Friday, April 1, 2011

Colleagues List, April 2nd, 2011

Vol VI. No. 29


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:


In this Issue

Special Item This Week -

Summarizing My Course on
"God, Atheism and Morality"

Can We Be Good Without God?

Colleague Contributions:

Mark Noll
Jim Taylor
Reginald Bibby
Ron Rolheiser

Net Notes:

The Great EB
Three Mile Island Anniversary
Modern Families and Gay Adoption
Another Veil 'Reveals' Face of Jesus
Learnings from 50 Years of Confessions
North Korea is on 'Knife Edge' of Hunger
India Debates Ban on Biography of Gandhi
Protestants See Biased South Korean Media
Priest Women's Ordination Supporter Dumped
Canadian Woman Head of Int'l Salvation Army

Global Faith Potpourri:

Twelve ENI stories appear this week.

Quotes of the Week:

Shiva Vandana
Jean Vanier
Brenda Peterson
Marianne Williamson
Francois Mauriac

On This Day: 

March 26, 1979 - Camp David Accord - Begin and Sadat
March 28, 1979 - Three Mile Island Nuclear Incident
March 29, 1973 - Last US Troops Leave South Vietnam
April 1, 1945  - American Forces Invade Okinawa   

Closing Thought - Julian of Norwich 


Dear Friends:

My winter classes have been coming to an end.

It is a good time for reflecting on what we
have been learning together.

Today, I summarize my very satisfying university
course entitled "God, Atheism and Morality." 

I asked - "Can We Be Good Without God?" -
and got some very helpful responses.


Colleague Contributions:

Mark Noll - co-authors a new book on
Christian voices from Africa and Asia
(Publisher's Weekly)

Jim Taylor - praises the value of
interdependence (Personal Web Log)

Reginald Bibby - picks up on a study
out of Arizona this week. He challenges
the view that faith is dying in Canada
(Assist News, National Post)

Ron Rolheiser - writes a column on 
"Loving Our Enemies" (Personal Web Site)

Net Notes:

"The Great EB" - the Encyclopedia
Britannica is celebrating a special
anniversary and I provide some help to 
understand this formidable publication
(Christian Century)

"Three Mile Island Anniversary" - with
Japan strongly on our minds here is a
reminder of America's biggest nuclear
disaster (Christian Science Monitor)

"Modern Families and Gay Adoption" -
Marlene found this story on the adoption
of a child by gay parents - a redemptive
article well worth reading in full
(Calgary Herald)

"Another Veil 'Reveals' Face of Jesus" -
some people seem to thrive on stories of
relics and reminders  of Jesus among us.
Here is a new wrinkle on the 'Shroud of 
Turin' phenomenon (Zenit News from Rome)

"Learnings from 50 Years of Confessions"
- a priest with many years of experience
in the 'confessional' shares some of his
discoveries (America Magazine)

"North Korea is on 'Knife Edge' of Hunger" 
- once more, this isolated land seems to
be on the verge of disaster from starvation
(The Guardian, UK)

"India Debates Ban on Biography of Gandhi" 
- last week the New York Times published a
review of a new Gandhi biography. The book
has precipitated a storm in Gandhi's homeland
(New York Times, Ucan News)

"Protestants See Biased South Korean Media"
- some Christians in Korea are blaming the
popular media for some very bad publicity
(Ucan News)

"Priest Women's Ordination Supporter Dumped"
- Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest who
has taken on many justice causes, including
the ordination of women to the priesthood,
learned this week that he cannot remain in 
his order (Ucan News, New Catholic Times)

"Canadian Woman Head of Int'l Salvation Army"
- we celebrate the appointment of a Canadian
woman to the international leadership of the
Salvation Army, with headquarters in London.


Global Faith Potpourri:

Twelve ENI, Geneva stories appear this week.


