We don’t need another election. We need an exorcism. It is this that leads me from vigil to vigil and I burned with it on the evening of March 16, when I participated in nonviolent civil resistance and was arrested with more than 200 others as part of the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq. I shook from it in court some three months later when I pleaded “no contest” to failing to obey a lawful order.
There were 13 disciples in court that day, each with a unique mission. Many spoke beautifully to issues of amendments, traditions, permits, and codes. I ask you, sisters and brothers, what is our message? I wonder: Should we defend ourselves in finite opportunities to testify, or ought we defend the lowliest victims of war?
I stood at the podium that day, my throat dry and my hands cold, testifying to the message of the nonviolent Jesus. I stood and prayed there—as I had in front of the White House on that bitter cold night so many of us remember—strictly to relieve the ringing in my ears: speak for the dead or join them. I could not discuss the First Amendment or the parameters of the permit. Rather, I felt commissioned by God to speak to one truth alone: The frontline in Iraq is everywhere and the children have no place to hide. When I sat down I felt, but for a moment, clean.
Eda R. Uca is a member of Jonah House, an intentional faith-based resistance community in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the author of Ana’s Girls: The Essential Guide to the Underground Eating Disorder Community Online.