Shining the Light on the War Machine
The Christian Scriptures testify again and again to the Light that shines in the darkness. Here's a story of shining the Light on institutions of war in Washington, DC.
Where does light need to be shone on injustice in your community? How can you help make that happen?
Blessings of fierce and gentle love,
On Earth Peace
Church of the Brethren Newsline
February 15, 2006
Campaign calls peacemakers to `Shine the Light' in Washington.
By Todd Flory
In the basement of the Washington Peace Center, around a dozen
Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) members and supporters gathered to
worship, eat, fellowship, and review the logistics of that
afternoon's events. It was Wednesday, and the group was scheduled
to protest outside of the weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin's
world headquarters in southern Maryland.
To help demonstrate its opposition to the war in Iraq, CPT held a
`Shine the Light' campaign in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19-29, in
which a protest was held outside of a different war-compliance
institution each day. Each session ended with a prayer vigil
outside of the White House. Many supporters of the cause, including
the Brethren Witness/Washington Office of the Church of the
Brethren General Board, participated with CPT at various times
throughout the week-and-a-half campaign.
"The Shine the Light campaign is both shining light on institutions
of war and on the captives, those held captive by all aspects of
war," said Church of the Brethren and CPT member Cliff Kindy. "It's
a shine for release. As we work with issues of justice and peace,
maybe what's underneath is an issue of power; who's in charge."
Outside of Lockheed Martin, a mix of honks, waves, cheers, and
sneers from passengers driving along the road greeted the Shine the
Light campaign as its members walked solemnly in front of the
corporation in a single-file line holding candles and signs. Two
people walking along the sidewalk even stopped for a few minutes to
join the group in the protest. "Our presence at these institutions
is an invitation to those in there to come out of it, and be
changed by the light," Kindy explained.
Some of the other institutions that the campaign visited included
the State Department, military recruiting offices, Internal Revenue
Service, Central Intelligence Agency, and Pentagon. According to
Kindy, the group was received with the least amount of
receptiveness while visiting the Pentagon. When some members of the
public stopped to talk with the CPT members, and when they all
gathered together to pray, security quintupled from five guards to
Kindy believes that the public's knowledge of and compassion toward
other people and parts of the world, coupled with sociably
responsible actions, could further help to bring peace to the
world. "We stop paying money to the IRS, and the war stops," he
said. "The recruiters stop getting recruits, and the war stops.
Lockheed Martin stops making weapons, and the war stops. If any one
of them stops, the war stops. Even pulling out one of the pillars
stops the war."
--Todd Flory is a Brethren Volunteer Service worker and a
legislative associate at the Church of the Brethren General Board's
Brethren Witness/Washington Office.
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