Quotes of the Week:

Provided through the services of

Shiva Vandana
Jean Vanier
Brenda Peterson
Marianne Williamson
Francois Mauriac


On This Day: 

The New York Times provides these stories
as they were happening:

Camp David treaty - Begin and Sadat (1979)
Three Mile Island Nuclear Incident (1979)
Last US Troops Leave South Vietnam (1973)
American forces invade Okinawa (1945)

Closing Thought - Julian of Norwich




Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



Created and maintained by Colleague
Jock McTavish



Books Considered:

"An Altar in the World"
 by Barbara Brown Taylor


"I Shall Not Hate -
 A Gaza Doctor's Journey"
 by Izzeldin Abuelaish

More study and website particulars will
be posted as they become available.

Last Session - Monday, April 4th, 2011!

Special Guest: Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman
B'Nai Tikvah Reform Temple, Calgary

He will speak on peace in the Middle East
and give his views on "I Shall Not Hate"
as a supporter of the Palestinian doctor.

Here is the link to the session design:

Here is a TV Ontario Interview with 
Dr. Abuelaish provided by




This course is now completed.
See notes in Special Items Section
of Colleagues List this week.

"The Moral Landscape:
 How Science Can Determine Human Values"
 (Free Press, October, 2010)

Supplementary text:

"Godless Morality" by Richard Holloway
 (Canongate (new edition) 2009)

Click here for course description


A Joint Project of the Multi-Faith
Chaplains and St. David's ACTS Ministry

This Year's Subject:

"Community and Growth" by Jean Vanier.

The book first appeared in 1989 and
continues to be widely read.

Learn from Vanier's years of experience
in L'Arche communities around the world.

This book will be of interest to those
who seek insights for living and
working together in a pluralistic
society such as our own.

This study is for university faculty,
staff and interested students. It runs
for six weeks.

Time: Thursdays, 12 noon to 1:00PM
      March 3rd through April 7th, 2011

Cost: Free. Copies of the book available
      for purchase, courtesy of the
      Christian Reformed Chaplaincy
      and thanks to Paul Verhoef

Location: Small Board Room, Native Centre,
          McEwan Student Centre.

Vanier book study link:




Airline tickets, a special travel booklet
with much good spiritual reflection material
and information about preparations to make 
and places to be visited have been provided 
this week to all persons on the tour.


We have started an interest list for other,
future tours!

Let me know if you are interested in learning
more about exciting, spiritual tourism! This
is a cutting edge ministry at St. David's.
We hope to do many more of these tours in future!

Take a look at the St. David's, Wales Sacred Site:



A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted
since 2000 can quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents
a decade of Monday Night Studies at St. David's,
plus extra courses too!

You are welcome to use our course outlines,
class notes and resource pages in your personal
and group reflections.



My Winter University Course Summary:

Can We Be Good Without God?

Continuing Education Course HUM 142:  
January 25th – March 29th, 2011
Meeting at University of Calgary 
Main Campus, Science A, Room 129

Texts Used for the Course:

Determine Human Values, by Sam Harris, 
Free Press, Simon and Schuster, 
Hardcover. 2010.

GODLESS MORALITY: Keeping Religion 
Out of Ethics, by Richard Holloway, 
Canongate (UK) New Edition, 
Paperback, 2009.

The Authors Speak:

“Morality is a genuine sphere of human 
 inquiry, and not a mere product of 
 culture. Progress is possible." 
 - Sam Harris

“Moral struggles are frequently between 
 competing ‘goods’ rather than between
 a straight good and a straight evil.”
 - Richard Holloway


Class Composition:

Members ranged from self-declared atheists 
through persons of faith (some practicing,
some not.) People were drawn out of interest 
in the subject, desire for a positive learning 
experience, and a hope to discuss and 
exchange ideas for personal growth. We were 
people from across the believer-non-believer 
spectrum who like debating ideas, sharpening 
perspectives and enhancing understandings.
A clear climate of mutual respect prevailed.

First Session:
Introductions and expectations - 
Expressing oneself and listening to others.



