Our Bonhoeffer Moment

Jeff Leys, Co-Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and a national organizer with Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project as well as the Occupation Project, writes the following in Common Dreams:

The Bonhoeffer Moment of nonviolent civil resistance and disobedience to the world war being waged by the United States is clearly at hand. As Congress considers an additional $190 billion to fund the Iraq - Afghanistan war through September 2008 and as the threats of war against Iran become increasingly loud, it is time for us to learn lessons from the German resistance to Hitler, to the Nazi regime and to the war waged by the German nation-state. We must engage in the Long Resistance to this current world war, using every nonviolent means to bring about its end.I was set to be tried on October 2 for an act of nonviolent civil resistance at the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command. The judge dismissed the charge the day of the trial. Following is the closing statement I prepared for the jury trial in Waukegan, Illinois.

Our Bonhoeffer Moment:

In 1942, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran theologian engaged in resistance work to bring about an end to the Nazi regime, penned the following lines in his letter “After Ten Years”. He was in prison and under investigation when he wrote:

“We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretence; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remorseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?” ...

To read the rest of his statement, click here.


Anonymous said…
Reading this almost brought tears to my eyes. How does the church continue to remain silent? And those of us who have joined the resistance, in whatever capacity, have grown tired. I find myself feeling so hopeless, so tired of resisting the United States; and it always finds a way to hold me captive, drawing me to consume more of the world's resources. I am drawn away from the source of life ever further into the depths of darkness, which is exactly what this war was founded on. The United States has mastered the art of war; it does a marvelous job of keeping the church silent. Or is this a correct interpretation? Is the church silent because the Spirit of America has a way of captivating our imagination? Or do we have ourselves to blame for being poor witnesses?
Anonymous said…