JFK, Gandhi, and the Unspeakable in 2013
Overview of the public talk and workshop:
Jim Douglass believes the truth of John F. Kennedy’s murder is a Gospel story, one of hope and resurrection—depending especially on our response to it in this 50th anniversary year of Dallas. Douglass enters the JFK story through Gandhi’s experiments with truth and Trappist monk Thomas Merton’s sense of “the Unspeakable,” systemic evil at a depth we refuse to acknowledge because we don’ know what to do with it. If truth is indeed God, as Gandhi believed, we do know what to do with it, as even a U.S. president in the most terrifying crisis in history learned. What can we learn from JFK’s remarkable turn toward peace, at the cost of his life, in order to transform our own world at the edge of a final crisis?
Jim Douglass is a Canadian-American theologian from Hedley, British Columbia, who has served time in U.S. prisons for resistance to nuclear weapons, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War. He now lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where he co-founded Mary’s House Catholic Worker with his wife, Shelley. His most recent books are “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters” and “Gandhi and the Unspeakable: His Final Experiment with Truth.”
Friday, March 8 @ 7:00 pm
Location: Canadian Memorial United Church, W. 15th and Burrard , Vancouver, BC
Public Talk: Thomas Merton and the Unspeakable in 2013
As a Trappist monk in the hills of Kentucky, Thomas Merton saw and spoke out against the Unspeakable evil of nuclear weapons, the Vietnam War, and a national security state that cut down the most hopeful leaders of the sixties. Douglass meditates on the interweaving of his friend Thomas Merton’s journey with those of the Kennedys, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. Is Merton’s death in Bangkok, six months after RFK’s in Los Angeles, another example of the Unspeakable? This event is co-sponsored by the Thomas Merton Society of Canada and Canadian Memorial United Church & Centre for Peace.
Admission is by donation at the door. Everyone is welcome!
Saturday, March 9, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm (includes lunch & refreshments)
Location: Canadian Memorial Centre for Peace, 1825 W. 16th, Vancouver, BC
Workshop: Jim Douglass and Paul Schrade on JFK, RFK, and the Unspeakable in 2013
Paul and Jim are committed to joining their voices to break the public silence around the murders of the Kennedys in this 50th anniversary year of JFK’s death, the 45th of RFK’s. The cost is $50 for TMSC members and $55 for non-members (lunch included). Please register by contacting Susan Cowan, Community Relations Director, at [email protected] or 604-988-8835. The workshop is co-sponsored by the Thomas Merton Society of Canada and Canadian Memorial United Church & Centre for Peace.
Paul Schrade, United Auto Workers leader in the Robert Kennedy presidential campaign, was shot with RFK at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968. Paul will tell the story of his close work with both Kennedys from 1960 until the night of RFK’s California primary victory, when they fell together. He will also present the evidence showing why convicted gunman Sirhan Sirhan could not have killed Robert Kennedy.
Jim Douglass, author of “JFK and the Unspeakable,” will tell JFK’s story of turning toward peace at the cost of his life, and identify the unspeakable forces behind his and RFK’s murders. He will share a litany of the martyrs in both cases, empowering us to speak and live out the truth in this anniversary year of Dallas and Los Angeles…a year of critical decisions for the future of humanity and Mother Earth.