Core thesis – Science can be the basis for ethics; 
this is a critique of both traditional science and 
religion. Of religion, which has tended to define 
conflicting ethical codes for people in the name of 
some divine force or deity; and of science which has 
tended to stand outside ethical debates. 

Moderates on both sides have failed; allowing 
religious and scientific fundamentalists to define 
the debate, and to stay out of the other’s turf. 
We must not practice “moral blindness” in the name 
of tolerance.” Values = facts.

“Well-being” is the supreme human moral value.

Philosophical Constructs 
(My basic critique of Harris):

We discussed the history of philosophy as both 
critique and support for theistic-based ethics. 
Socrates evoked the myth of “Euthyphro” to 
distinguish between ethics based on “the gods” 
and ethics based on reason. A study of the 
history of philosophical thinking can give us 
a better background in the formulation of both 
reason and faith-based ethics.

We discussed ethical systems based on “means” 
and “ends” – ends justify means, (or) means 
justify ends. Post-modern ethics understand 
our world to be "relational." Static systems 
are hard to apply today. Ethics must study 
the complex situations of thought and action 
(praxis) so that what we do in the present 
defines what is ethical. Harris seems to lack 
a solid background in the development of 
philosophical thought over the centuries and 
seems at times to be struggling to 'reinvent 
the wheel.'


Free Will (Harris):

“If we really understood what our brains tell 
 us, we would act ethically.”

“We live, however, in a state of causality.
 We know what is good but are often unable 
 to live it.”

“We inherit a dilemma. We 'know' but fail to 
 'act' on it. The result is frustration."

“Is there a resolution? Try, by intent to live 
 as ethically as possible; not with fatalism.”

Robert Burton, a scientist, critiques Sam Harris – 
we must be realistic about what science can 
accomplish in society in terms of shaping ethics. 
"There is simply no getting rid of faith-based 
thinking. The science/religion controversy will 
not go away. We must learn to co-exist."


The Danger of Intellectual Dishonesty:

Harris claims Francis Collins (evangelical Christian
and former head of Genome Project) John Polkinghorne 
(physicist and Anglican priest) and the editors of 
Nature Magazine – are all intellectually dishonest. 

They understand science but compromise their views 
in favour of religious audiences which form majority 
thinking in society.

The fact is, Harris too can be criticized for 
intellectual dishonesty, and we discussed a number 
of instances in the book where that seemed evident.



Core thesis – We must disconnect God and religion 
from ethics. Still, God does not disappear. God 
must be involved in our ethical struggles – not 
as a moral arbiter, but as inspiration/companion 
in our attempts to define realistic ethical 

The good life results from inner intentions and 
awareness of observed consequences. The most 
effective moral systems operate on consent, not 
coercion. Ethics implies a competition of "goods" 
not a fight over "good" vs. "evil." Each moral 
system has a "good" and a "shadow side" 
associated with it. 

Leave God out of ethical systems, says Holloway. 

Morality as an Art Form

Morality is an art form, writes Holloway, not a 
science. It is like jazz compared to classical 
music. It follows improvisation, not a fixed 
score. The genius of improvisation is that it 
is a better ethical metaphor to guide our 
thinking and behavior.

Shame and fear are not good moral agents. 
Appeal to tradition and authority is doomed 
to failure because these sources contradict 
each other and often result in violence.
“Personal choice” must replace “command 


Classic Christian Morality Viewed Sex as Evil

Holloway critiques classic Christian morality 
which saw sex as evil, and religious morality 
has damaged many people. Today, there is a 
shift in thinking among at least some religious 
people who seek a different way of defining 
Christian morals. We need to rediscover a 
balance between the extremes of “religious 
asceticism” and “over-indulgence.” 

Still morality concerns us because we see a 
breakdown of ancient traditions and 

The institution of marriage, for example, 
is a case in point.


