace.��Charlie Kuykendall

�I don�t want my grandchildren to live under the terror of that mushroom cloud.��William Hickey

This observer concludes that�

(1)   Violence begets violence, not peace.  The world is immeasurably less safe now than it was before we introduced nuclear bombs.

(2)   Even the threat of nuclear attack capability is a violent act, engendering a response in kind.

(3)   To justify putting the whole planet in jeopardy for the sake of one local economy is woefully short-sighted at best, if not criminal..

(4)   If image means anything � and I think it does � then we need to be about the business of restoring an image of America as a compassionate state, not a state that bullies others, disregards its treaties, and promotes its own brand of mass terrorism.

(5)   Violence is morally wrong, whether it is the violence of intimidation or the violence of destruction and it will inevitably lead to our own destruction. To escalate violence will only accelerate the cycle.

I submit that for all these reasons, and more, it is absolutely essential to our survival and the survival of the planet that production of nuclear bombs cease immediately and that dismantling of all our nuclear warheads begin. Please use the attached form to submit these and any other reasons you may have to the NNSA authorities at the address given or submit your comments through the project website which can be found at http://www.complextransformationspeis.com .  The deadline is April 10, 2008.

                                                Jim Foster


Winter Workshop Introduces New PIET Program

The PIET Winter Workshop, �Teaching Non-Violence� included a new element that surprised even its planners. In the last session of the workshop, �Non- Violent Communication,� Melanie McGhee, introduced us to the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg. Dr. Rosenberg, a psychologist, has developed �nonviolent communication (NVC), a language that allows people to interact in ways that value everyone�s needs equally. NVC has proven effective in widely varying contexts, from families, organizations, schools, and churches, to international diplomacy. The underlying concepts of the process are not new, having been espoused by Jesus, Gandhi, Bah�u�ll�h, and others, but NVC applies them in ways that are simple to understand and which produce impressive results. Two of Dr. Rosenberg�s books are reviewed in the upcoming issue of En Christo. (If you do not already receive this publication you may do so by contacting the editor of Peace Memo:  peacememo@yahoo.com

For PIET, whose work is peacebuilding, the message is clear. NVC is a process we not only have to practice in all our relationships � personal and public � but that we have to teach at every possible opportunity. To that end, at least two PIET staff members plan to obtain formal training in NVC in the next few months, leading to certification as NVC trainers. Once PIET has trainers, we can offer the training to as many groups as we can schedule, including school, professional, civic, and religious groups, in East Tennessee and beyond Groups wishing to schedule training in NVC are encouraged to contact Victoria Medaglia   or Jim Foster , peacememo@yahoo.com   We anticipate receiving the certification no later than the end of this year, and will begin scheduling workshops for 2009.

God�s Healing Strategies

Don�t miss the PIET workshop on God�s Healing Strategies, March 11th and 13th, from 6:00- 9:00 PM each evening. This interactive event will provide tools for shalom: peace for the whole person and his or her world.  It includes learning the skills and powers of being truly human and discovering our spiritual birthrights in imitation of Jesus.

Topics covered include:

  Silencing the Voices of Culture and Hearing the Voice of God

  Experiencing Oneness with God and the Creation

  Forgiving Ourselves and Others

  Healing as Imitators of Christ

Michael and Lorri Hardin of Preaching Peace will facilitate the workshop, which will be held at Church of the Good Shepherd, 5337 Jacksboro Pike, in Fountain City.

Please register with Jim Foster, (865)573-4089 or email him at peacememo@yahoo.com. There is no charge, but there will be opportunity to make voluntary contributions. 


Your editor gathers news from a variety of online sources. Naturally, one link leads to another, which leads to yet another, �  Here are two items that relate nicely to non-violent communication in a broad social context.

First, Rockridge Nation is a community project of the Rockridge Institute. Founder George Lakoff, a former student of Noam Chomsky, is best known for his work on metaphor in human thinking, behavior, and society. Members of Rockridge Nation discuss questions about framing in our cultural and political debates.

The second is an article by Sara Robinson, �When Change Is Not Enough: The Seven Steps To Revolution,� published on the Campaign for America�s Future website. I include it here because we who choose nonviolence need to understand processes that can lead normally  

peaceable people to become violent.  If

this article draws an accurate picture, we may have opportunities to enlist people in non-violent alternatives to the assumedly inevitable violent revolution.



Dear Jim,

The delighted toddler's voice squeaked through the telephone line. "How are you? How are you?" Houda chanted. "Come here!"

