2016-07-27

BELIEFNET: You've proposed creating a Department of Peace. For our readers who aren't necessarily familiar with that proposal, could you explain? One question people would have is how is that different from the State Department.

KUCINICH: Well, they wouldn't ask that question if they knew anything about the State Department.

The purpose of the State Department is to support U.S. interests. Those interests are essentially commercial interests and sometimes military interests. The Department of Peace takes no position with respect to commercial and military interests but recognizes the interests of the entire society and of our domestic life in America for creating conditions so that we may have a culture of nonviolence. The way we do it is through creating programs in the schools and programs with community organizations and government organizations and actually create a culture of peace by teaching peace in our schools-by teaching peace giving, and peace sharing and mutuality and reciprocity and seeing the other person as an aspect of one's self.

I mean [this is] very much in line with the teaching of Christ--do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. The golden rule. To do that in a practical sense. To make it the every day work of the nation to teach our children not just how to get along but why they should get along. Not just simply addressing issues in the school but help families with the difficulties they have with domestic violence and spousal abuse and child abuse. Take a whole new approach that's compassionate and accepting of family's potential to heal and repair the wounds and move beyond their difficult experiences.

BELIEFNET: To what extent should Gandhi's or Martin Luther King's principles [of non-violence] be integrated into our foreign policy?

KUCINICH: They would be with a cabinet level position because that would always be a part of the discussion. Just think if President Bush had that as an option in Iraq.

BELIEFNET: What would that have looked like?

KUCINICH: UN inspectors.

BELIEFNET: How would your personal spirituality affect what kind of president you'd be?

KUCINICH: [I'd be] both grounded and able to envision that place where matter comes together to create the stars and to contemplate both that which is being created and the creator.

BELIEFNET: In terms of your current spiritual practice, do you do meditate or do yoga? What you could you tell us about your current spiritual practice?

KUCINICH: I'm meditating now.

BELIEFNET: What do you mean?

KUCINICH: I'm meditating now. This conversation with you is a meditation.

BELIEFNET: Hmmm. How so?

KUCINICH: In that it is a constant flowing in and flowing out of spiritual principles, connection to thought, which is derived from spirit.

It's the way I live every moment.

BELIEFNET: Does campaigning feel like a spiritual practice?

KUCINICH: Every moment of my life. EVERY MOMENT connects to spirit. In fact, that's how I'm here.