Other Contemporary Ethical Issues

Holloway discusses the gay/lesbian issue, 
addictive substances like alcohol and drugs, 
the "life wars" over abortion and euthanasia, 
and the "reproductive supermarket" of natural 
interventions (insemination, infertility) 
genetic engineering and cloning, and surrogate 

Harris works to create a new science-based 
ethical system while Holloway has developed 
his own faith system, applying his principles 
to many current issues.

Of course, Holloway is criticized by Christians 
with traditional perspectives for being a moral 
relativist. Holloway, however would not view 
himself in these terms. He says he is a realist.

"We do not resolve our problems by abandoning 
traditional systems," he says. "But we honor 
the reality that the systems we’ve inherited 
run counter to many of our deepest human values 
– like freedom, and choice. "We need to learn 
to respond to situations with grace appropriate 
to the event."


Summarizing Holloway:

We need to celebrate moderation, pleasure, 
consent; an allowable diversity; since there 
are many competing ethical "goods" out there. 
We can work our way through the current 
confusion, since humans are enormously 
creative people. It is our glory.



My most eye-opening discovery was how atheists are 
ignored, even discriminated against in our society. 
For example, at public prayers or with mottos like 
"in God we trust."

Harris did not provide a clear, sensible way. 
Holloway was more helpful. He addressed issues in 
ways I found made sense.

Sometimes Harris picked the most infantile and 
disgusting examples to make his point. Discussing 
these matters in class brought some enlightenment.

OK. Let’s put Harris aside. Who should be involved 
in the shaping of societal values?

Neuroscientists? No. Social scientists, poets, 
philosophers… If you simply poke around in your 
brains you lose something. Who is the "I" to form 
the basis for moral behavior?

That is our struggle in these times.

We did well in our discussions together. Where 
does morality come from? From us!


I didn’t learn a lot of "new things" but I was 
able to revisit many thoughts I had not thought 
about for many years and that was good. The 
workings of the brain do not necessarily provide 
us with a basis for morality. Harris rather
oversimplifies the issues although I found both 
the Harris (TED) talk and the Holloway (interview) 
videos to be helpful.

Harris speaks of female disfigurement and his 
outrage at the Muslim faith for practicing vaginal 
abuse. I too am outraged by this, but I do not 
like the way he presents his case.

I enjoyed the class discussions around so many 
issues like this. It helped me a lot.


I wonder about universal principles like “The 
Golden Rule.” I wonder if there really is, in 
fact, any possibility for universal principles 
covering all humanity. This seems unrealistic. 
All moral systems have good points, but they 
have flaws to them as well.

We must use our wits to work out our moral 
behaviors. Science cannot do this. Ultimately, 
I believe that philosophy will help us make 
appropriate “ad hoc” decisions.

I see society’s attitude to atheism as the last 
form of acceptable prejudice. We have largely 
overcome racism, sexism and are working on 
religious tolerance. But atheism has not been 
treated like the human rights issue it is.

There are few places to come together to discuss 
these matters in an intelligent way and I am glad 
I had this group to be and to talk with.

There is a stridency out there which is modeled 
by many religious advocates. The new atheists 
have had to challenge that stridency, sometimes 
with their own form of it. But just as the first 
anti-racists and pro-feminists had to be strident 
to be heard and to make their presence felt, so 
too with modern atheism.

Atheists are often branded as being intellectually 
inferior, and shallow. They are criticized for 
lacking compassion as well as lacking a desire to 
lead ethical lives.
If people like Dawkins have "dissed" religion, it 
is because so many religious types have "dissed" 
atheism. Being "dismissive" of atheism is just as 

People like Karen Armstrong do that much too readily.


My point of view was not so much changed but more 
confirmed by these sessions. I was challenged, but 
I continue to appreciate my value system. I was 
pleased to discover, as a young mother of two, 
that my brain still functions. I enjoyed the
intellectual discussions.

Harris did not change my mind. He did not stretch 
my thinking. Holloway was more nuanced and helpful 
in his presentation. Can science determine morals? 
Yes and no. For some the answer is “yes” and for 
others "no."

