Thursday, April 18, 2013


OMNI NEWSLETTER #9 ON NONVIOLENCE,   APRIL 18, 2013.  NONVIOLENCE IN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS FORUM.    Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.      (#1 Feb. 17, 2011; #2 May 13, 2011; #3 June 7, 2011, #4 September 30, 2011; #5 Sept. 21, 2012; #6 Dec. 28, 2012; #7 Jan. 17, 2013; #8 March 28, 2013).

My blog:  The War Department and Peace Heroes
Newsletters on Peace, Justice, and Ecology:
See: Imperialism, Militarism, Pentagon,  Recruiting, Suicides, Whistleblowing, and more.

Nos. 5 and 6 at end

Contents #7
Fr. John Dear
Iowa War Protesters
Protesters’ Pro Se Defense
Christian Nonviolence
John Howard Yoder
Tripp York

Contents #8 March 28, 2013
Nonviolence International
Nonviolence International Film Festival
International DAY of Nonviolence, Oct. 2 (OMNI National/International DAYS Project)
Muslim Nonviolence
Abdul Ghaffar Badshah Khan: Pakistan’s Muslim Gandhi
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi:  Turkey’s Muslim Gandhi
Fethullah Gulen, Follower of Nursi
Kaufman-Lacusta:  Palestinian-Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to Occupation
Palestinian Nonviolence and US Media Lack of Attention

Contents #9 Special Number on Nonviolence in Religious Traditions
OMNI Book Forum April 19, 2013
Smith-Christopher, Subverting Hatred
  Dick’s Review
  Review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
OMNI Forums on Nonviolence in Religions: 2003-2013
Universal Golden Rule


APRIL 19, 2013
AT OMNI, 3274 Lee Ave., Fayetteville (OMNI is located between Office Depot and Liquor World), 7 P.M.

Hameed Naseem, Islam: “Islam”  Means Peace.
Sidney Burris, Buddhism:  HHDL's Ethics for a New Millennium, Bhikkhu Bodhi's In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (Teachings of the Buddha)
Dick Bennett, Christianity:  Richard McSorley, New Testament Basis of Peacemaking; John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus.

Hameed Naseem

Hameed Naseem is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. He serves as the President of the Tulsa Chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA. He is the founding Faculty Advisor of Al-Islam Students Association, a registered Students Organization (RSO) at the University of Arkansas. And he advocates  the peaceful teachings of Islam as propounded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.

Sidney Burris
·  Educated at Duke University (BA, Classical Studies) and University of Virginia (PhD, English)
·  Professor, Department of English, U of A
·  Director, Fulbright College Honors Program, U of A
·  Professor, Department of English
·  Co-Director, The TEXT Program (Tibetan oral history with U of A students)
·  Co-Founder, The Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas

Dick Bennett
Dick is a Prof. Emer., English, UAF.   He also created courses at UAF on “World War III” and “War and Peace.”  He was co-founder of the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology.   His publications include the annotated bibliographies Control of Information in the United States and Control of the Media in the United States, and he compiled the Peace Movement Directory for N. America.


