Saturday, May 11, 2013

Forget the Bus This Nun Is Going To The Klink

Sister Megan Rice, Sister of the Holy Child Jesus, age 83, has been convicted in the break-in, security breach, and infiltration of the primary storehouse for bomb-grade uranium in the U.S.

Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed spent two hours inside the complex, where they hung banners, strung crime-scene tape and hammered off a small chunk of the fortress-like Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, or HEUMF, inside the most secure part of complex.

Was Sister contrite?  Did she show remorse or apologize
She had only one regret, "My regret was I waited 70 years."

Well, if sentenced to the maximum one year in prison, she will be experience wearing a habit again.  This time it will be an orange jumpsuit.  Sister can also be fined up to $100,000.00 (one hundred thousand dollars).  Even if the maximum fine is not imposed, the chances are, considering her age, there will be some fine imposed rather than jail time. 

Civil disobedience and protest against certain policies and actions one disagrees with are honorable actions. However, these are usually non-violent, peaceful actions.  The moment they broke into the building the trio ceased being peaceful.  That is shameful, especially for a religious. 


  1. Replies
    1. Civil disobedience is rooted in love. Nothing violent or shameful about it. Read MLK or Gandhi or Jesus.

  2. Beth, Jesus teaches civil obedience. As does Paul. What MLK and Gandhi state is besides the point.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. On the contrary, Anonymous (why can't you use your name?) Jesus was the most active resistor perhaps known to history. A peacemaker, Jesus time and again broke the laws that oppressed people and kept them slaves to injustice. His actions were illegal and civilly disobedient.

    3. Here are ten major episodes as actions of nonviolent disobedience by Jesus, as listed by Fr. John Dear SJ:

      1. Jesus' first action was a public exorcism of a man with an unclean spirit in the Capernaum synagogue (Mark 1:23-26). He disrupts the cultic atmosphere. He exorcized the culture's possession of people. The man was amazingly cleansed from the unclean spirit of imperial violence which had been internalized.

      2. The healing of the leper (Mark 1:40-42) was civilly disobedient because it went beyond the designated boundaries of society. Lepers were "outsiders." Buy touching him, Jesus became a marginalized outsider too. He broke social and religious laws of behavior. (Gandhi also associated with India's "untouchable" cast.)

      3. A third set of illegal actions includes Jesus' mingling with the outsiders: sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, the sick, the dying, the hungry, widows, women, fishermen, and children. He declared (Mark 3:34) his total union with the poor and oppressed. By eating with the marginalized (Mark 2:15) Jesus publicly embraced all who were excluded by societal laws.

      4. Working and healing on the Sabbath constitute a fourth series of civil resistance actions: (Mark 2:23) plucking grain by the disciples (their first public action was illegal!) Mark 3:1-6 healing of the withered hand; Luke 13:10-17, healing of the woman, Luke 14:1-6 healing of man. For Jesus, mercy and human needs preceded regulation and rule.

      5. This addresses the economy of militarism , the business of war which allowed the imperialistic forces of Rome ("legion") to control people (Matt. 8:28-34). The man possessed by the unclean spirit represents the poor who were under the oppressive and violent Roman military occupation. Jesus also called for the economic conversion from profits and oppression to justice and disarmament. Then, as now, Jesus' message was scandalous and radical.

      6. Jesus challenged the religious leaders by breaking the legalized religious dietary codes used to manipulate and oppress (Mark 7:1-23). Not washing hands before eating could result in condemnation and ostracization. Essentially, Jesus called for a return to the basics of justice and mercy (Luke 11:37-43). He used very strong language ("Woe to you!")

      7. Jesus was constantly fraternizing with the enemy: loving one's enemy was dangerous, subversive activity and yet it is the hallmark of Jesus's teaching and life. In his time the enemies were Samaritans, Gerasenes, and Greeks. (John 4:4-43 – the Samaritan woman; Mark 4:35-41– enemy territory). When crucified by enemies, he prayed, "Forgive them!"

      8. The street theater of the donkey ride into Jerusalem is considered a satire on the military parades of the empire (Luke 19:29-40). He is demonstrating how a real liberator acts: in humility, nonviolence, and simplicity. The procession is public and political, like Gandhi's salt march to the sea or King's march from Selma to Montgomery.

      9. The climax is Jesus' nonviolent direct action at the temple, the public center of the Jewish-Roman system, which kept the people subdued and oppressed. By wrecking the tables, Jesus symbolically throws over the imperial and religious domination (Mark 11: 15-18). He quotes Isaiah and Jeremiah who regularly condemned the Temple-state system and called for justice and peace.

      10. Following the Temple action, Jesus continues to stress obedience to God. High on the list is not to pay taxes to Caesar – a revolutionary declaration (Mark 12:13-17 etc.) Dorothy Day commented, "Once we give to God what is God's there is nothing left for Caesar." If the people followed Jesus in voluntary poverty and radical obedience to God, Caesar would be out of power. Recognizing the political nature of Jesus' Divine Obedience, the authorities arrested and killed him (Luke 23:2).