>> In March 2023, we have joined with more than 60 other faith based groups to send a message to Congress to urge dramatic cuts to military spending in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget — both to facilitate reinvestment in the wellbeing of our communities, and to curtail the harms of our militarized foreign policy. Use this link to read the letter.
In 2022, Pax Christi USA reimagined a campaign that we launched back in 1999, Bread Not Stones, aimed at redirecting the obscene amount of money the U.S. invests in military spending to the challenges presented by the pandemic, the climate crisis, racial oppression, and economic injustice. Find the initial statement launching this campaign here.
Despite the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, the U.S. has continued to operate out of the mentality that peace is assured through military might, the manufacturing of weapons, and investment in preparation for war. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary as a movement this year, we are drawing on the lessons of the past to address the issues of the present in order to create a better future. We draw inspiration from the original Bread Not Stones campaign of 1999-2000 in launching this new iteration.
To help us challenge our nation’s budget priorities, Bread Not Stones was re-launched in September 2022, in part to celebrate St. Pope Paul VI, whose birthday is September 26, and in part to commemorate the Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action. Pope Paul VI had a significant impact on Catholic Social Teaching by making the connection between the social and economic development of people with the building of genuine peace. The Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action promote nonviolence globally, with actions taken by Pax Christi communities around the world.
2022 DAYS OF ACTION: SEPTEMBER 19-26
View photos from the Days of Action here.
BREAD NOT STONES Toolkit:
- Bread of Life Ritual by Nancy Small, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace. This ritual can be performed virtually or in person. Materials needed may include stones, table/altar, tablecloth, and bread.
- Resources for prayer and direct action by Tom Cordaro, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace. This document contains several resources that you can use for prayer services, during Masses, and at public demonstrations, rallies, and vigils in your community. Feel free to adapt these resources as needed.
- Talking points for legislative visits. This document contains information on what our primary asks for and how to invite their support for the People Over Pentagon Act of 2022. Feel free to adapt these resources as needed.
- Bread Not Stones one-page handout, useful for sharing in church, community settings.
- Help us build (bake?!) a better world: Bread Not Stones recipe cards
Resources and partner organizations:
- Bread Not Stones prayer cards are available in the Pax Christi USA online store. The prayer is for “a federal budget that offers bread, not stones”. Read more about the prayer here.
- Download an image for a BNS yard sign or placard here.
- Our statement, “Bread Not Stones 2022: Redirect military spending to address the root causes of conflict, injustice, inequity, and environmental catastrophe”. Find the statement with accompanying charts in the Spring 2022 membership newsletter at this link.
- Action opportunity from our friends at the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
- National Priorities Project, https://www.nationalpriorities.org/. Use their trade-off tool to see how much money your city, state, or district gave to the military, and what alternative services could have been funded with those funds.
- Costs of War, https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs
- #PeopleOverPentagon, https://peopleoverpentagon.org/, a bill to cut $100 billion from the Pentagon budget, reducing waste and encouraging funding on true human needs.
- Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore organized this advertisement, calling for saner choices for people and the planet, to be published in the National Catholic Reporter.
- Pax Christi USA campaign takes critical look at country’s military spending (Catholic News Service)
Past Bread Not Stones activity:
Join us in committing to these days of action for the Bread Not Stones campaign, September 19-25, 2022. Sign-up here to receive more information. (NOTE: If you already signed on when we issued the statement in the spring, no need to sign on again.) More materials will be made available to help you organize in the coming weeks around these three components of the campaign:
- Legislative visits September 19-23
- Day of public action, September 24
- Parish outreach, September 25
- Bread Not Stones PAX Mass, September 22, 2022. Click here for more information. To read Nancy Small’s reflection offered during the Mass, click here.
- Webinar: “Stopping Economic Exploitation: Building a World of Peace and an Economy for All,” October 6, 2022, 7:30-9 pm ET.