Review by Dick Bennett

      Notable authors examine the nonviolent foundations of nine religions in this order:  Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Indigenous (Cheyenne), Islam, Judaism, Christianity.   They ask: What are the teachings about nonviolence in the world’s major religious traditions?  How have these teachings been exemplified?
     Unfortunately, despite these attempts to give humans refuge and guide, wars and atrocities continue.   But their teachings have shown us ways to live without violence and have strengthened us when violence threatens our lives and societies.   They have offered us beginnings.  And let’s grasp a grassroots perspective.   It is up to humans to enact the teachings.   Just as in a democracy our representatives must be pushed to act for the welfare of the people, each nonviolent religion is as effectively peaceful as the people demand it to live up to its original principles and practices in nonviolence.
      Religions have arisen from many human desires and social conditions, and one is the desire to create a society in which people can live without fear of being killed or tortured, bombed or shot—and to extend the principle, to live without hunger.   They seek a society in which people, all people, can live with hope and happiness.   To step outside religions for a minute, President Roosevelt expressed this yearning in a message to Congress on Jan. 6, 1941.  The end of WWII, he said, should provide “four freedoms”:  of speech, of worship, from want, and from fear.”  Roosevelt wished for every nation following the war “a healthy peaceful life for its inhabitants”; he wished for a “reduction of armaments to such a point. . .that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor.” 
      The principles and the practices of nonviolence established in our world religions provide us guides to achieve such trust and harmony.          In each chapter the writers identify the immense assistance to a world of cooperation and well-being offered by the religions.  We look backward to get our bearings for our struggle forward.   Yes, religions have been used to justify violence, but the nonviolent roots were not the cause.  They were and they remain today a solid mooring for resistance to sources of violence both inside the religion and from the cultures in which the religions function.  
     Nonviolence carries a “not” and a “yes.”   It assumes the refusal to engage in killing and it presumes the necessity of preventing the conditions of violence, personal and international, by energetically expanding fairness, justice, respect, compassion for all people.   To the question, for example, How do we stop the Pentagon and US imperialism? the answer is given, work against the warriors, but more importantly commit yourself to changing the conditions that lead to killing, whether from weapons or want.   Now, today.   To the question, but how do I know what to do? The answer is, the way was  established in your religion long ago.   Walk the way with others, and do not fear.
     But it’s even harder than that sounds, for the writers consider their essays and the text as a whole to be “unfinished,”  “a thorough opening statement” leading to new approaches to nonviolent actions.
     Our panel follows this book by focusing on the nonviolent sources—the source texts and the prophets—of three of these major religions--Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity.   

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Spirituality & Practice

Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 Subverting Hatred 
The Challenge of Nonviolence in Religious Traditions 
Daniel L. Smith-Christopher.  
Orbis Books/Boston Research Center, 1998.
This timely volume published in association with The Boston Research Center for the 21st Century is edited by Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, a professor of theological studies and director of the Peace Studies program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He notes in the introduction that ethnic conflicts have erupted all over the world and while there is much talk about nonviolence, very few groups are willing to practice it.
Thankfully, the nine different religious traditions covered in this helpful resource are in agreement about the validity of subverting hatred and practicing peace. Christopher Key Chapple discusses the rich meaning of Jainism's concept of ahimsa and concludes: "In order for nonviolence to be integrated into one's personal and interpersonal life and into work environments, one needs to investigate ways in which to foster virtuous conduct, cooperation, and communication."
Christopher S. Queen presents a succinct overview of Buddhist resources for nonviolent activism including lovingkindness, generosity, and wisdom as antidotes to the seeds of violence; the concept of the interconnectedness between all beings; and the practical curriculum of skillful actions for taming and transforming the mind. Tam Wai Lun believes that Taoism's wuwei (nonaction) can be understood as an alternative to violence and force. Rabia Terri Harris and Jeremy Milgrom assess the tradition of nonviolence in Islam and Judaism.
One of the many gems in this book is a prayer for peace by Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav: "There should be no hatred, jealousy, rivalry, triumphalism or pettiness between people, only love and a great peace, that everyone should experience love from one another, and be sure that each wants good to befall the other, and to love them and for them to succeed, so that all could come together and speak with each other and explain the truth to one another."

Jan. 14, 2003, Faith-based Peace Traditions Roundtable (12 faiths represented)(one of many OMNI protests against the threatened invasion of Iraq). Coordinator:  Dick Bennett.  Speakers:  Baptist, Rev. Scott Jones; Buddhist, Geoff Oelsner; Christian Church/Disciplies of Christ, Rev. Jim Johnson; Church of the Brethren/Mennonite, Eli Miller; Episcopal Church, Rev. Lowell Grisham; Judaism, Prof. Mike Lieber; Muslim, Winy; Presbyterian Church, Rev. Libbie Lazzaraga; Quaker, Ladeana Mullinix;
Roman Catholic, Paul Warren; Unitarian Universalist, Rev. Rhett Baird
Unity, Rev. Gary Simmons

Nov. 19, 2003, Faith/Fellowship-based Peace Traditions  SYMPOSIUM (five faiths)(8 months following the invasion of Iraq).  Coordinators: Dick Bennett, Jill Shankar, Rachel Townsend-Moore.  Speakers: Dr. Barbara Taylor, Buddhist; Jeff Plum, Christian Science (;
Dr. Hamid Naseem, Muslim (; Darla Newman, Jewish (; AJay Malshe, Hinduism.  At OMNI, UA Presbyterian Campus Ministry.

