“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”

—Abba Eban


New AWP Blog Facilitator

Hello Fellow Peacemakers,

This is really my last post on this site, so please write in with your concerns and ideas for peace.

Although I resigned as editor a while back, I set this new site up, with a place to discuss issues easily.

Dr. Lourdes Morales-Gudmundsson will be keeping the blog going. Just enter your comments here, on any post on this new site or on the previous site-adventistwomen4peace.weblogger.com, as long as it’s still available.

Lourdes is one of the founding members of Adventist Women for Peace. Her email address is- lmorales@lasierra.edu. Please also take a look at her new blog for her work in the field of forgiveness, Our Lady of Forgiveness.

Victoria Bresee

Give me a firing squad!

Please, please, if you need to kill me, just shoot me.

“Suppose someone you love was brutally murdered, an innocent life taken in vain. You might want an eye for an eye, a life for a life. But the very system designed to deliver justice for such unspeakable acts has perpetrated acts of its own. The United States is the only Western civilization that imposes the death penalty.” More. . .

Just the other day the 200th death row inmate was released after DNA evidence showed that he had not committed the crime he was accused of, after losing 20 years of his life.

In Florida, last December, it took 34 minutes to kill Angel Diaz, by lethal injection. Past horror stories have described electrocutions, with the flesh starting to sizzle and then flames rising from the head of the human being, like a piece of meat on a grill with the heat too high.

Today we read about an execution that was so inept that the man in the middle of watching people attempt to kill him at least ten times, spread throughout an hour, had to ask for a timeout to use the restroom.

This is not an article about the pros and cons of the death penalty. But, do you realize that the Supreme Court, “in an unusual” ruling “cited the ‘overwhelming weight of international opinion’ in banning executions of those under 18. Justice Kennedy, noted that the U.S was the only country in the world that still officially permitted the execution of juveniles. He wrote that since 1990, only seven countries have executed persons under 18. They are Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and China. However, all of these countries have since publicly disavowed the practice. Justice Kennedy also noted that the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits the juvenile death penalty, has been ratified by every country except Somalia and the United States.”

During the last few years, reading about humans being decapitated, or blown up unexpectedly, or even unfortunately seeing the ghoulish hangings in the Middle East, I found myself repulsed and thinking, “how primitive!”

But, it is incredible, without excuse whatever, that a country with the technology of the US, since it chooses to kill humans, cannot do a better job.

This is as barbaric as the Middle Ages, with its guillotines, except the guillotines probably worked much better.

I cringed when I read the title of a new offering from one of my book clubs, by Geoffrey Abbot, described this way–

“It’s not easy being an executioner—especially when the job doesn’t go right. Like when the condemned unexpectedly pops up to make a quip when he should have sunk without a word. Or, when an eyeball pops out of a victim’s head during an electrocution. From bungled decapitations in the 16th century to botched lethal injections in the 20th, The Executioner Always Chops Twice is a grisly and bizarre anthology of more than 80 executions that didn’t go exactly as planned.” Want to order it and read how they continue throughout the 20th century?

Public Notice: If I have to be executed, please send me to a more compassionate or technologically advanced country than the United States of America, for a guillotine or a firing squad. Like I bet that the eight countries mentioned above, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, China and Somalia have perfected the procedure.

Victoria Bresee

The Golden Rule +

The blogger at soulpeacelove=God posted this take on the Golden Rule–

“Besides my regular job, I do some consulting work. As an illustration, the owner of the consulting company often asks the client’s marketing department to quote the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Then he tells them the platinum rule of marketing: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”

The problem with the golden rule, he says, is that some people do not want to be treated the way you want to be treated. You want someone to look you in the eye and ask about your family. They don’t want you to pry. You want someone to take the time to do the transaction with the highest level of quality. They want to get through the line quickly. You think someone should address you as Mr. So and so. It makes them feel old.

Not to mention that some people treat themselves horribly (sometimes I am included in this group). They overstress themselves and do not allow enough time for relaxation.

. . .I use the Platinum rule every day as I face the world. I try to never think about what I would want or need in the same position, but what does the other person truly want and need. Often, they are different.”

For the entire post go to soulpeacelove=god.

Victoria Bresee

Where are we headed?

I admit that I loved to sing “Onward Christians Soldiers, Marching off to War” as a child. We all really got into the military movements with foot stomping and arm swaying, imagining ourselves as God’s little soldiers. But, as a more aware adult, many of the old favorites have lost their appeal. This quote is from John Shelby Spong–

“We Christians are pilgrims walking into the mystery of God, not soldiers marching off to war. There is a great difference.”

Victoria Bresee

Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation – 1870

Code Pink, posts this piece written by 19th Century abolitionist Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, which she composed to inspire those fighting against slavery–“Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
‘We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.’

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.”

MORE. . .

Victoria Bresee


Blessed are the Peacemakers

Blessed are the Peacemakers