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Sharon Delgado
Sharon Delgado
The Reverend Sharon Delgado is an ordained United Methodist minister, executive director of Earth Justice Ministries, and author of “Shaking the Gates of Hell: Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization” (www.shakingthegatesofhell.org).



Speaking Peace on Palm/Passion Sunday

Mar25

by: on March 25th, 2013 | 2 Comments »

This blog post is taken from the speech that The Reverend Sharon Delgado gave at a Tour de Peace event with Cindy Sheehan in Nevada City, California, on Palm/Passion Sunday, March 24, 2013. See the video here: Sharon Speaking Peace.

Hi friends. It’s good to be here with all of you. I’m so glad to be part of a community of people who are passionate about peace.

The first peace group I ever attended was the Nevada County Anti-draft Coalition. Our kids were young teenagers, and the government had just re-instituted draft registration. It was 1979. Not long after that, I became involved in the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. I was motivated to work for peace out of concern for my children.

I was also motivated by my faith. The first time I was arrested for peace was over 30 years ago, at the Nevada Test Site, on Good Friday. We prayed and sang under a rustic cross, then held the barbed wire for each other and stepped through onto the test site. I felt connected to Jesus, the faithful Jew who had engaged in nonviolent direct action so many years before.

I don’t always speak about how my faith motivates me, but today is Palm/Passion Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, the first day of Holy Week. This morning all the children were marching around the church singing “hosannah” and waving palm branches, because that’s what the people of Jerusalem did so long ago when Jesus came into the city riding on a donkey. Then we went downstairs and played “Pin the Jesus on the Donkey.”

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A Billion Rising: A Movement of Spirit

Feb14

by: on February 14th, 2013 | 4 Comments »

My beautiful mother, Ruth, celebrated her last birthday two years ago on Valentine’s Day. She spent the day with Elmer, the love of her last years. She died a month later.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to highlight V-Day and the global movement to end violence against women. My mother was the victim of violence in her childhood, as was I and so many people, both women and men, whom I know. If we really love women, children, and other vulnerable people, we will not accept the astronomical rates of violence in our world today.

Today I’ll be joining a local gathering of One Billion Rise. People on every continent are rising up, led by women and supported by men who are allies, to demand an end to the violence that is destroying so many lives. This violence in our families and communities reflects the domination and violence of the institutions, systems, and ideologies that govern our world.

This global culture of domination and violence must be transformed. There is another way: a way of communion, cooperation, true partnership, mutual nurturing, understanding, empathy, peace. As we dance together, simultaneously, in communities around the world, we demonstrate that possibility and we build energy for a global transformation of values, mores, and cultures.

You can find a gathering and learn the anthem and dance at One Billion Rise. You can also find out more about the issue and support the movement to end violence in other ways. For instance, our group, Earth Justice Ministries, works with the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), which offers workshops to foster empathy, conflict resolution, and nonviolent communication in prisons and in communities around the world. I will return to this issue of nonviolence again and again in my blog and in my occasional postings to Tikkun Daily.

I feel my mother’s benevolent spirit, sending out blessings to me, to my loved ones, and to all of us who are engaged in efforts to create a compassionate world. I gain energy knowing that she is encouraging me on, and that all the ancestors, the ones who have gone before, the “great cloud of witnesses,” are invested in our work of building a world of justice, peace, and beauty. We can join with our brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, in this movement of Spirit, this work of God.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Feb13

by: on February 13th, 2013 | Comments Off

An Ash Wednesday Reflection

"Spirit of the River," Yuba River near Nevada City, California

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. In Christian tradition, on this day ashes are used to symbolize two things: repentance and mortality.

As we consider the destruction of the earth and the suffering of our fellow creatures, both human and nonhuman, repentance and humble acceptance of our own mortality seem appropriate. In Ash Wednesday services the imposition of ashes is a way to show our repentance, our intention to turn away from harmful actions and to turn back toward God. As we consider harm to the earth we are called to repent of our own violence, greed, and over-consumption, our participation in ecological destruction and human misery, our complicity in the harm caused by the institutions and systems of which we are a part.

