For all those who take those words of Christ on making peace and loving enemies you may be interested in this story and the website it comes from. Right now in the centre of Australia there is a court case going on in which our government are trying to convict 4 people on an ancient law of loitering. They were trying to do an inspection of Pine Gap. Now 5 more people have been arrested and our old budy Ciaron O’Rielly is out there addressing the crowd. Things are hotting up for these followers of Jesus. I guess they see dropping U.S. bombs and weapons of mass destruction produced by Western nations just as much a form of terrorism as Arabs with their acts of terror…funny that!
HAVE A LISTEN TO 92.1 IN PERTH TONIGHT AT 7.30, THERE IS SOME STUFF ON THERE.
here is todays story –
FRIENDS OF PINE GAP 6 ARRESTED
As the sun set over the Alice Spring desert tonight, five people chose not to obey police direction to move off the road and have been arrested. This follows a blockade where about 40 people sat on the main road to Pine Gap spy base.
The arrests came at the end of an afternoon of protest activities by about 60 local and interstate activists. The action coincides with the first stage of the trial of four Christian peace activists who broke into Pine Gap last year and face seven years in prison.
The five strong activists are Tracey Makamae (43), teacher from Yeppoon in Central Queensland, Sam Lard (22) from New Zealand, Edward Cranwick (56) from Adelaide, Jamie Ford (28) from Alice Springs, and Carl Johnston (22) also from Alice Springs. were arrested and we believe have been charged with loitering.
The colourful and moving demonstration included a solemn ritual for the dead of Iraq which involved reading the names of those who have died as civilians, soldiers, contractors and journalists from various countries. The names were then placed on a large wooden cross.
A group of children waved streamers and offered security staff guaring the main gate local wildflowers. There were some security staff that broke their stoney silence to smile at the children, but none took the flowers.
The Citizens inspection team then ‘re-named’ the defence facility “Pine Gap Terror Base” with a banner hung over the main sign. The banner read: “Pine Gap Terror Base – in proud subservience to the USA Civilians Bombed while U wait – back into the Stone Age.” Sponsored by Ratheon.
The group then moved onto the road and asked to be allowed to inspect the base. They were met with silence. About 10 minutes later, the group were told that someone with the authority to give or deny permission to leave the base would be there soon. While the group waited on the road, the gathering was addressed by irish/Australian activist, Ciaron O’reilly who was recently acquitted of disabling a US military plan causing $2.5million damage.
There was also colorful street theater depicting the role of Raytheon, a military company that maintains Pine Gap. When the head of security finally arrived, he was asked whether he would allow the group entry, and to give his view of the base. He replied with ‘no’, and refused to comment further.
The group then threw streamers and wool accross the road, creating a web which blocked the road. About 40 people sat for over an hour before a direction to move was issued.
Tracey, one of the arrestees said “I’m sick of being lied to, the US and Australian Governments are lying to us and we’ve swallowed it and ignored the issue of Pine Gap for too long”
“I act to make the Australian and US government aware that I won’t be lied to anymore – I won’t roll over, I won’t ignore the hundreds of civilians, men, women and children who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. How can intelligent Australians plead ignorance any longer.
Carl Johnston (22) from Alice Springs says he is sick of not having a voice says “If Australia was being bombed would we want Iraqis to do the same, I think so”.
Edward (56yrs) is a former US Government employee who wants to preserve the America of Martin Luther King, Lincoln and Jefferson and not Bush insanity.
Sam Land (22) is a Catholic Worker from New Zealand. He said that “as a Christian and Catholic Worker my conscience will not longer let me stand aside and let Pine Gap continue to play a significant role in this war”.
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Post made by: Donna Mulhearn on 10.08.06 @ 02:50 AM AEST [link]
7 thoughts on “Blessed Are The Peacemakers”
I’m in awe of these courageous followers of Jesus. What a challenge this is. Being prepared to ‘Disturb The Peace’ in order to ‘Make Peace’ makes me ask myself, how am I Making Peace today???
Are they really followers of Jesus? I think that term has become a bit of a catch phrase, and often used with no real spiritual connectedness or context. I guess it begs the question “Which Jesus?”.
I also really struggle to see how this kind of action actually achieves anything at all. I am all for activism but I think we need to further explore what the “peace making” really is all about. We can get a good idea of “peace keeping” from the UN – I have seen, first hand, the way the UN keeps the peace in Rwanda – but I think peace making is something very different.
Sorry Scott, I haven’t read your paper yet – I will get to it and am looking forward to new perspective on this whole topic – it seems from your recent posts you are quite passionate about these issues.