I believe we need human reasons for the ethical 
answers we seek. I myself find more answers in 
science than in spiritual persuits. Humans evolve 
ethically over time, and science is also evolving. 
I see a growing capacity for science to provide 
answers in the future. I found Harris’ TED talk 
more convincing than his book.


Harris was too reductionistic and does not tap 
the social sciences for help. We can't deal with 
morality in a vacuum - scientific or otherwise.

Atheists can disagree, and hopefully they can 
do so respectfully. Harris has given us a 
language, a framework to discuss these issues 
and for that I thank him. 

Science is a set of tools to help us reflect on 
societal health. Holloway is a sign that others 
can “get it” and I do appreciate it that some 
Christians do, in fact, “get it.” I am not a 
moral relativist; you can’t function that way. 

Also, I do not like being discounted by comments 
like "you’re not really an atheist, are you?" We 
need to grow in our ability to engage each other 
respectfully. But in the end, we must rely on 
our wits.



Most appreciated by the class was the opportunity 
to share and develop ideas in an environment of 
comfort and freedom. There are not a lot of places 
in our society where that seems to happen. Our 
group climate and discussion was very helpful to 

Human rights attention needs to be directed to 
the rights of atheists as other rights battles 
are being won.

“How my mind has changed” was not so much the 
experience of the group it seems, as “How my 
thoughts have been challenged, refined, 
affirmed and developed.”

Other study suggestions?

“A History of Humanistic Thought”  
“Can Atheists be Spiritual; Aesthetic?” 
“Non-theistic Faith and Morals” – 




Book Notice
Publisher's Weekly
March 30th, 2011 -

Christian Voices from Africa and Asia
Mark A. Noll and Carolyn Nystrom. 
IVP Books, $25. US (300p) 
ISBN 978-0-8308-3834-9
Because Euro-Americans are largely unaware of 
Christian history in Africa and Asia, the authors 
set out to tell stories of Christian leaders from 
Korea, China, Africa, and India. These narratives 
from the 19th and 20th centuries stand on their 
own rather than filling the pages with assessment 
and evaluation, because “it is important first 
simply to know before trying to judge,” the 
authors write. Profiles of influential Christian 
voices and activists range from Archbishop Janani 
Luwum, a martyr in Uganda murdered by Idi Amin’s 
regime in 1977, to Dora Yu, a woman considered 
the foremost Chinese evangelist during the early 
1900s. The otherwise brilliant book suffers from 
uninspiring front matter, and while one strength 
is the incredible detail harvested from missionary 
journals, biographies, and autobiographies, the 
first chapter immediately bogs down in minutiae 
of church politics surrounding its subject, 
Anglican martyr Bernard Mizeki. The value of this 
book is the window it opens to a diverse world. 
The authors maintain that these stories show 
indelibly that the Holy Spirit has been active 
across the world and across time. 
(Coming in April)



Web Log
March 30th, 2011

"Lonely Independence"


Other Countries in Similar Situation

Assist News
March 26th, 2011


"Predicting Religion's Demise
 is Way Off the Mark" 
 by Reg. Bibby

National Post
Mar. 4th 28th



March 24th, 2011

"Loving Our Enemies"



Christian Century
March 24th, 2011



Christian Science Monitor
March 28th, 2011

Picture Gallery



The Calgary Herald
March 24th, 2011


A Sister to the Shroud of Turin

Zenit News from Rome
March 28th, 2011


A Priest Shares a Life of Discovery

America Magazine
Apr. 4th, 2011


6 Million People are Starving

The Guardian, UK
March 30th, 2011


Some See it as Dishonoring Him
Others Seek Freedom of Expression

New York Times
April 1, 2011

Book on Gandhi Stirs Passion in India

Joseph Lelyveld's new biography has been 
banned in part of India because of its 
discussion of an intimate relationship 
between Gandhi and another man.


