Stick Out Your Tongue for Peace!
By Lu Mountenay of Independence, MO, USA
And whoso shall publish peace, even tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be. —1 Nephi 3:189
Ginny walked into the room where I was making signs for Saturday’s peace protest. I was altering the large image of a motorcycle by turning its wheel spokes into peace symbols. Since we don’t ride motorcycles at our rallies, some explanation was necessary. I told her about our protest a year earlier…
We went to the entry gate of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and peacefully protested the home base for weaponized drones (officially called “Predator” drones which fire “hellfire” missiles). About thirty protesters gathered from PeaceWorks Kansas City, Veterans for Peace, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Catholic Worker Houses, Jerusalem Farm, Community of Christ, and others groups.
We feel the use of weaponized drones, which kill on average 80 innocent men, women, and children for each targeted person, is immoral and illegal. We feel this foolish policy further radicalizes those people with whom the U.S. is trying to improve relations. Serious stuff!
But why make biker signs now? At that earlier rally, as we tried to communicate using our feeble megaphone, a parade of heavy-duty pickup trucks and motorcycles drove by slowly with large American flags and signs that said, “Fight for freedom” (in defense of the drones). They continuously revved their loud engines so we could not hear one another, driving slowly back and forth for about a half hour.
Ironically, the way they promoted “freedom” denied us protesters our freedom of speech. So this year, anticipating their return, we made signs that read, “Rev your engines for PEACE.” Ginny asked, “What if they try to drown you out by honking instead?” I went back to the drawing board.
As I was making new signs with pink bicycle horns saying, “Honk for PEACE,” Tammy walked in. I told her what I was up to and she asked, “What if they stick out their tongues?” So we joked about making “Stick out your tongue for PEACE” signs—and then thought better of it. Tammy said, “You’re having too much fun.”
I thought about that. It is serious—lives are at stake. But who said peacemaking shouldn’t be fun? Our theme for this year’s protest is “Fly Kites, Not Drones.” And we will fly kites on short strings (they cannot go into the air space of the base). I’ll let you know how it tongues out. I mean turns out. (Look for the August 25 blog.)
Prayer for Peace
The world is noisy, God. Many causes vie for our attention. Help us get our message across; help us share Christ’s peace loud and clear.
Spiritual Practice: Peace Action
God calls Community of Christ to ministries of peace, reconciliation, and healing of the spirit. PeacePathways is a church-sponsored website sharing peace and justice ministries, resources, and opportunities. Visit the website www.peace-pathways.org/ and discern one ministry that speaks to you or captures your attention. Check out the PeaceWorks-Kansas City website at www.peaceworkskc.org or a peace organization in your area. Listen quietly to see if God is calling you to additional responses to this ministry or another ministry of peace, reconciliation, or healing. If you cannot visit the website, offer a prayer of blessing on all peace ministries.
Today, God, I will respect the opinions of others and not suppress their rights to express them.