The last time I heard this little one speak, he was living in a refugee camp and could manage only a few baby-talk words in Arabic. Now, his mother says, "He is very clever, he learns English faster than any of us!" She wisely insists on Arabic in the home so that
Houda and his older siblings won't forget their heritage. But every day now they walk with wonder through Canadian snow to ESL classes.

Houda and I met when he was the youngest member (at 18 months old) of the eighteen-person group of Palestinian refugees who fled Baghdad in October 2005 . . . a group led by Thair Shafiq Ali, and accompanied by Tom Fox and other members of both Christian Peacemaker Teams and Muslim Peacemaker Teams.

You've followed their stories for more than two years now. This February, the last of the children and their parents arrived in Canada. Of the eighteen, all but the three single men made it through the refugee immigration process and have a chance at a new life.

They send thanks for your prayerful support. Adjustment to life in a new culture is difficult to say the least, so please do keep them in your thoughts. When you do, please remember also the more than 2,000 Palestinian refugees from Iraq who still languish in a tent city in the middle of the harsh desert on the border of Iraq and Syria. For two years now they have waited for a solution. Iraq gives them neither citizenship nor safety. What nation will step forward?

As you may know, Thair managed to leave Iraq last Fall. For the time being he is safe, though not secure. We are still working through delays in the fianc� visa process. That door is still open though, so be of good hope!

He is still painting, and even sent me six of the paintings he created while in the refugee camp. To be continued . . . .

For now, just rejoice in the laughter of baby Houda and the birth of new words, new hope.

Peace to you . . . .


Sheila Provencher facilitated our PIET Winter Workshop, here in Knoxville, a few years ago. She was a member of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq at the time Tom Fox was martyred. One of her-long term efforts has been to help Palestinian refugees from Iraq who are living in Syrian refugee. These people were denied citizenship in Iraq, so they cannot not obtain passports. They have been trapped as illegal aliens in Syria. Sheila has had some successes, but there are thousands more still eking out an existence in Syrian refugee camps.



A monthly collection of comments, quotes, facts and Tamarac Notes written and collated by Roberta Thurstin and Don Timmerman, published in collaboration with PEACEBUILDING INSTITUTE OF EAST TENNESSEE.

Military spending is out of control.  In 2008, US taxpayers will be expected to pay $696 billion for the military, including $189 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the Pentagon is asking for over $766.5 billion. The US military spends more money than all the militaries of all the other countries combined. It now spends $11 billion a day in Iraq and Afghanistan, at a time when the US debt has skyrocketed to more than $9 trillion, up from around $5.6 trillion when Bush took office in 2001.The Pentagon cannot account for over a trillion dollars it received in the past. The US not only spends money on its own military, it also spends billions of dollars supporting military dictatorships throughout the world.  It sold weapons to the Taliban, to Osama bin Laden, to Saddam Hussein, and is presently selling weapons to dictators in Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Congo. It is in the process of selling 900 precision-guided missiles to Saudi Arabia for $123 million. Remember that 15 of the 19 people responsible for the 9/11 tragedy were from Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates is buying a Patriot missile defense system worth $9.7 billion from the US. Kuwait is buying $1.6 billion worth of items to upgrades its Patriot missiles.   

Israel -- which is in violation of 70 UN Security Council resolutions and still occupying Palestinian land, demolishing Palestinian homes, and impoverishing the people more and more each day -- this year received $30 billion worth of weapons and military support from the US. Israel receives $11 million a day from US taxpayers. The total of US grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800. This military aid is not included in the US military section of the budget; it is included in the foreign aid section!

The only Americans who profit from invasions and occupations of other countries are military corporations, whose existence depends on these and on proliferation of weapons. They are happy.   

We still have not learned weapons and violence cannot bring. Peace can only be obtained through love, compassion, forgiveness, and the practice of justice shown to other countries. All spiritual leaders, including Jesus Christ, taught and lived this. Are we so arrogant we think that we know better than these holy people?

We celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day by doing just the opposite of what he taught and lived. He preached nonviolence at any cost. His work for civil rights arose out of his belief in nonviolence. He taught helping the poor, not increasing the wealth of the rich. He spoke of love in action by saving those lacking the basics of life, not by killing and maiming others labeled "enemies� by our government. He said, "A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."  - Don Timmerman


"Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his/her questions, to know his/her assessment of ourselves.  For from his/her view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition�.I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. When machines and computers, profit and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered."  -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 "Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.  Peace is dynamism.  Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty." - Oscar Romero

 "A terrorist is a freedom fighter in his own eyes; a freedom fighter is a terrorist in the eyes of his enemy." - Uri Anvery


