Friday, March 26, 2010

Violence and Nonviolence

In honor of the anniversaries of Romero's death and the Iraq war, on Wednesday our community night focused on violence and nonviolence. What are different forms of violence? Physical? Verbal? Structural? And what are forms of active nonviolence? Not just avoiding conflict, but handling problems in a nonviolent way. We came up with a great list of examples of violence and nonviolence and reflected on our own experiences of violence and nonviolence.

Here are some resources we used:
Structural/Cultural/Direct Violence (PDF)
Tools for Nonviolent Living - Four Steps: Center, Articulate, Receive, Agree

And what would a blog post be without another Romero quote?

"We have never preached violence, except the violence of love, which left Christ nailed to a cross, the violence that we must each do to ourselves to overcome our selfishness and such cruel inequalities among us. The violence we preach is not the violence of the sword, the violence of hatred. It is the violence of love, of brotherhood, the violence that wills to beat weapons into sickles for work." -Oscar Romero, November 27, 1977

Monday, March 22, 2010


This week, March 24, is the 30th anniversary of the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador.

Here is a Lenten reflection from Romero:

Holy Week is a call to follow Christ's austerities,
the only legitimate violence,
the violence that he does to himself
and that he invites us to do to ourselves:
"Let those who would follow me deny themselves,"
be violent to themselves,
repress in themselves the outbursts of pride,
kill in their hearts the outbursts of greed,
of avarice, of conceit, of arrogance.
Let them kill it in their hearts.
This is what must be killed,
this is the violence that must be done,
so that out of it a new person may arise,
the only one who can build
a new civilization:
a civilization of love.

MonseƱor Oscar Romero
March 19, 1978

Friday, March 12, 2010

You Belong With Me

This video is too adorable not to share:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar dresses

So...this has nothing to do with JVC.

BUT, I think Maggie Gyllenhaal (top) & Rachel McAdams were the best dressed at the Oscars.

...that's all.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Casa Quote of the Day

"All I do is get into grad schools and put people in the hospital." - Brian

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Article by Shane Claiborne

I recently read an excellent article by Shane Claiborne on the Sojourners website. He describes the shooting death of a young man from their neighborhood, the community's activism around the local gun shop, and their opposition by gun-rights groups. Here are a few paragraphs of the article. Read the whole thing here.

Beauty and Ugliness in a Shooting's Aftermath
by Shane Claiborne 02-26-2010

Something sort of mystical and magical happened after a 19-year-old kid named Papito was killed on our block a few weeks ago.  As our neighborhood ached and grieved and cried with his family, we began to create a memorial for Papito where he died – a familiar ritual in the inner city.  Those who knew and loved him brought photos and flowers.  Kids on our block brought stuffed animals or whatever they had and laid them on the sidewalk memorial.  And everyone brought candles.  But here’s where the magic happened.  It was the next day that the east coast was to be hammered with one of the worst snowstorms since we’ve kept records.  As the snow showered down, I thought the little candles, sheltered only beneath a little shanty of soggy cardboard, would not stand a chance in the blizzard.  But on they burned. Hour after hour, even through the night they burned.  And the warmth of the fire melted down the snow as it fell.  Flake by flake melted from the warmth of the fire.  The next morning I went out to find the candles still burning, on a little patch of wet sidewalk like an oasis of warmth glowing in the middle of 2 feet of snow encroaching on all sides.


As we gathered with dozens of other Christians from around Philadelphia to pray for peace, we were met by a counter-demonstration that had been organized by gun-rights groups.  They shouted some of the meanest things I have ever heard.  I didn’t mind them calling me a “scumbag”, and I even concede on the “you need a shower” comment … but then the insults shot like bullets – racial, economic, angry insults … some of them to kids from our block,  some of them whispered just loud enough to hear, such as, “stupid immigrant.”  As we started a sacred moment of silence to remember Papito and the other kids killed with illegal guns … the silence was pierced with insults and meanness.  As we prayed the Lord’s Prayer it was interrupted with the singing of “God Bless America.”  A deep theological cage match was happening in the heavens, it seems. ...

Read the whole article (with a video of the Lord's Prayer vs. God Bless America) here.

Shane Claiborne is also the author of an excellent book, The Irresistible Revolution.