How to be a peace activist

The fall, 2013, issue of Geez magazine is all about being a peace activist, and there’s a short eight-paragraph piece by James Wilt on the Peace Experiments program we did in Sunday school in our church (“Playing with peace,” p. 68). There’s even a nice picture of the peace quilt that the kids made under the direction of quilter Kathy Swartz. (Unfortunately, this short piece didn’t make it up on the Geez Web site so I can’t link to it from here.)

I don’t think we’re going to put this article up on the church bulletin board where kids can read it, only because I’m quoted saying: “Dan Harper, a long-time peace activist in California, calls the idea of of getting more conservative with age ‘bullshit.'” It’s a true statement, I’m not ashamed of saying it, but eight year olds don’t need to know I said it.

But it is true; I find myself getting more radical with age. The older I get, the more I realize how foolish and unproductive and morally bankrupt war is; the more I feel we have to protect our kids from war and violence. And increasingly I think most radical thing we can do is turn our kids into peaceniks. As James Wilt puts it in the article: “Now, however, instead of going to peace rallies, [Harper] hangs out with children. ‘I really think it’s the way to change the world,’ he told Geez….”

So — you want to be a peace activist? Go teach Sunday school.

Peace Quilt

A summary of the curriculum we used for Peace Experiments in online here. If you want to run Peace Experiments in your congregation, feel free to contact me for ideas.

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