Category Archives: Campus Action

Interfaith Antiwar Movement: War in Vietnam

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 2017 documentary The Vietnam War is a brilliant antiwar film that humanizes the enemy and laments the brutal slaughter of roughly three million soldiers and civilians for absolutely nothing. It is also a ringing indictment of those American presidents who waged the war, consistently lied to the American public about how they were waging it, and sent tens of thousands of young American soldiers to fight knowing it could not be won. As such, it also offers an urgent warning about the nature of the wars we continue to wage.

Yet The Vietnam War has some blind spots…

Peaceful Solidarity, Commonweal Magazine, Jan. 24, 2018

 

Great Speech by Jim Caviezel

Jim Caviezel Inspiring Testimony | new | Chicago SLS18 surprise

Jim Caviezel on suffering, freedom, and faith: “Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom exists not to do what you like but in having the right to do what you ought. That is the freedom I wish for you: freedom from sin, freedom from your weaknesses, freedom from the slavery that sin makes out of all of us. That is the freedom that is worth dying for.”

“Paul, Apostle of Christ” opens in theaters worldwide on March 28, 2018. The sequel to “The Passion of the Christ” which will be called “The Resurrection” is in the works.

The Student Leadership Summit 2018 (SLS 18) is an annual conference that brings together thousands of college students from throughout the nation to teach and encourage students to live the Gospel message. SLS 2018 took place in Chicago, IL on January 2-6, 2018. It was presented by FOCUS, a Catholic outreach whose mission is to share the gospel with college students. FOCUS missionaries invite students into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and accompany them as they pursue lives of virtue and excellence.

Beat His Brains Out

The following was written for the 34th ANNUAL FORTY DAY FAST for the TRUTH OF GOSPEL NONVIOLENCE by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy on Sunday, August 7, 2016.

*****

FAST FOOD: THIRTY-NINTH HELPING (2016)

 

unnamed

Giovanni Bugatti

Pope’s Executioner, 1796-1865
Carried out 516 Execution
The last execution by a Pope was by Blessed Pope Pius IX on July 9,1870. However the Vatican had a law permitting capital punishment until 1969. The Catholic Church today still holds that capital punishment is consistent with the teaching of Jesus. It is against capital punishment today, except in rare cases, because it believes it is not needed today.

mary_gunman_new

The grotesque and blasphemous picture of the Blessed Mother above was published in the summer 2016 edition of the Notre Dame MagazineThe picture accompanies an article titled, For the Children I Would, by a woman working on a master’s degree in English at Notre Dame, while teaching at a Catholic school in South Bend, IN. The article is basically a first person narrative where the author asks herself and her class in an exercise in case book morality the question “what I would do if,” by presenting some short vignettes of scenarios of life threatening situations to herself and others and possible responses. She reaches this conclusion:
“I would kill the guy or die trying. I would grab for the most damaging weapon within my reach, the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, fair skinned, blue-sashed, hands clasped in prayer, eyes turned to God, flowers at her feet, and twenty-four inches of heavy, club-shaped plaster, and I would beat his brains out with a statue of the Mother of God.”
 
“Later, with my class gone to PE and the room quiet,” the author writes, “I looked at Mary so serenely poised there on her limestone pedestal. I imagined that Mary could have had that fighting thing within her. How could a mother not allow that protective beast within her to act? Maybe she did try to fight [to save her Son], and the scribes didn’t write it down for us to read these thousands of years since. Mary has been a spiritual help to me throughout my life. If run and hide won’t work, she will give me more strength in the fight.”
With all the bright people at Notre Dame and all the subjects that could be written about, this is what is published! Why?
 
This same issue of the Notre Dame Magazine also contained information on this year’s Commencement Speaker, recently retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and on two powerhouse Washington politicians who were given a medal for being “Outstanding Catholics.” Both, since 2003 have voted for every appropriations bill funding the human slaughter in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. One is even publicly pro-abortion.
Out of 65 million Catholics in the U.S this is the best that the richest and most well known Catholic University in the U.S. can do? Why?
 
Perhaps it is fortunate Bugatti is dead or he, upon retirement from his prestigious position, would have been given an “Outstanding Catholic” medal or invited to give the Commencement address. But maybe not, for he only participated in killing 516 human beings.
 