I have a lot of respect for Donna and Christian Against All Terrorism and the Ploughshare but cannot bring myself to think that damaging equipment is the way to go and the Catholic Workwer view of the world.
While I think it highlights the issue and directly stops the use of military equipment i am not sure it is a peaceful act.
For me “turn the other cheek” comment is about accepting that violence does occur but one must a witness and tough it out.
If however someone is directly committing an act of violence then i think you have a moral duty to move between the agressor and the victim. Which is what failed to occur in Rwanda.
It comes down to are you willing to be an “innocent” victim and make peace by example.
And then you have great evil like Adolf Hitler and then the concept of the just war I think has to be thought about. Understanding that to raise a sword you are no longer innocent but by your action you hope to stop a greater evil.
I ponder still.
I think questioning “are they really followers of Jesus” is a bit too much like sitting in the seat of God so I will not comment. I take their word for it that they love Jesus, that they use his words as their guide for their life and actions. I don’t know them and even if I did, it would be a hard place for me to say “yes they do…or don’t”. I guess as the bible says you will know them by their actions…and their actions (I know many don’t agree with me…even my wife on this one) their actions look Christlike to me!
“For all those who take those words of Christ on making peace and loving enemies…”
I certainly do take these words seriously – but I think we also have to ask the question “who are the enemies?” I have a “Christian” friend who works at Pine Gap – is he being “loved” by the action being taken out there? Does it make him feel good about himself when he is confronted by placard wavers blaming him – personally – for a war in a country that he has never visited?
I think the point about “loving enemies” is made in a particular context and that context is that as Followers of Christ we really don’t have any human enemies – rather our real enemy is Satan (I knowit isn’t cool to say this in many Christian circles these days).
Secondly, I certainly wasn’t intending to sound like I was condemning anyone to hell when I asked the question about “which Jesus?”. This is actually a question Paul aludes to in 2 Corinthians 11 when he talks about “other gospels” and “other Jesus'”. I believe that we are in a place to “judge” this – would you accept a buddist who also claims to be a follower of Jesus as legit? Maybe you would?
Thirdly, turning the other cheek is great – this is what the UN forced the Rwandans to do and in the end 1 million died. Unfortunately blood does sometimes have to be spilt in order that there be peace – isn’t this central to the Gospel itself? Had Jesus not spilled His blood, well, you know the rest.
There is a big difference between peace keeping (where no blood is spilt) and peace making. As for the war in Iraq … I just dunno! I think it is easy to look at mistakes made in hindsight but the real issue revolves around the question “what do we do now?” The war has happened, we can’t change that. And I don’t have an answer to this, except perhaps to pray and wherever possible look for very real ways to help the people in Iraq – and I mean real ways, like going there and working with them and helping them to rebuild, not standing around outside a complex thousands of kms away with signs or damaging property etc. etc. etc. I think that this really answers “by their fruit you will know them!”
There was a huge debate on Senator Bartletts blog a while ago about the issue of Ciaron O’Reilly’s action in Ireland and about these actions in general.
You really have to look at the individuals in question and ask ‘is this consistent for them’ if they really do have a genuine committment to peace and have demonstrated this in the past then I think they are peacemakers.
One comment I would address to “the creature” is that peacemaking is not a passive thing – it is an active thing and this will invevitably result in confrontation. Confrontation should not be confused with violence.
We can’t all go to Iraq to make a statement, but a weapons company is a valid target for protests – even weapons company executives have acknowledged this.
I am no longer a Christian, but even when I was I could not ethically acept any work for a company that produced armaments as its primary source of income. I felt that to do so was immoral – that of course was my personal decision and I chose not to burden others with it but I did always ask my friends if they had thought about the moral implications to accept employment with companies such as Raytheon. I too know people who work/have worked at Pine Gap, I don’t value them any less as people but I have seen several regret their role later.
Yes there is a big difference between peacemaking and peace keeping. I often ponder this issue. I often come up with what Grendel (coffee king) said, that making peace is what we are asked to do, and it is way more active than just keeping it. It is seeking to take action that will result ultimately in peace. Some would bring violence against people in order to ultimately bring peace,so they think. I disagree with this as I think people are created in God’s image and none need be killed on the way to making peace. But breaking laws that condradict the way of the creator of the universe namely peace and the value of an individual life, well maybe I could work with that.
Just as a side note…we could bring up the fact that this is the very same God who values the lives he created who commanded the genocide and decimation of entire cities of people in the Old Testament!! Oh well, it’s not something that I am hanging my salvation on…understanding God that is, as long as he thinks he understands me…that’ll do donkey! (Shrek quote!)
Hey Grendel, thanks for your thoughts too, appreciate the way you write…works for my brain…not much does, it’s an odd one!! 🙂