Ucan News
April 1, 2011


See Press as Slanted Against Them

Ucan News
March 31st, 2011


Bourgeois Removed as Maryknoll Father

Two Catholic Views

Ucan News
March 30th, 2011


New Catholic Times
March 30th, 2011


March 29th, 2011



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
28 March 2011

'Word is God' at Shakespeare theatre's season 
in London

London (ENI news) Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in 
London has entitled its 2011 season "The Word is 
God" and will mark the 400th anniversary of the 
King James Bible with a cover-to-cover reading 
between Palm Sunday, 17 April, and Easter Monday, 
25 April. 

Vatican will send observer to Libya conference

Rome (ENI news) - The Vatican said on 27 March that 
it is sending an observer to tomorrow's conference 
in London where foreign ministers from nations 
involved in military action in Libya will discuss 
the next steps in the operation, protection of 
civilians and possibly humanitarian aid. 

The Vatican's Apostolic Nuncio (ambassador) 
to Great Britain, Bishop Antonio Mennini, will 
communicate Pope Benedict XVI's desire for 
"peaceful and lasting solutions" to the Libyan 
conflict, according to Fr.Federico Lombardi, 
director of the Holy See's press office. 

Lutheran church in Brazil marks 
50 years of mission

New York (ENI news) - In 2011, the Evangelical 
Church of Lutheran Confession in Brazil marks 
50 years of continuous mission among the 
indigenous peoples of Brazil. A book, "A 
Bridge Between Worlds," will be published 
this year that details the gathered experience 
and knowledge of the 50 years of mission among 
the indigenous, 28 of which were coordinated by 
the Council of Mission Among the Indigenous 
(COMIN), according to the council. 


29 March 2011

Expert says faith groups play
an environmental role 

Nairobi (ENInews)--Religious denominations 
and people of faith play crucial roles in 
caring for the environment and mitigating 
the effects of climate change, according 
to the head of the Alliance of Religions 
and Conservation (ARC).

"[Faith groups] will not be able to answer 
the scientific questions of climate change, 
but they can change the way we behave. I 
think we can address it. It will not happen 
fast, but will happen sustainably," Martin 
Palmer, ARC's general secretary told ENInews 
on 29 March in Nairobi. 


31 March 2011

Christian Reformed church members 
to meet with farm workers

Grand Rapids, Michigan (ENI news) - About 
30 representatives of the Geneva-based World 
Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) on 31 
March will begin a conference on social 
justice by visiting with low-paid, itinerant 
tomato field workers in Immokalee, Florida 
and calling attention to their concerns. 


De Santis appointed editor of ENInews

Geneva (ENI news) - Ecumenical News 
International announces that Solange De Santis 
has been appointed editor of the ecumenical 
news service ENInews ( on a one-year 
contract from March 2011 to March 2012. 


African faith groups get funds 
for environmental conservation 

Nairobi (ENI news) - A UK-based 
environmental conservation group said it 
is offering financial support to African 
faith groups to help them develop 
environmental conservation plans.

"This is simply seed money to help 
consultations to take place. We know for 
faith communities to introduce new 
dimensions to their work, is not easy," 
said Martin Palmer, general secretary of 
the Alliance for Religions and Conservation 
(ARC), based in Bath, England. He was 
attending a conference in Nairobi on 
religion and the environment, organized 
by ARC and hosted by the All Africa 
Conference of Churches. 


Churches in Argentina explore 
faith and ecology

Buenos Aires, Argentina (ENI news) - 
Several churches in Argentina explored 
the subject "Christian faith and ecology: 
towards an eco-ecumenical theology" in a 
conference held 28-29 March at Instituto 
Universitario (ISEDET), a Protestant 
theological school.  

