Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.
In the current issue of U.S. Catholic magazine, Maryann Cusimano Love discusses the role Catholics should be playing in peacebuilding worldwide. Ms. Love highlights the long history the followers of the Prince of Peace have had with hands-on community activism, how this should be considered to be "peacebuilding", and why the Catholic community should be doing more of it.
Ms. Love also tacitly supports the Department of Peace idea, although she believes that reframing the work of all existing government agencies to include peacebuilding would be mosre efficacious. This is an idea that the Peace Alliance (TPA) community and other peace activists have been discussing for more than a few years - "building blocks" for a future DOP, as it were. For example, last year TPA and alliance parttners supported domestic legislation (i.e., the Youth PROMISE act) and international legislation (i.e, State department budget allocations) to help inject peacebuilding approaches into the Departments of Justice and State. Unfortunately, with the focus on the economy and budget deficit this year, there has been precious little discussion about peacebuilding at the federal level.
My question to Ms. Love is, "What can the Catholic community do to put its weight behind these kind of creative ideas that can proactively build peace?" Also, what role can the Catholic community play in building interfaith support for peacebuilding? My concern is that these ideas will stay at the bottom of the national priority list until large groups of influencial citizens get behind them and help get them nearer to the top of the list.
If you have an opinion here, please visit the magazine link and and your opinion there. Building social media momentum behind this type of discussion can only help.