U.S. Congressman Supports Establishing U.S. Department of Peace

Excerpt from speech by U.S. Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich at the Praxis Peace Institute Conference held in Dubrovnik, Croatia on Sunday, June 9, 2002.
Citizens across the United States are now uniting in a great cause to establish a Department of Peace, seeking nothing less than the transformation of our society, to make non-violence an organizing principle, to make war archaic through creating a paradigm shift in our culture for human development, for economic and political justice and for violence control. Its work in violence control will be to support disarmament, treaties, peaceful coexistence and peaceful consensus building. Its focus on economic and political justice will examine and enhance resource distribution, human and economic rights and strengthen democratic values.
Domestically, the Department of Peace would address violence in the home, spousal abuse, child abuse, gangs, police-community relations conflicts and work with individuals and groups to achieve changes in attitudes that examine the mythologies of cherished world views, such as ‘violence is inevitable’ or ‘war is inevitable’. Thus it will help with the discovery of new selves and new paths toward peaceful consensus.
The Department of Peace will also address human development and the unique concerns of women and children. It will envision and seek to implement plans for peace education, not simply as a course of study, but as a template for all pursuits of knowledge within formal educational settings. Violence is not inevitable. War is not inevitable. Nonviolence and peace are inevitable. We can make of this world a gift of peace which will confirm the presence of universal spirit in our lives. We can send into the future the gift which will protect our children from fear, from harm, from destruction. Carved inside the pediment which sits atop the marble columns is a sentinel at the entrance to the United States House of Representatives. Standing resolutely inside this “Apotheosis of Democracy” is a woman, a shield by her left side, with her outstretched right arm protecting a child happily sitting at her feet. The child holds the lamp of knowledge under the protection of this patroness.
This wondrous sculpture by Paul Wayland Bartlett, is entitled “Peace Protecting Genius”. Not with nuclear arms, but with a loving maternal arm is the knowing child Genius shielded from harm. This is the promise of hope over fear. This is the promise of love which overcomes all. This is the promise of faith which overcomes doubt. This is the promise of light which overcomes darkness. This is the promise of peace which overcomes war.

I couldn’t have said it better. As a matter of fact, I haven’t said it better.
It’s interesting that the first I heard of this was today in an email asking me to sign a petition supporting the establishment of a Department of Peace. Anyone interesting in expressing an opinion about this effort can do so here.