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March 24, 2014

Father John Dear lectures on being nonviolent people in a violent world

NORMAN — United Church of Norman-UCC is hosting a public lecture and seminar by Father John Dear, author of 30 books, long-time activist and movement organizer.

The lecture is set for 7 p.m. April 4 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History with the seminar following from 9 a.m. to noon April 5 at United Ministry Center, 1017 Elm Ave.

Dear said he will be talking about the world of violence and war and people of nonviolence and peace.

“The world has become a world of total violence,” he said. “We’re really addicted to violence and now it’s normal.”

Dear will also talk about joining the global grassroots movement of peace and nonviolence to work for an end to war, poverty, nuclear weapons and environmental destruction. People can be activists and not be violent, he said, adding that he will be talking about leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and ultimately Jesus, who is “the epitome of peace and nonviolence.”

“There are 25 wars happening, a billion people starving, according to the United Nations, some 15,000 nuclear weapons and catastrophic climate change upon us,” Dear said. “Violence and war surround us now and it’s taken for granted.”

Furthermore, nonviolence is the heart of spiritual life, he said.

“What it means to be a Christian, what it means to be a human being — it’s a spiritual way of life,” Dear said.

Dear has been teaching nonviolence for 35 years, has written books about it and spoken to millions of people. His biography shows he has dedicated his life to spreading the message of nonviolence. The deciding factor to pursue this began when he was 22.

In 1982 Dear went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to see where Jesus lived and as he left, Israel invaded Lebanon and 60,000 people were killed. He was camping out by the Sea of Galilee when he witnessed the war-making.

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