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The Liberator: Remix – Issue 3 – Declaration of Sentiments Adopted by Peace Is Coming For You

From The Liberator: Remix

January 15, 2010

Declaration of Sentiments

Adopted by Peace Is Coming For You

Assembled in Convention, from various sections of the globe, for the promotion of peace on earth and good-will among it’s inhabitants, we, the undersigned, regard it as due to ourselves, to the cause which we love, to the country in which we live, and to the world, to publish a DECLARATION, expressive of the principles we cherish, the purposes we aim to accomplish, and the measures we shall adopt to carry forward the work of peaceful, universal transformation.

We cannot acknowledge allegiance to any human government; neither can we oppose any such government by a resort to physical force. We recognize but one King and Lawgiver, one Judge and Ruler of mankind – Knowledge. We are bound by the laws of a kingdom which is not just of this world;  of which are impossible to fight; in which Mercy and Truth are met together, and Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other; which has no state lines, no national partitions, no geographical boundaries; in which there is no distinction of rank, or division of caste, or inequality of sex or species; the officers of which are Peace, its extractors Righteousness, its walls Salvation, and its gates Praise; and which is destined to break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms.

Our country is the world, our countrymen are all the Earth’s inhabitants. We love the land of our nativity only as we love all other lands. The interests, rights, liberties of American citizens are no more dear to us than are those of the whole human race and all other species of animal. Hence, we can allow no appeal to patriotism, to revenge any national insult or injury. Those who espouse the principles of compassion, under whose stainless banner we rally, exist not to destroy, but to enlighten, even the worst of enemies. They leave us an example, that we should follow their steps. […]

We conceive, that if a nation has no right to defend itself against foreign enemies, or to punish its invaders, no individual possesses that right in his own case. The unit cannot be of greater importance than the aggregate. If one man may take life, to obtain or defend his rights, the same license must necessarily be granted to communities, states, and nations. If he may use a dagger or a pistol, they may employ cannon, bomb-shells, land and naval forces. The means of self-preservation must be in proportion to the magnitude of interests at stake and the number of lives exposed to destruction. But if a rapacious and bloodthirsty soldiery, thronging these shores from abroad, with intent to commit rapine and destroy life, may not be resisted by the people or magistracy, then ought no resistance to be offered to domestic troublers of the public peace or of private security. No obligation can rest upon Americans to regard foreigners as more sacred in their persons than themseles, or to give them a monopoly of wrong-doing with impunity.

The dogma, that all the governments of the world are approvingly moral, and that the powers that be in the United States, in Europe, in China, are in accordance with morality, is not less absurd than wicked. It makes the impartial concept of freedom and equality, unequal and tyrannical. It cannot be affirmed that the powers that be, in any nation, are actuated by compassion or guided by the principles of ethics, in the treatment of enemies; therefore, they cannot be agreeable to the will of good people, and therefore, their overthrow, by a moral regeneration of their subjects, is inevitable.

We register our testimony, not only against all wars, whether offensive or defensive, but all prepations for war; against every predator drone, every arsenal, every fortification; against the militia system and a standing army; against all military chieftains, soldiers; against all monuments commemorative of victory over a fallen foe, all trophies won in battle, all celebrations in honor of military; against all appropriations for the defence of a nation by force and arms, on the part of any legislative or corporate body; against every edict of government requiring of its subjects military service. Hence, we deem it unlawful to bear arms, or to hold a military office.

As every human government is upheld by physical strength, and its laws are enforced virtually at the point of the taser, we cannot hold any office which imposes upon its incumbent the obligation to compel men to do right, on pain of imprisonent or death. We therefore voluntarily exclude ourselves from every legislative and judicial body, and repudiate all human politics, worldly honors, and stations of authority. If we cannot occupy a seat in the legislature or on the bench, neither can we elect others to act as our substitutes in any such capacity.

It follows, that we cannot sue anyone at law, to compel one by force to restore anything which one may have wrongfully taken from us or others; but if one has seized our coat, we shall surrender up our cloak, rather than subject one to punishment.

We believe that the penal code of the current system, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, is abrogated by morality; and that, under a new system focused on the removal of the societal cause of crime [money], rehabilitation instead of the punishment of enemies would be enjoined upon all beings, in all cases whatsoever. To extort money from their enemies, or publicly defame them, or cast them into prison, or inject them with poison, is obviously not to rehabilitate, but to take retribution. Vengeance is mine—I will repay, saith the law.