Jan. 26, 2004, Nonviolent Religious Peace Traditions Symposium (10 months after invasion of Iraq).   Coordinated by Dick Bennett and Rachel Townsend-Moore.   Panelists: Hugh Talat Halman, Sufi Muslim tradition, “Badshah Khan (1890-1988): Gandhi's Afghan Warrior for Peace -- an Islamic Witness for Nonviolence”;  Erin Cowsert, Unitarian Universalist, Humanist,  "Nobels & Whistles: Peacemaking in the Unitarian Tradition"; 
Rev. Nancy Benson-Nicol, First United Presbyterian Church (Calvin St., Fayetteville), “Peacemaking: Presbyterian Perspectives”;
 Melanie Dietzel, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, “Roman Catholic Peacemakers: The Berrigan Brothers.”  Place:  OMNI/United Campus Ministry Sanctuary

[March  5, 2004, UA/King Fahd Forum on Islam’s Peace Tradition (4 panelists). “Peacemaking and Peacemakers in Islam.”   Sponsored by Islam Program. Discussants:  Gray Henry, Omid Safi, Vincent Cornell, and Hugh Talat Halman.  Moderator: Vincent Cornell.]


FALL 2006.  

HINDU:  Murthy Kolluru, 401 NW Palomino St. Rogers? 72712, 464-4560

BUDDHIST: Hugh Talat Halman (see letter below)
CATHOLIC:  Anne Marie Candido
HUMANIST:  UUFF,  Rev. Kerry Mueller
METHODIST:  Rev. Gary Lunsford, St. James Methodist,

Sept. 4, 2007, War in Iraq: Faith, Peace and War Traditions, and Local Silence (8 panelists, 6 faiths).   Coordinator:  Dick Bennett.
PARTICIPANTS:  Moderator: Rev. Dave Hunter, Co-Minister of UUFF;
Adamson, Adelaide (Addie), Instructor at UA’s Spring International;
Geshe Thupten Dorjee (Tup-ten Dor-jay), Tibetan Monk;  Grisham, Lowell, Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church;  Head, Frank, Director, Catholic Charities, NWA;  Krueger, Doug, Philosophy Instructor at NWACC, Co-founder of Freethinkers;  Naseem, Hameed, Engineering Prof., Advisor of UA Al Islam Student Peace Group;  Robinson, Grady Jim, Former Fundamentalist Minister, Agnostic, Columnist for Northwest Arkansas Times .

April 19, 2013,  Nonviolence in Religious Traditions Book Forum.  Coordinator:  Dick Bennett.  Islam, Prof. Hameed Naseem.  Buddhism, Prof. Sidney Burris.   Christianity: Prof. Emer. Dick Bennett.


Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.: Mahabharata 5:1517
 Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.: Matthew 7:12
 Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what which he desires for himself. Sunnah
 Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.: Udana Varga 5:18
 Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.: Talmud, Shabbat 31:a
 Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.: Analects 15:23
 Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.: T'ai Shag Kan Ying P'ien
 Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good: for itself. : Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5

Contents of #5
The People’s Charter
Nonviolence Organizations
   Nevada Desert
   War Resisters League
Reviews of Books
   Ram and Summy

Contents of #6 
New Book:   York and Barringer, essays on Christian Nonviolence and Pacifism
Dick:  Noncooperation, One Method of Direct Action
Gene Sharp, There Are Alternatives (to violence and wars)(free book)
Nonviolence and Pacifism, Misc. Writings
Two Older Books on Nonviolence.
      Judson on Children
      McAllister on Women
Dick: OMNI’S TV “Book Sampler” 


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)