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[AKidsRight.Org] Discipline of Lent: The Simplicity and Necessity and Power of Personal Sacrifice (NonViolent Action)

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Mon Apr 05 2004 - 11:51:48 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

I'm not sure what is going to be happening this week, so I thought
I better get this message off now.  I'd like to talk a bit about some
changes in my plans, but first some final thoughts on a theme of 
Sacrifice in this season of Lent.

The subject of the message says it pretty well:
The simplicity and necessity and power of Personal Sacrifice (NonViolent Action).

* Simplicity - How many times have you heard others (or even yourself)
say, "I really want to do something, but I just don't have the resources,
the money, the legal knowledge, the media attention to make it a success...."

All the physical resources my efforts have required is a 5x7 picture of
my child (and some others).  I know one of the duties of my Member of
Congress is to help make good laws.  We'd like to engage Senator Hillary
Clinton in a real dialog on the need for Family Law reform.  I can't
think of a more important National issue.  I can't think of a more
important human right.  I think it is so important I'm willing to risk
arrest outside her offices to demonstrate the depth of my concern...  I
recently totaled up my arrests and jail time for the web site:

48 arrests and 103 nights in jail -- sound like a lot?  A big sacrifice?
Not really when you read what others have done with even less at stake
than their children.

I'm not angry with Senator Clinton or frustrated she is not "tackling"
this critical issue -- she is a busy person with a lot of things to do,
a lot of groups who want her attention.  Having the justification to
"hate" someone requires a lot more effort and homework.  That is not
needed.  I can change how people think not by yelling that other people
are idiots -- but just by showing how much I love my child by my
willingness to sacrifice my freedom.  Giving up one valued right to
regain another.

Nothing complicated here.  Nothing to put you in moral peril.  Easily within
the grasp of any one of us.   Just look at some of the examples in the past:

The Freedom Riders - blacks who would intentionally sit in the front of
the bus and be taken to jail for a few days. Just the cost of bus
fare. If you were 'lucky' the Klan showed up later and burned your house
down.  http://www.AKidsRight.Org/p_martin.htm

The Indian raid on the Salt Mines - you just had to line up to get salt.
The guards were happy to beat you with a club and break an arm or rib.  If
you were 'lucky' they fractured your skull.

Obviously, those people had a lot of Faith.

* Necessity - don't every believe "the pen is mightier than the sword" or
"use your words not your fists."  I have found myself cut out of so many
parts of my child's life.  They told Nig$$ers they couldn't pee in the
same bathroom or sit in the front of the bus -- they told me I wasn't an
equal parent, an expendable part of my child's life (but please send
money!).  Is there a greater indignity?

My sacrifice, my ACTION, not only convinces others about the depths of
my belief (but it also convinces me).  "Turn the other cheek", "Give
them your cloak", and "Go with them two miles" -- are not calls to
resignation or acceptance as part of some bizarre grieving process.
They are calls to action in the face of injustice (do something!).

When I walk into that Federal Building holding the picture of my child
(and some of yours) in my hands -- I am swinging a bat (and it feels
good).  In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, "Love is not unarmed, but
also wields a sword."

When I act, I fulfill my duty, and have peace at heart.  I used to share
the cesspool of anger and regrets many folks are still wallowing in
(maybe you!). But strangely enough, now that I am taking action my heart
has broadened.  My former spouse still gets in the "digs", but they roll
off a lot easier.

The Movie 'The Passion of The Christ' really hit home on that.  I heard
so may reviewers say they didn't like the movie, they would prefer to
remember Christ for all his great teachings, "Love your neighbors" and
the other cool stuff!  How blind can they be?  If not for those last 12
hours -- we would never have paid attention to the rest.  His actions
gave flesh to those powerful words.

Our actions need to give flesh to our words, "We love our children more
than anything else..."  Our willingness to sacrifice demonstrates that.
It is your actions, not your words, that show where your treasure truly

* Power - We are not trying to conquer territory or launch a space shuttle.
We want laws to change.  But before that happens we must change how other
people think.  The sacrifice involved in NonViolent action can do that.

One of the personal benefits is a feeling of peace over what happened to
you and your child.  I know that many of you, in some aspects, have
moved on with your lives.  You may have remarried and have other
children to share your love with.  The past upsets you, but you have
gotten by it with time...  For many others the wound has never healed
(why should it?).  But you can see yourself descending into bitterness
and anger that may last a lifetime -- something that just won't let go!

I was once giving a Seminar on NonViolent Action to a group. I asked the
participants what their primary duty was in life?  The purpose of their
existence?  Many of them told me it was to "take care of their children."

Now, this was a group of NCPs (Non Custodial Parents).  I asked them how
in the name of humanity they would ever accomplish that goal when some
of them had Court Orders barring them from seeing their kids? No
answers.  People potentially on the slow-burn. What do you do when
someone is blocking your from ACHIEVING YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE -- get mad,
cry, and pout!  Maybe hurt them or yourself.

I shared with them an old catechism answer to our "prime directive."  To
Love God with all our heart....  and no greater love can we show, than
when we sacrifice of ourselves!

Obviously, the other great Power is to change how others think.  It
transcends words.  As Good Friday approaches it should not be hard for
us to understand how Jesus of Nazareth made his message a "record
breaker."  You want to convince people of the eternity of Spirit, the
Brotherhood of Man, and the Love of God?  Be a whole, happy, live-loving
person and voluntarily -- lay it all down and be brutally killed.

One of the final words from the Cross was, "it is accomplished..."
His life's purpose was fulfilled.  Amen.


I go back to the Federal Building in just a few minutes, the site will
have updates: http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionc_syr

I hope to plea for a stay in the proceedings.  I hope it will be
granted.  Giving the political process a bit more time to work.  Your
help is welcome.  Don't hesitate to give me a call at the number below.
If at all possible, give me a day time number where I can reach you.

Best regards!

                                       John Murtari
Coordinator                            AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org                "A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)        http://www.AKidsRight.Org/

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