Paraphrase of Speech
best-selling author and well-known lecturer. She is founder of
Benetvision, a research and resource center for contemporary
spirituality, Co-Chair of Global Peace Initiative of Women, Co-Chair
of Tikkun, and on the World Peace Council with the Dalai Lama.
Sister Chittister was a keynote speaker at a conference sponsored
by the Omega Institute and VDay, in New York City, September 11,
2004. Sister Chittister rocked the rafters with an incredible speech.
The speech was approximately 50 minutes.
Sister Chittister says that women can make a difference! She gives
powerful statements! She states in her speech, women must
“demand the feminine alternatives of listening and seeing and
caring and relating and reaching out and feeling for the other that
lead the world away from war!”
The call for women to “demand” a change for peace is bold and daring. The whole
speech is forceful, illustrating why women have the right to demand changes in the world
regarding war and peace. Sister Joan states: “War is not inevitable. War is planned.
War is a choice.” She states, “Women have everything to do with war.” Women can “lead
the world away from war… Say no, no, no to war!... We need an antidote to extremism...
The world is waiting for women to step over the lines of political hatred.”
“Women are unasked and unarmed before war.”
“Women are the booty of war.”
“Women are forgotten and un-mourned.”
“Women are abandoned in the ashes of war.”
“Women’s homes and families are ruined.”
“Women’s issues are never negotiated or redressed in peace treaties.”
“Women are trafficked to satisfy the war mongers and forced into
“Women are never counted as victims.”
“War falls longest, hardest, and cruelest on the backs of women
and children.” “Women bear the sons, bury the dead, and are left
“die, too, from bombs and bullets”
“die in tent cities without medicines,without clothing,without sons
“die seeing their daughters do the same”
Sister Chittister says women are displaced because of war, placed
in rape camps, “we so genteelly call refugee camps”. The world
must stop fighting against the “stings of the past” and “we must
give our hearts to constructing the future.” Sister Chittister
“Cry out… to the ends of the world”
“Clearly, it time for women to save the world”
“We must preach from the Housetops”
To paraphrase Sister Chittister: Women must be in the forefront because being first
brings “courage and hope to others”. Women must take responsibility for stopping war “in
a world gone mad with arrogance, with ascendancy to patriarchal
power.” Women must refuse to be victims or executioners.
Women must prod, press, and provoke to change the world.
There must be a universal call to women and an organized
international voice for peace. It is crucial now.
Sister Chittister spoke of religion, spirituality and enlightenment.
Religion, she said, is a means to sanctity. Religious rights and
parochial rules cannot be absolute, or we do religion and God an
injustice. Spirituality is about one’s responsibility of giving life,
preserving life and valuing life. Enlightenment is the ability to
see beyond the normal and the enlightened become a torch to show the way.
|(GS of NV)
In 3 years, we the
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