The event was sponsored by ISEDET, the 
Argentina-based Rural Reflection Group 
and the World Student Christian Federation 
(WSCF) Latin America and Caribbean region 
and was supported by the World Council of 
Churches (WCC) and the United Church of 


1 April 2011

Christian communicators say women 
treated unfairly by media 

Little Rock, Arkansas (ENI news) - A more fair 
and balanced representation and portrayal of 
women in the media is one way journalists can 
help create a more equitable world, said a media 
observer and peace advocate."Fair and balanced 
news media representation holds the potential to 
enable the emergence of societies marked by non-
hierarchical social relations that guard ... 
values of equality, justice and freedom from 
discrimination," Sarah Macharia, programme 
manager for media and gender justice of the 
Toronto-based World Association for Christian 
Communication (WACC), said 31 March at the 
annual convention of the Religion Communicators 

British millionaire buys then 
donates religious paintings

Canterbury, England (ENI news) - A self-
effacing multi-millionaire, Jonathan Ruffer, 
59, has become a cultural icon here after 
buying a series of 17th century religious 
paintings from the Anglican church for 15 
million pounds and then giving them back 
so they can remain on public display and 
potentially boost art tourism in parts of 
the rundown northeast of England. 


Canadian Anglican, Lutheran councils 
hold first joint meeting

Mississauga, Ontario (ENI news) - The 
executive councils of the Anglican Church 
of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical 
Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) opened 
on 1 April their first joint meeting,marking
a step toward deepening the denominations' 
"full communion" relationship. Gathering 
in Mississauga, Ontario, a suburb of 
Toronto, the ACC's Council of General 
Synod and the ELCIC's National Church 
Council will meet until 3 April under 
the theme "Growing Together." 

Deadly Afghan riots blamed on Quran burning 
at Florida church

Washington, D.C. (ENI news) - The Florida pastor 
who presided over the recent burning of a Quran 
said the United Nations must protect Afghans from 
deadly riots, even as he denied responsibility 
for inspiring them. 



Provided courtesy of

March 28th, 2011

"Who feeds the world? My answer is very 
different to that given by most people.
"It is women and small farmers working with 
biodiversity who are the primary food providers 
in the Third World, and contrary to the dominant 
assumption, their biodiversity based small farms 
are more productive than industrial monocultures."

- Shiva Vandana


March 29th, 2011

"To wash the feet of a brother or a sister in 
Christ, to allow someone to wash our feet, is 
a sign that together we want to follow Jesus, 
to take the downward path, to find Jesus' 
presence in the poor and the weak. Is it not
a sign that we too want to live a heart-to-
heart relationship with others, to meet them 
as a person and a friend, and to live in 
communion with them?"

- Jean Vanier


March 30th, 2011

"I thought that animals were always in the 
trenches, in harm's way. Unless somebody, 
somewhere could find a way to build a new 
ark. It had to be bigger than my balsam 
wood toy. It had to be big enough to carry 
us all -- again."

- Brenda Peterson, from her book 
  "Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals"


March 31st, 2011

"The power of nonviolence is not circumstance-
specific. It is as applicable to the problems 
that confront us now, as to problems that 
confronted generations in the past. It is not 
a medicine or a solution so much as a healing 
process. It is the active spiritual immune 
system of humanity."

-  Marianne Williamson, from her book 
   "The Healing of America"


April 1st, 2011

"No doubt a life of Jesus should be written 
on one's knees, with a feeling of unworthiness 
great enough to make the pen drop from the hand. 
A sinner should blush for [his or her] temerity 
in undertaking such a work."

-  Francois Mauriac, from "Life of Jesus"



March 26, 1979 - the Camp David peace treaty 
was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem 
Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at 
the White House.

March 28, 1979 - America's worst commercial 
nuclear accident occurred inside the Unit Two 
reactor at the Three Mile Island plant near 
Middletown, Pa.


March 29, 1973 - the last United States 
troops left South Vietnam, ending America's 
direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.


April 1, 1945 - American forces invaded Okinawa 
during World War II.



"The fullness of joy is to
 behold God in everything."

 - Julian of Norwich (1342-1416)
   the first English woman writer


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