by Fr. John Dear, S.J.
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
Edward Snowden’s revelation earlier this month to The Guardian that the U.S. government keeps phone records of nearly every American is shocking, disturbing and, alas, to be expected. We’ve become a culture of unbridled corporate greed, unchecked violence and global warfare that serves the 1 percent and hurts the world’s poor, hungry, sick and children, not to mention the earth itself, so it’s no wonder Big Brother is monitoring us all. Every day, we lose a little more democracy to the system, and unless we all stand up, speak out and take action, we will find ourselves in some new kind of “global totalitarianism.”
But like millions, I’m deeply moved by Snowden’s bravery. For me, he’s a hero in the Gandhian/Christian mode who risked his life for truth in an effort to wake up 300 million Americans about the reality of our national security state.
He reminds me that in the end, positive change for truth, justice and peace comes when people take nonviolent risks. Many people are making great sacrifices for humanity and creation, and it’s that selfless spirit that makes the difference.
An excellent new documentary, “Bidder 70,” tells the story of another young hero’s great risk on behalf of the environment. It’s a moving film with an inspiring message calling us to work on behalf of the environment and humanity. It also takes us through the step-by-step experience of the consequences of a serious civil disobedience action…