 The annual number of child deaths has been halved, from roughly 20 million in 1960 to 9.7 million in 2006. However, on average, more than 27,000 children under the age of 5 die each day.  -UNICEF

The environmental damage caused to developing nations by the world's richest nations amounts to more than the entire third world debt of $1.8 billion. - The Guardian, 1-21-08

 Each year 8 million weapons are manufactured, enough weapons to arm 1 of every 10 people in the world, and enough ammunition to shoot every person in the world TWICE.  -Center for Defense Information

Since 1998, there have been 5.4 million people killed in the Congo (DRC).  Part of the poverty caused by these deaths is due to foreign companies exploiting the resources of the country. Mining companies Freeport McMoRan, BHP Billiton, and Anvil Mining have all recently launched multimillion-dollar projects in Congo. Israeli mining magnate Dan Gertler stands to gain $2 billion from a merger of Katanga Mining and Nikanor to create the world's largest cobalt and copper producer. Oil reserves also are exploited by Heritage Oil and other oil companies. - World Socialist Website, 1-22-08

In Ghana, only 5% of the $894 million generated by mining in 2003 was captured in Ghana. That's a mere $46 million in its $11 billion economy. Some 95% of the mining revenues go out of the country, and only 5% stays in the country, along with 100% of the problems of losing land, having water polluted with cyanide spills, and confrontations.  �United Nations

Denmark has the happiest people on earth despite having the highest taxes on earth.  Almost 70% of their income goes for taxes. This does not faze the people since most needed services are free to all, not just the rich. �Business Week, 1-17-08

In the past two years, Congress has been funding research on a proposed new family of nuclear warheads that would replace the existing arsenal.  � Our Future, 1-18-08 (See article above on the public hearing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. � ed.)

Like other workers, most undocumented and documented immigrant workers have both federal and state income taxes deducted from their paychecks. An undocumented worker picking tomatoes in Florida pays more income taxes proportionally than many corporate executives. Undocumented workers pay $7 billion a year into Social Security, but they are unable to collect any benefits from it. Immigrants pay sales tax as well and property taxes on property they either own or rent. Numerous studies show that the rate of violent and property crime among immigrants is lower than that of comparable sectors of the US population.  - People's Weekly World, 1-19-08

The present Administration made at least 935 false statements on hundreds of occasions, particularly that Iraq had unconventional weapons, links to Al Qaeda or both. Even after the invasion, when a consensus emerged that the prewar intelligence assessments were flawed, administration officials suggested that the weapons might still be found. - New York Times, 1-23-08

In Iraq, the US had made deals with thousands of former "insurgents" providing them with arms and cash to patrol neighborhoods. The US had hired some 65,000 to 80,000 "volunteers" in these patrols, and the number is expected to rise to 100,000. Most are being paid an average of $300 a month for this.  -New York Times, 12-22-07

Only 1/10th of the $1.7 billion in federal Hurricane Katrina relief in Mississippi has benefited the poor residents.

In 2005, the wealthiest 0.2% of the country's population had nearly as much income as all 150 million Americans who make up the lower economic half of the country. Some of the wealthiest Americans enrich themselves at government expense. They receive far more federal monies than do the poor.  -Free Lunch by David Cay Johnston

Since 2000, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops to people who do no farming. While smaller farms may get next to nothing, some of the largest farming corporations get hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in government subsidies. - Washington Post


NOTES FROM TAMARACK COTTAGE:  Last Saturday I went cross-country skiing. It was beautiful. There was a fluffy new fallen snow covering the ground. The deep green evergreen trees edged the ski trail. Once in a while a stand of white birch would brighten the trail. Such pristine beauty speaks to my soul. Prior to last Saturday the temperatures were so frigid I was unable to ski. Most early mornings the temperatures registered at -20 degrees, not ever going above 10 degrees. The Wisconsin DNR issued a warning for the whole state Saturday night. They asked people to restrict outdoor physical activity on Sunday because of high particulate matter. Sunday was a lovely day, but I did not ski. Then Monday the temperature reached 40 degrees. Today, Tuesday, the temperature started at 20 degrees and has been falling. As I write this note the wind and snow are blowing so hard I cannot see across the bay of Butternut Lake. There is weather advisory for our area. The temperature is predicted to drop to -25 with a wind chill between 40 to 50 degrees below zero. Such sudden extremes seem to have become commonplace. The extreme cold concerns me for the wildlife and for people. Last week an older woman showed her concern about her ability to pay for the fuel oil she needs. The price has tripled, and she is on a fixed income. Don and I share her concern as our propane gas has doubled in price. Rising costs of fuel have forced low and medium income people to conserve in many ways. This is good. I pray that in our need and fear we do not allow future degradation to occur to our environment, such as more coal-burning plants or nuclear power plants. May we all work towards environmentally sound ways to heat our homes. This blustery afternoon I plan to mimic the bears in our area.  I plan to hibernate in our small cabin as the temperature drops and the winds blow. A kettle of soup is simmering on the stove.  I am grateful. Peace, Roberta

 The Sparrow Sings
Don and Roberta
N15878 Tamarack Rd.
Park Falls WI 54552

(715)762-8239 don2roberta@yahoo.com




 As a citizen of the world...

