history


Breaking Stereotypes in Fearful Times

by John Whitehead Several incidents of terrorism that occurred in the United Kingdom this spring—the suicide bombing of a concert in Manchester, two attacks in London by men using trucks and knives—have understandably received much attention and provoked much horror and outrage. Along with such appropriate responses as sympathy for the victims and their families…


Would Nonviolence Work on the Nazis?

by Rachel MacNair   While it took time to realize the extent of the Nazis’ brutality, the night of November 9-10, 1938, gave intense warning that Jews were in great danger. Hundreds of synagogues and thousands of businesses were attacked with sledgehammers. Several dozen Jews were killed, in what became known as Kristallnacht, the Night…


Activists Reminisce: An Oral History of Prolifers for Survival

Excerpt from Chapter 12, Consistently Opposing Killing Note: This comes from a conference call done for a chapter in the anthology, Consistently Opposing Killing: From Abortion to Assisted Suicide, the Death Penalty, and War, published by Praeger. Juli is Julianne Wiley (also known as Juli Loesch); Rachel is Rachel MacNair. Mary Rider was also on…


Self-Defeating Violence: The Case of the First World War

by John Whitehead The United States recently reached the 100th anniversary of American entry into the First World War. Although American businesses had provided arms and money to the Allied nations (which included Britain, France and Russia) in their war against Germany and the other Central Powers, US President Woodrow Wilson had sought to avoid…


Intolerance Knows No Partisan Boundaries

by Lisa Stiller As a CL board member who has been working to promote CL representation at conferences and festivals—and the vast majority of the time loving it!—I have sometimes been amazed and discouraged at the amount of intolerance found on both the Left and Right. In the spring of 2015, I applied to have…


Our Experience with Overturning Terrible Court Decisions

by Rachel MacNair Several US Supreme Court decisions have been horrifying. What lessons can we learn from history? Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857 Dred Scott was an enslaved man who petitioned the Court for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters, because they had been moved to a state without slavery….


Courageous Woman: Elizabeth Anscombe (1919-2001)

by Julianne Wiley (a.k.a. Juli Loesch) In the fall of 1939, shortly after Great Britain declared war on Germany, the Royal Air Force was openly promoting a counter-city bombing strategy against Germany. They were preparing to carpet bomb entire cities. Their first target in each city would be the city water-pumping stations, and then they would wipe…


Ancient Roots of the Consistent Life Ethic: Greece

by Mary Krane Derr  The ancient Greek mathematician, musician, vegetarian, and spiritual teacher Pythagoras (580? BCE-??) taught a nonviolence ethic rooted in the kinship of all living beings. Pythagoras’ ethic did not exclude or denigrate women. Most unconventionally, Pythagoras defined only sexual misconduct, not intercourse itself, as polluting. He accepted women equally as his students….


Reminiscing on the Founding Meeting of the Consistent Life Network

 by Carol Crossed   Twenty-nine years ago, March 1987, Consistent Life was born. Patti Narciso and Scott Rains, directors of ProLifers for Survival, affectionately called PS, were the spiritual parents of what was to become and is today, the consistent life ethic movement. It began as The Seamless Garment Network. Former PS coordinator Mary Rider…


Book Review: Defenders of the Unborn

by Carol Crossed Defenders of the Unborn:  The Pro-life Movement before Roe v Wade is one of the few books about abortion that I read without dozing off within the first 15 minutes.  Maybe this is because I know very little about the movement in the 1960s and 70s.  My days were absorbed with petitions…