The history of mankind is crowded with evidence proving that physical coercion is not adapted to moral regeneration; that the immoral disposition of men can be subdued only by love; that evil can be exterminated from Earth only by goodness; that it is not safe to rely on an arm of flesh, upon a man whose breath is in his nostrils, to preserve us from harm; that there is great security in being gentle, harmless, compassionate, and abundant in mercy; that it is only the peaceful who shall inherit the earth, for the violent who resort to the sword are destined to perish with the sword. Hence, as a measure of sound policy—of safety to property, life, and liberty—of public quietude and private enjoyment—as well as on the ground of allegiance to peace and compassion, we cordially adopt the passive resistance principle; being confident that it provides for all possible consequences, will ensure all things needful to us, is armed with omnipotent power, and must ultimately triumph over every assailing force.

We advocate no supernatural doctrine. The spirit of most doctrine is the spirit of retaliation, violence, and murder. It neither despises hate nor regards love. We would be filled with the spirit of equality. If we abide by our principles, it is impossible for us to be disorderly or plot treason, or participate in any evil work; we shall submit to every ordinance of morality, for goodness sake; obey all the requirements of Government, except such as we deem contrary to the commands of morality and justice; and in no case resist the operation of the law, except principally refusing to submit to the penalty of disobedience.

But, while we shall adhere to the doctrine of passive resistance to enemies, we purpose, in a moral and literal sense, to speak and act boldly in the cause of justice; to assail iniquity, in high places and in low places; to apply our principles to all existing civil, political, legal, and ecclesiastical institutions; and to hasten the time when the kingdoms of this world will have become the kingdoms of equality and abundance, and Peace shall reign for ever.

It appears to us a self-evident truth, that,  whatever the “war on [Terrorism, Drugs, Immigration, Coyotes, etc.]” is designed to destroy at any period of the world, being contrary to it’s goals, ought now to be abandoned. If, then, the time is predicted when swords shall be beaten into ploughshares, and spears into pruning-hooks, and men shall not learn the art of war any more, it follows that all who manufacture, sell or wield these deadly weapons, do thus array themselves against the peaceful dominion of the inhabitants of earth.

Having thus briefly, but frankly, stated our principles and purposes, we proceed to specify the measures we propose to adopt, in carrying our object into effect.

We expect to prevail through the foolishness of preaching—striving to commend ourselves unto every man’s conscience, in the sight of Peace. From the press, we shall promulgate our sentiments as widely as practicable. We shall endeavour to secure the co-operation of all persons, of whatever name or sect. The triumphant progress of the cause of Temperance and Abolition in our land, through the instrumentality of benevolent and voluntary associations, encourages us to combine our own means and efforts for the promotion of a still greater cause. Hence, we shall employ lecturers, circulate tracts and publications, form societies, and petition our State and national governments, in relation to the subject of Universal Peace. It will be our leading object to devise ways and means for effecting a radical change in the views, feelings, and practices of society, respecting the atrocities of war and the treatment of Earthlings.

In entering upon the great work before us, we are not unmindful that, in its prosecution, we may be called to test our sincerity, even as in a fiery ordeal. It may subject us to insult, outrage, suffering, yea, even death itself. We anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, calumny. Tumults may arise against us. The corrupt and violent, the pround and pharisaical, the ambitious and tyrannical, principalities and powers, and moral wickedness in high places, may combine to crush us. So they treated all previous rights movements, whose example we are humbly striving to imitate. If we align like them, we know that we shall prevail like them. We shall not be so afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. Our confidence is in the truth, not in man. Having withdrawn from human protection, what can sustain us but that faith which overcomes the world? We shall not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try us, as though some strange thing had happened unto us; but rejoice, inasmuch as we are partakers of societal evolution. Wherefore, we commit the keeping of our word, in well-doing, as unto the principles herein. For every one that expands beyond brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or family, or community, or state, or country, and includes all nations, all animals and all lands in their circle of compassion, for their sake, shall receive a hundred fold, and shall inherit unrivaled quality of life.

Firmly relying upon the certain and universal triumph of the sentiments contained in this DECLARATION, however formidable may be the opposition arrayed against them—in solemn testimony of our faith in their moral and logical origin—we hereby affix our signatures to it; commending it to the reason and conscience of mankind, giving ourselves no anxiety as to what may befall us, and resolving in the strength of Peace calmly and rationally to abide the issue.

Original By William Lloyd Garrison

Remixed By Peace Is Coming For You

Next “The Liberator: Remix” Post:  The Salutation

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