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Corporate Globalization and God’s Good Creation

Feb6

by: on February 6th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

The "Golden Bull" at Occupy Wall Street

As a new Tikkun Daily author, this is an introduction to the themes I will cover in my postings to this blog. Many of these themes are covered in detail in my book, Shaking the Gates of Hell: Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization, which makes the case that today’s dominant global economic system, based on unrestrained free market capitalism, is damaging the human family and destroying the earth. The book is a call to action and a call to spiritual renewal. It proposes a way for people of faith and conscience to join together to resist corporate domination and to work for a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. My blog postings to Tikkun Daily will touch on these themes and will relate to the following three aspects of globalization:

1) Corporate Globalization: This is the current system of global economic integration, dominated by transnational corporations and based upon the ideology of Market Fundamentalism. The U.S. military/industrial complex enforces this interlocking network of political, economic, military, and ideological institutions, which Walter Wink calls the “Domination System.”

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Once You Knew

Jan16

by: on January 16th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

A friend recently introduced me to the poem, Hieroglyphic Stairway, by Drew Dellinger. The beginning of the poem grabbed me, because it speaks to my experience:

it’s 3:23 in the morning

and I’m awake
because my great great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?

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The Myth of Redemptive Violence

Jan14

by: on January 14th, 2013 | 2 Comments »

Around the country, people are polarized about whether gun control or widespread ownership of guns would make us safer. I have written earlier about the U.S. culture of violence and the growing economic inequity, which is violent in itself and is linked to increasing violence. Today’s post addresses the violent “myth” that underlies our culture:

In his work on the Powers [the institutions that rule our world], Walter Wink claims that the primary myth of our time is the “Myth of Redemptive Violence.” This myth, which is so pervasive in contemporary U.S. culture, has its roots in the ancientEnuma Elish,a Babylonian creation story about the struggle between cosmic order and chaos. The idea is that force must be used to bring order out of chaos and that the only way to conquer evil is through domination and violence. This story has been played out around the world for generations, and continues to be played out today.

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Celebrating in Ways that Bring Joy

Dec12

by: on December 12th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

There are many ways to celebrate the coming of the light in this dark season of the year, including the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas. Christmas is supposedly a Christian holiday, but the orgy of consumption that accompanies this holiday in the United States makes that questionable. How ironic it is that people celebrate the birth of a poor baby born in a stable (as the story goes) by spending billions on “stuff” that will ultimately end up in overflowing landfills. However, Christian or not, many are swept along by the dominant media message: “Buy gifts for your loved ones to show them how much they are loved and how precious they are.” The pressure can be hard to resist.

This may not present a problem for those who practice a Christianity that is conformed to consumer culture, but for those who seek to follow Jesus it challenges us with one of his core teachings: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Mammon: wealth, riches, money, stuff.

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Saying No to Drone Warfare: Protest at Beale Air Force Base

Dec1

by: on December 1st, 2012 | 9 Comments »

protest

Within the next few months, eight other protesters and I will stand trial in federal court in Sacramento. The trial comes in the wake of our Oct. 30 protest at Beale Air Force Base, where roughly 100 of us called for an end to drone warfare. Beale is home to the Global Hawk Drone, a surveillance drone that is used to determine drone targets. After stopping traffic onto the base for four hours, nine of us were arrested for trespassing onto federal property.

I took this action because I am convinced that the use of drones for targeted assassinations is immoral and illegal and that their use threatens us all. Now is the time to stop the new drone arms race in its tracks. This act of nonviolent direct action at Beale was my way of witnessing to my hope that “another world is possible,” a world based not on domination and violence, but on peace, justice, and environmental healing. My “no” of resistance is based on a “yes” of faith.

The U.S. use of drones for extra-judicial killings is immoral and illegal under international law. It assumes that the whole world is a battleground and that the United States has the right to inflict capital punishment without trial on whomever it has put on its “kill list.”

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