I BELIEVE in the dignity of all humanity, that each person is a being of supreme worth.

I BELIEVE in the wholeness of the human race, undivided by economic, cultural, racial, sexual or national differences.

I BELIEVE in the stewardship of life and resources to the end that all may mutually benefit from the earth's bounty and that no person may have to go without food or shelter.

I BELIEVE in the primacy of human relationships as a person committed and responsible to other persons, regardless of their economic status, race, creed or nationality.

I BELIEVE in the global community, interdependent and mutually responsible for our physical and social environments.

I BELIEVE that we are One World and affirm that I am a citizen of this world. My allegiance to it and its people, my brothers and sisters, is primary over all other political entities.

I AM, therefore, committed to the promotion and care of the whole of humanity without partiality or prejudice and with such resources as I have at my command, both within and without.

I HEREWITH AFFIRM that I wish, as much as I possibly can, to base my actions on my beliefs and thus contribute to a world where justice and compassion rule and where greed and hatred are diminished.















Mar.  8

9:30-11:30 AM


Planning Committee meeting

Panera Bread

 N. Peters Rd.


Preparation for upcoming events

Mar. 11 & 13

Tues. & Wed



�God�s Healing Strategy,�   I & II,    a healing workshop

Church of the Good Shepherd, 5337 Jacksboro Pike, Knoxv.

2 three hour sessions

Mar. 15

9:00AM to 5:00PM


Seminar:  Non-Violent Atonement  (see attached flyer)

Church of the Good Shepherd, 5337 Jacksboro Pike, Knoxv.

Michael Hardin

Anthony Bartlett

Sharon Baker

Mar. 15-16

10:30 AM &

12-3 PM


5th anniversary anti-war rally

10:00-Noon, West Hills Park

Noon-3:00, West Town Mall


April 4

8:00 PM

Of related interest

John McCutcheon Concert

Historic Grove Theater,

Grove Center

Oak Ridge

Benefit for the OR Children�s Museum

April 12

Of related interest

Earth Day Celebration

Oak Ridge Civic Center

1401 OR Turnpike

Oak Ridge

Free family event

Details here

PCET table

April 12

9:30-11:30 AM


Planning Committee Meeting

Panera Bread

 N. Peters Rd.


Planning for Summer Institute

April 12

8:00 PM



Waging Peace


2931 Kingston Pike



April 19



EarthFest 2008

Pellissippee State Community College

Free Earth Day celebration

PCET table

May 2-3


ICS Board of Directors Annual Retreat


Spiritual Renewal

May 10

9:30-11:30 AM


Planning Committee Meeting

Panera Bread

 N. Peters Rd.


Planning for Summer Institute

May 23-26


Summer Peacebuilding Institute

Various venues

Building International Peace

June 7

1:00-3:00 PM


Planning meeting


2931 Kingston Pike


Mutual support and joint ventures


Written Comment Form on

Draft Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

Print this page and record comments.  Must be received on or before April 10, 2008

 This form may be mailed to:

Mr. Theodore Wyka
Complex Transformation SPEIS Document Manager
Office of Transformation, NA-10.1
U. S. Department of Energy/NNSA
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585

 Or it may be faxed to (703) 931-9222

Or it may be sent electronically to complextransformation@nnsa.doe.gov



Please register me for the following events:

_____ God�s Healing Strategies, March 11 and 13, 6:00 � 9:00 PM each day.

This is a free workshop (voluntary contributions gratefully accepted) led by Michael and Lorri Hardin of Preaching Peace.  It will be held at Church of the Good Shepherd, 5537 Jacksboro Pike, in Fountain City.  (See page 3 above for more details.)

_____ Nonviolent Atonement Seminar, Saturday, March 15, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

General tuition is $40.00; seniors and students $30.00, payable at the door.  Scholarships are available.  Coffee and Registration  begin at 8:00 AM.  The seminar speakers are Anthony Bartlett, Sharon Baker and Michael Hardin.  It will be held at Church of the Good Shepherd, 5537 Jacksboro Pike, in Fountain City.  (See page 1 above for more details.)


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