American military imperialism
“they shall beat their swords into ploughshares.” So we did it. Poured our blood around it. And stood in a circle.
Holy Outlaw: Lifelong Peace Activist Father Daniel Berrigan Turns 85
Thursday, June 8th, 2006
We speak with Father Daniel Berrigan, one of the country's leading peace activists of the past half-century. Hundreds of people are gathering in New York this weekend to celebrate his 85th birthday. We discuss his life as a Jesuit priest, poet, pacifist, educator, social activist, playwright and lifelong resister to what he calls "American military imperialism." [Our next guest is one of the country's leading peace activists of the past half-century.
In 1968, he traveled to North Vietnam with Howard Zinn to bring home three U.S. prisoners of war.
Later that year he made national headlines when he and eight others burned draft files in Catonsville Maryland.
In 1970 he spent four months living underground as a fugitive from the FBI.
In the early 1980s he helped launch the international anti-nuclear Plowshares movement when he and seven others poured blood and hammered on warheads at a GE nuclear missile plant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
I am talking, of course, of Father Daniel Berrigan. Jesuit priest. Poet. Pacifist. Educator. Social activist. Playwright. Civil rights activist. And lifelong resister to what he calls "American military imperialism."
Along with his late brother, Phil, Dan Berrigan played an instrumental role in inspiring the anti-war and anti-draft movement during the late 1960s as well as the anti-nuclear movement.
Georgetown University theology professor Chester Gillis has said of Father Berrigan: "If you were to identify Catholic prophets in the 20th century, he'd be right there with Dorothy Day or Thomas Merton."
This weekend, hundreds of people are gathering in New York to celebrate his 85th birthday.
In a moment we will speak with Father Berrigan but we begin by going back 35 years to the documentary "The Holy Outlaw" by director Lee Lockwood. It features Daniel Berrigan as well as the historian Howard Zinn.
- "The Holy Outlaw" - excerpt of documentary by director Lee Lockwood.
Father Dan Berrigan joins us live in our firehouse studio.
- Fr. Daniel Berrigan, Jesuit priest and social activist. He is a prolific writer of poetry and the author of more than 30 books. He recently turned 85 years old.