Prayer of the War Atheist
My prayer today is that I learn to stay a war atheist—
my prayer today for each of us, for everyone in this nation, in this world,
is that we all learn to be war atheists.
I don’t believe in war anymore.
My prayer today is that I never again succumb to fear,
fear which seduces me to believe that the expediency of violence provides a permanent answer,
fear which clouds my judgment and convinces me firmly that violence is a fix,
fear which tempts me to justify violence, teasing its response from defensive toward offensive action
fear which feeds the lie allowing us to collaborate with violent euphemisms that bury our need to count the victims of our violence—fear that misnames collateral damage, friendly fire, and just war.
Fear is the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. Fear is the ultimate cause of war. And I just don’t believe in it anymore.
Yes, I pray to stay a war atheist.
I pray that we not be fooled by the lure of a violent cure.
Let us, instead, reach toward healing—
let us resolve to heal the world,
to teach the world,
and wield only the sword of truth. . . .
let us arm ourselves with satyagraha.
Satyagraha—Gandhi’s word for his steady assertive nonviolent rebellion—
Satyagraha—meaning: SOUL FORCE.
Satyagraha defeats our fears
Satyagraha reclaims our courage
Satyagraha encourages our creativity
Satyagraha informs our hopes.
My prayer today is for satyagraha;
this prayer of the war atheist.
Let us lay down that sword and shield—
I ain’t gonna BELIEVE in war no more.