Thursday, April 06, 2006

Jonah House Nuns from Baltimore Return to missile Silo: Risk Arrest

CNN reports that
Three pacifist nuns who were jailed for an October 2002 protest at a missile silo returned to the site, vowing to continue their nonviolent resistance to the nuclear armaments.

While CNN reports that the women are from the Dominican Order in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jonah House confirms that these are the same Sr. Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platte who live with the Jonah House community in West Baltimore.

They are risking arrest by refusing to pay court ordered restitution and by skipping a supervised release visit with their parole officers that did not allow them to attend events in Colorado against the use, stockpiling and proliferation of nuclear weapons. No news on whether a bench warrant is or will be issued for the arrest of the nuns.

The Jonah House community has a history of anti-war and non-violent acts of resistance motivated by a deep belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Founding member Father Phillip Berrigan awakened a nation's conscience and went to jail as part of the Baltimore Four and Catonsville Nine, who destroyed Selective Service records at the Baltimore Custom House and the Catonsville Draft Board with blood and homemade napalm. This action was meant to prevent the killing of American youth and Vietnamese by preventing conscription of soldiers. This was the birth of the plowshares movement in whose name Platte and Gilbert destroyed the Colorado missile silos.

More recently Jonah House members conducted a rare protest in Cuba by illegally traveling to the island and marching to the Guantanamo naval base to protest the torture of prisoners there. The Sun article on that protest is available online.

The dedication of Jonah House members and other dedicated Christians to the actual teachings of Christ makes one wonder how a religion founded because of a pacifist dedicated to social justice who was tortured to death could be use to promote violence, war and torture. One wonders what Jesus would have to say to the leaders of the so-called "Christian Right" who promote the politics of corporate capitalism, militarism and racism.

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