Peace isn’t the absence of struggle; struggle is the absence of peace. It is advisable do extra than simply endlessly put together for struggle. It’s important to domesticate peace. No technology ought to be dwelling just for itself, any greater than no particular person ought to be dwelling just for themself. The president ought to be fascinated with the world 25 years from now, and 50 years from now, and past that. Proper now our national-security agenda is predicated virtually solely on methods to arrange for struggle, and solely a tiny fraction of that’s spent on waging peace. We’ve a $750 billion army funds. We’ve a $40 billion State Division funds, which is mediation, growth, and diplomacy. The peace-building businesses symbolize talent units which are simply as subtle, and experience which is simply as deep as something represented by brute drive.
Giant teams of determined folks ought to be seen as a national-security danger. Giant teams of determined folks do determined issues. Giant teams of determined individuals are additionally extra weak to ideological seize by genuinely psychotic forces. So in saying that I need the USA Division of Peace, I’m saying that I wish to give the peace builders a spot on the desk in a approach that they don’t have, in a much more strong relationship between our peace-building group and our army group.
Final yr, in certainly one of your movies, you talked in regards to the Declaration of Independence as being a miracle.
A small miracle? [Note: the video is here. Williamson refers to 1776 as the date a miracle occurred.]
Properly, it’s definitely been referred to as a miracle in human historical past, however in fact if I exploit that phrase—you already know, if [Times columnist] David Brooks says one thing about spirituality, it’s thought-about profound. If I say one thing like that, it’s thought-about woo-woo. So we will steer clear of that phrase for now.
What’s most essential nevertheless, is that the Declaration of Independence types America’s mission assertion. We’ve misplaced our psychological and emotional connection to these ideas. When you have them simply inscribed on marble partitions someplace—or written on parchment and positioned behind glass, in order that we will ship our youngsters after they’re within the eighth grade to see it and say, We did that—if that’s all they’re, they lose their ethical drive. Ideas should not alive until they’re alive inside us.
Do you suppose that there’s a distinctive American spirituality or an American expression of spirituality?
There’s a profound American non secular knowledge, going again to Whitman, to Emerson, to Thoreau, to the transcendentalists. Gandhi himself stated he was influenced by the transcendentalists. Non secular knowledge just isn’t relegated to any specific geographical location or ethnic identification, however the USA has definitely, all through our historical past, performed our half. The American thoughts, at its finest, is freethinking, and free thought inside the area of spirituality is important.
In 2018, you directed a public apology in Houston, the place all of the white folks within the room turned towards, after which apologized to, the black viewers members current. A few of what you stated was based mostly on a prayer you wrote in 2016, nonetheless accessible in your web site. May you inform me about that train?
A few years in the past, I feel it was within the 1980s, I went to Sacramento, California, to see a charismatic Catholic priest named Father [Ralph] DiOrio. [Note: In the ’70s, DiOrio practiced charismatic healing, a controversial offshoot of Catholic practice. Some followers claimed he could heal disease.] …We went, and I used to be shocked that it was an enormous auditorium. And there have been many individuals there in wheelchairs, holding disabled kids—every kind of issues. Father DiOrio bounds up on the stage, and he says, “Most of us listed here are Roman Catholics, however some should not. Some are Protestants, and a few are different denominations. In case you are not a Roman Catholic, please stand.” On this complete stadium, there have been hundreds of individuals, and perhaps 100 folks stood up. He had all of the Catholics line up in entrance of all of the individuals who have been standing and say, “If I, or any member of my faith, has ever carried out something to harm you or to offend you, please forgive me, and please forgive us.”