10/09/2007 - 07:00

The spirituality of the Department of Peace movement

The Department of Peace movement has deep spiritual roots. Spiritualist and author Marianne
Williamson founded the Peace Alliance to bridge the U.S. spiritual and political consciousness. She
saw that the United States was divided between those seeking to shape change through their
religious beliefs and those using the political system. She envisioned joining the two into a
political movement with a spiritual foundation. It's a movement that calls for peace in a way that
recognizes the dignity and humanity of every member of our beloved community, uniting us in a
common effort to build structures to sustain peaceful societies.

The Student Peace Alliance and the Peace Alliance know that at the heart of all religions are
spiritual truths of love, partnership, and peace. In a culture where we often experience power over
each other rather than power with each other, there is a loss of that deep spiritual connection.
The culture of violence surrounding us destroys the sisterhood and brotherhood we all desire. Our
movement is working to move past a paradigm of domination and control to bring in an era based upon
freedom and partnership. We stand with all religious groups that work to establish this partnership
and a culture of peace. The movement to create a Department of Peace is tantamount to a call to
align our governmental structures with the spiritual values upon which our country was founded.

The Department of Peace legislation is endorsed by diverse national organizations such as
American Muslim Voice, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Tikkun, and the
United Religions Initiative. Within the grassroots, religious and spiritual groups have offered
spaces and support for many of our meetings and events. For instance, earlier this year I spoke at
a synagogue to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day and at a fundraiser in a Unitarian
Universalism church. It's clear that there's a deep yearning throughout our nation to live in peace
and harmony. The religious and spiritual community continues to play a pivotal role in advocating
for a Department of Peace and for structures in government that support our shared yearning for
peace.