On What Planet

So, say, you’re 84 years old, never married, have lived an interesting life including 30 years teaching science in Africa. You’re American, female, and religious. And in big trouble with the government.

Your deeply held religious beliefs have led you to a life of anti-war protest in its many dimenions, not just activie hostilities, but the war machine itself, and the preparations that lead to mass killings. You want to bring attention to the issue in a blasé world where there’s a lot competing for our attention. What to do?

These beliefs in peace, doing no harm to one’s fellow humans, and to beat swords into plowshares lead you to activism, and you take out your wire cutters and break into “The Fort Knox of Uranium” in Tennessee. Once in, you and your two friends spraypaint three peace messages on the walls, then beat on the wall with hammers as a symbolic effort toward plowshares, light some candles, sing a little, and sit down to await the guards. When the guards arrive you offer to break bread with them.

What to do with these rabblerousers, enemies of the people? Thank them for demonstrating the lapses in a clearly inadequate security system? Share the bread they’ve offered?

Nope, yesterday Sister Megan Rice and her two co-conspirators were sentenced in Federal Court. Sister Rice, at 84 got a 34 month sentence. Her younger friends (58 and 64) got 64 months. All got 3 years of supervised probation if they live to get out, and have to pay $53,000.

Now, put yourself in Sister Rice’s shoes. What would you say to the judge? She said:

“Please have no leniency on me. To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest honor you could give me,” Rice told the federal judge at her sentencing hearing, according to USA Today.”

Are you feeling well served by the government today?

Lots of ways to spend one’s final years, and here’s another. Oh, my.

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