“Firm footing for a life of holy trouble.” —Shane Claiborne
The Christian faith has a rich tradition of civil disobedience.
Old Testament stories of noncooperation with evil, or prophets standing up to Kings at great cost. Jesus, the nonviolent revolutionary, peacemaker, risk-taker. The early Christian communities, repeatedly imprisoned for speaking truth to power-like Dorothy Day or Martin Luther King Jr., centuries later.
Nonviolent civil disobedience, when rooted in faith, is not only a way to protest unjust laws; it can be an experience of the sacred. It can be both a symbol and the reality of Christ’s love, overcoming the violence that surrounds us.
Within this book you’ll find a civil resister’s field guide to that tradition, and best practices for discernment, court appearances, even jail time. And if there comes a time to cross the line, you’ll find yourself in good company.
Illustrations by Benji Spence
Praise for John Dear:
“John Dear has walked where holy words lead: to a high mountain of instruction, into the desert of forty days, into the garden of anguish. He has poured his blood on nuclear weaponry and has paid up in kangaroo courts and unspeakable jails. He has trekked about the world bearing the gospel in hand and heart, a wing-shod messenger of peace. He has lived in solidarity with the wretched of the earth–whose plight, as he well knows, is the mean feat of abominable economics and killer instincts on rampage. In this century, in this land, cleft in fragments of gigantic disorder, what a witness!”
—Daniel Berrigan, Jesuit priest, anti-war activist, Christian pacifist, playwright, poet, and author.
“John Dear has been arrested in the cause of peace and human decency more times than anyone else I know. I am honored to consider him a friend.”
—Joan Baez, singer, songwriter, musician, and activist.
“Some teachers are all theory and some are all practice. John Dear has earned ability to be both. Some teachers are very orthodox and some open new ground. John Dear puts the two together knowing they are the same.”
—Richard Rohr, Franciscan friar, ecumenical teacher and author.