rn: daring to live our dignity – nonviolence in govt., sexuality


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,     July 24

Earlier one RN list subscriber, Daniel Haran, wrote to recommend a book on
"anger, fear, power, work, sexuality, community - and the spirituality and
practice of non-violence", _Allow the WAter_, by Leonard Desroches, éditions
Dunamis publishers.

I am only getting into it now but feel it is indeed worthwhile letting you
know of this book. I find the reading at times a bit disjointed, but there
is much caring, honesty, and clarity in this book. A couple endorsements:

"While working with activists in Thailand, I was asked by one of them to
send her books on nonviolence. "But, she said, be sure to send me stories,
not treatises." _Allow the Water_ gives us stories not told in the
mainstream media. This is a magnetic book, drawing the reader into the
sacred spaces of pain and hope."
Karen Ridd, former volounteer with Peace Brigades International (PBI) in
Central America; presently with PBI's North America Project (PBI-NAP)

"I've waited a long time for someone to deal seriously with the intimate
connections between nonviolence and sexuality. What has taken years, can't
be accomplished in a few pages. It is well worth the time and effort.
Elizabeth McAlister, war resister, member of Jonah House, Baltimore,
Maryland, USA

I've decided to copy out just one short section from the book, because I
think it speaks to the situation of the world's biggest super-power bullying
nations such as Iraq and Serbia:

p. 60: "This new awareness of power by the Christians so infuriated some of
the members of the Sanhedrin (the full Senate of Israel), the "they wanted
to put them to death" (Acts 5:33)... The Senate of Israel was especially
infuriated because this small band of Christians were "nobodys" who dared
live out their dignity. Recall the fury of the U.S. government when a
"nobody" nation, NIcaragua, dared assert its dignity and say: "Obedience to
God comes before obedience to people." The more insignificant one is
considered the greater the resentment of the (self-appointed) "significant".
My life was threatened when some of us helped a young neighbour get out of a
desperate sexually abusive situation. The resentment was especially strong
because the woman was poor, a "nobody who should have known her place".
There are classes even of enemies. The U.S. empire didn't like it when the
other world empire, the former USSR, asserted itself, but there was even
greater resentment when the small and poor country of Nicaragua dared to
assert itself."

all the best, Jan