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Autumn War

This video was posted by Shelley Douglass on Facebook. She writes:

“This video is made of actions taken at Notre Dame University during the Viet Nam war – the Notre Dame resistance, which sponsored marches and a Resistance Mass at the foot of touchdown Jesus. Members of the resistance turned in their torn-up draft cards at the offertory procession. The celebrant was Archbishop Thomas Roberts of England, with Fr Dave Burrell CSC and others. The background music is the Missa Luba, which was a constant accompaniment to our lives those days. We were so full of hope! We’re a bit battered, but many of us (those who are still alive) keep up the struggle. (Tim McCarry, Presente)!”

I wasn’t alive back then but I am very interested in keeping these memories alive. So many Catholics my age (37) have no idea that any of this ever happened, that there was such as thing as resistance to war grounded in Catholic teaching. What happened? You won’t see much of this on Catholic campuses these days! Now the most “Catholic” campuses are probably the most pro-war. Seems to me this was a sort of golden age before the Catholic consciousness about issues of war and peace became completely warped by the American civic religion, before the question of war and peace was reduced to mere “politics” and “policy,” when these questions were wrestled with religiously and earnestly and philosophically and humanely, before the public debate about war and peace had to be filtered through a strict “neocon” or “theocon” lens. But my perception is probably off. Of course the mainstream public back then probably saw the war much the same as the mainstream public sees “The War” (“on terror”) now — “Communism” and “terrorism” can be used interchangeably and you can play all the same cards in the game of justification.

I really like this video because it shows the protesters as being calm, peaceful, faithful and loving. There is hope and strength. So often these days the protesters from that time are portrayed, in Hollywood films and “60s documentaries” —  as drugged out party people who just wanted to drop acid, get high and have a good time. These people are clearly acting out of something more than just teenage rebellion and a desire to subvert.

I’m wondering what Paul and Doug were up to back then. Would you guys have been in these protests if you had attended Notre Dame or would you have been in a different crowd?

The Pledge in Church?

The controversy at Seattle Pacific University.

If you want to say the pledge, why do you have to do it in church? That’s not a normal part of most Christian worship services. Why don’t you just stand up afterwards and invite people who want to participate in something patriotic to a small, private service out the by the flagpole, and those who wish to participate in that can then do so?

This is, in fact, what I had to do when I was a part of a peace group in church! We were not allowed to incorporate our prayers for peace into the liturgy, not even on January 1st, which is a feast day in the Catholic Church know as World Peace Day — not even then! Oh, no. People would get offended, you know! It was too controversial, all this talk about peace in the house of God, who is the Prince of Peace. We were relegated to an outside gathering after church at the peace pole, and those who wanted to join us, could. We were allowed to stand up after Mass and invite people to come join us in a rosary. Most people were more interested in brunch, of course. But our peace group, being peaceful, did not complain.

What is funny is that the people at SPU who objected to getting roped into participating in some kind of collective patriotic expression in a sacred space are being branded the whiny, too easily offended liberal sort; but isn’t it just as whiny to say that you are offended when other people wish not to participate in your honor ceremonies and theatrics that have nothing to do with worship of God, which is what a church is for? When people say, “No thanks” to this kind of thing, and object to it being foisted upon them, those people who want everyone to join in their patriotic ritual become apoplectic with righteous indignation!

As we’ve always said at CAM, Christian churches should be preserved as sacred spaces. We applaud the folks at SPU who had the courage to speak out and we hope this is a sign that after more than a decade of war, Christians are finally starting to get tired of this kind of thing and are going to start speaking out more and saying, “Enough already.”

Old Words

“Old words that used to mean something—ideals, meaning, character, self, soul—have come to seem mere floating signifiers, counters in a game played by commencement speakers and college catalogs. Vague and variable as their meanings may have been, there was a time when the big words of the humanities still carried weight. They sustained yearnings and aspirations; they sanctioned the notion that the four-year transition from adolescence to adulthood might be a time of exploration and experiment.

This idea has not disappeared entirely, but the last time it flourished en masse was forty years or so ago, in the atmosphere pervaded by the antiwar counterculture. Indeed one could argue that the counterculture of the 1960s and early ’70s involved far more than the contemporary caricature of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. It was in part a creation of young people who wanted to take college education seriously, to treat it as more than mere job training. Beneath the slogans and excess, the counterculture contained a probing critique of the instrumentalist mentality that managed the Vietnam War—the mad perversion of pragmatism embodied in the American major’s words: “it became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.” Writers like Albert Camus, Martin Buber, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer may have been more often cited than read by young people in the 1960s and ’70s, but those writers’ presence in countercultural discourse suggested the urgent question at its core: How can we live an ethical life amid the demands of illegitimate power?”

The Liberal Arts vs. Neoliberalism,” Commonweal, April 20, 2015